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July 26, 2008
Unbeaten half-centuries from Gyanendra Malla (76 not out) and Sharad Vesawkar (51 not out), and their 126-run stand, took Nepal to a comfortable seven-wicket win against Qatar at the Royal Military College ground. Choosing to bat, Qatar began slowly, making just 46 in the first 15 overs. Their captain, Omer Taj, made 48 off 77 balls, but did not receive much support from the middle order. Rusharat Ali, the wicketkeeper, struck an unbeaten 40 as Qatar were eventually bowled out for 171. Shakti Gauchan, a legspinner, and seamer Basata Negmi took three wickets each. A double-strike from Abbas Khan gave Nepal early jitters as they fell to 46 for 3, but Malla and Vesawkar combined to dash Qatar's hopes.
Bahrain built on Azeem-ul-Haq's 79 and some telling contributions from the lower order to amass 335, before skittling out Saudi Arabia for just 137 in their crushing 198-run win at the Selangor Turf Club. Saudi Arabia's decision to field first seemed to have worked when Bahrain collapsed to 77 for 3, but Imran Sajjad blasted 62 off 54 balls to reclaim the initiative. Bahrain kept up a good run rate, but they had lost half their side by the 27th over with 159 runs on the board. Azeem partnered Tahir Dar (35) and Akmal Malik (23) take them past 300. Saudi Arabia were completely undone in their chase, with the only resistance coming from Suhrab Kilsingatakam, who made 52. The pick of the Bahrain bowlers were Halal Abbasi and Fahad Sadeq, who took three wickets apiece.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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