Nepal's win keeps Afghanistan's World Cup hopes alive

Sandeep Lamichhane pumps his fists after taking a wicket Peter Della Penna

Nepal 155 for 5 (Paudel 48*, Kami 37*, Ehsan 2-34) beat Hong Kong 153 (Nizakat 47, Lamichhane 3-17) by five wickets

Nepal chased down 155 against Hong Kong, but were out of contention for the Super Sixes. The result, however, put pre-tournament favourites Afghanistan in the Super Sixes. Afghanistan, Nepal and Hong Kong have lost three of their four matches in this tournament, but Rashid Khan's men progressed to the next round by virtue of a superior run-rate of 0.038.

However, all was not lost for Nepal. The five-wicket win kept their hopes of securing ODI status alive. Nepal will need to beat Papua New Guinea in the first consolation bracket playoff and may have to win the seventh place match, too, depending on Group A results.

After opting to bat, Hong Kong had slumped to 153 all out with the Nepal bowlers sharing the spoils. Seventeen-year-old legspinner Sandeep Lamichhane continued his excellent form to finish with 3 for 17. Fifty three of his 60 balls were dots. He was complemented by seamer Karan KC (2 for 35) and left-arm spinner Basant Regmi (2-20).

Opener Nizakat Khan made 47 off 84 balls before he was the sixth Hong Kong batsman to be dismissed. Apart from Nizakat, No. 9 Ehsan Khan was the only other Hong Kong batsman to pass 20.

Seamer Aizaz Khan dismissed both Nepal openers Gyanendra Malla and Anil Sah early in the chase, and captain Paras Khadka and Aarif Sheikh fell soon after to leave their side wobbling at 61 for 4 in 18 overs. When Dipendra Singh Airee was dismissed two overs later, Nepal were 66 for 5. Fifteen-year-old Rohit Kumar Paudel and Sompal Kami then stablilised and sealed the chase with an unbroken 89-run partnership - the only fifty-plus stand in the match.

Ehsan Khan, the Hong Kong offspinner, who had his bowling action cleared by the ICC before this match, ended with 2 for 34.