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July 15, 2007
Nepal 34 for 3 (Har 2-9) beat Hong Kong 31 (Rajopadhyay 3-4, Thapa 3-5) by seven wickets
Nepal followed up their thrilling tied match against Malaysia with a seven wicket-win against Hong Kong which ensured them a place in the semi-final of the ACC women's tournament at Johor, Malaysia.
Hong Kong were firm favourites going into the match but Nepal's cricketers fought with everything they had. Up against a Hong Kong team fragile in temperament, Nepal's team of seasoned athletes played an overwhelmingly professional game. Fielding first, Nepal had one plan - to get Hong Kong's captain Neisha Pratt out early.
Pratt, a veteran of New Zealand domestic cricket, carries the batting for her team and her fall, in the third over, caught behind, put the rest of the Hong Kong batting under immense pressure which was compounded by the fact that there were just no loose deliveries. Not a single wide was bowled by Nepal all day, and bar one no-ball and a leg-bye there were no extras.
Hong Kong went into a shell, suddenly the team's youth and inexperience became apparent. Nepal were on them and apart from Keenu Gill who took 41 balls to make 10, no one else made more than four.
Hong Kong were all out for 31 in 24 overs but the team didn't make it easy for Nepal. Chan Sar Hau, 11, bowling left-arm spin, picked up two wickets but it was too late as the first wicket fell only at the end of the 11th over. By the time Manisha Rawal, the Nepal opener, was out in the 24th over, her team had all but won. A boundary off the captain Nary Thapa sealed victory for Nepal.
Nepal will now play China and Hong Kong will play Bangladesh in the semi-finals on July 17.
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.