Afghanistan, Nepal wins lead to three-way tie
Three wickets each from spinners Mohammad Nabi and Samiullah Shenwari helped Afghanistan bowl Oman out for 186, before Noor Ali Zadran's 67 at the top of the order helped them wrap up a comfortable five-wicket win at the Selangor Turf Club.
Sent in to bat, Oman began well, with openers Zeeshan Siddiqui and Zeeshan Maqsood putting on 76 in 13.5 overs. They lost wickets steadily after that partnership, though, and were reduced to 139 for 8 in the 36th over, before Amir Khan and Rajesh Kumar added 41 for the ninth wicket to help set Afghanistan 187 to win.
They got there with 16 overs remaining, with Noor Ali anchoring the chase with his 83-ball innings that included 11 fours. He added 69 for the third wicket with Nasir Ahmadzai, who made 36, and 41 with Shenwari, before he was out with 17 to get. Shenwari saw Afghanistan home, scoring an unbeaten run-a-ball 29 to go with his three-wicket haul in Oman's innings. With the win, Afghanistan drew level with Oman at the top of the table with 6 points.
Nepal joined them on the same points tally after beating Hong Kong by seven wickets while chasing a revised target at the Bayuemas Oval. Sent in to bat, Hong Kong were bowled out for 181 in 41.5 overs, but could have made far less if not for their opening batsman Irfan Ahmed, who batted through their innings and was last out for 106. Irfan faced 115 balls and struck 10 fours and three sixes.
Irfan dominated a first-wicket partnership of 71 in 11.4 overs with Waqas Barkat, who scored 16, before Hong Kong lost a heap of wickets to subside to 117 for 5. Irfan then added 52 with Roy Lamsam, before the team lost their last five wickets for just 12 runs. Medium-pacer Sompal Kami took four wickets, while left-arm spinner Basant Regmi finished with three.
Chasing 182, Nepal were 121 for 3 in the 28th over, with Paras Khadka and Sharad Vesawkar in the middle, when the match was interrupted by rain. Irfan, having kept Hong Kong in the game with the bat, had taken two wickets with his medium-pace. But an innings of 41 from opener Naresh Budayir kept Nepal on course.
Set a revised target of 147 in 38 overs after the game resumed, Nepal got home without any further loss of wickets, with 23 balls remaining, and Khadka unbeaten on 43 off 52 balls.
United Arab Emirates won their second match of the tournament, beating Malaysia by six wickets at the Kinrara Academy Oval. Chasing 159, they breezed home in just 25.4 overs, with opener Amjad Ali laying the base with a 49-ball 43 and Shaiman Anwar finishing things off with an unbeaten 33-ball 53, with five fours and three sixes.
Right from the time they chose to field, UAE were on top of the game, with a double-strike from medium-pacer Mohammad Naveed in the seventh over putting Malaysia on the back foot after a 39-run opening partnership. They slumped to 74 for 5 before a 54-run partnership from Suharril Fetri and Hammadullah Khan stabilized their innings. But it was only temporary respite, and UAE struck back to take their last five wickets for just 30 runs. Left-arm spinner Fayyaz Ahmed was UAE's most successful bowler, with figures of 3 for 12 in 4.4 overs.