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August 1, 2008
Hong Kong will meet UAE in the ACC Elite Trophy final, having beaten Afghanistan by 25 runs in the semi-final at the Kinrara Academy Oval in Kuala Lumpur. Spinners Ilyas Gull and Nadeem Ahmed took three wickets each as Afghanistan were bowled out for 129 - the last six wickets falling for 41 runs - while chasing 155. Hong Kong's top order failed for a third time in the row, collapsing to 25 to 5, and it was the lower order that breathed life into the innings. James Atkinson and Irfan Ahmed added 47 while No. 10 Najeeb Amar top scored with an unbeaten 29. Medium-pacer Hasti Gul was Afghanistan's most successful bowler, taking 3 for 23. Ahmed Shah directed Afghanistan's chase - adding 45 with Raees Ahmadzi - before Nadeem had him caught for 36. Afghanistan were bowled out in 43.4 overs and they will now play Nepal on Saturday in the third place play-off.
An all-round effort from Khurram Khan helped UAE beat Nepal by six wickets in the other semi-final at the Selangor Turf Club. Khurram picked up 3 for 20 in 6.3 overs as Nepal were bowled out for 166. He took two wickets in two overs, inducing Nepal to stumble from 50 for 1 to 58 for 3. Shakti Gauchan led Nepal's effort, scoring 35 and adding 49 for the fifth wicket with Sharad Vesawkar. UAE, though, chased the target comfortably as Arshad Ali and Amjad Ali laid the platform with a 61-run partnership, which Khurram built on in his unbeaten 72-run stand with Rameez Shahzad.
Suhan Alagaratnam's fast-paced century went in vain as Malaysia lost the battle for fifth place to Singapore by 18 runs at the Bayuemas Oval. Alagaratnam received little support from his team-mates - the highest partnership was the seventh-wicket stand of 37 with Nasir Ali - as he scored 107 off 111 balls, in pursuit of 230. Narender Reddy and Shoaib Razzak shared six wickets between them to bowl out Malaysia for 211. Reddy also chipped in with 32 runs and added 64 with opener Glenn Meyer, who made 75 off 115 balls. Dinesh Sockalingam, the legspinner who took six wickets in Malaysia's previous game, added three more to his kitty today to lead the bowling charts with 18 scalps from five games.
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