Hong Kong continues to surprise in qualifying
Surprise package Hong Kong booked their spot in the super six stage of the ICC World Cup Qualifiers tournament with a convincing 10-wicket victory over Nepal in Rangiora.
Hong Kong were an unknown quantity coming into the qualifier, but have now won all three of their games.
Their bowlers set up the win, leaving Nepal in all sorts of trouble at 65 for eight in the 27th over. Nepal were only able to get into three figures thanks to a gutsy 57-run ninth wicket partnership between Basant Regmi, who top-scored with 45, and Sompal Kami.
The tournament's leading wicket-taker, medium-pacer Haseeb Amjad caused havoc again, nabbing four for 40. All of Hong Kong's bowlers chipped in with Aizaz Khan and Irfan Ahmed taking two wickets apiece.
Hong Kong got off to a strong start in reply and eased to their target inside 34 overs without losing a wicket.
Ahmed, who was been in scintillating touch with the bat at this tournament, continued his virtuoso form, finishing on 86 not out. He has scored 261 runs from three games, only being dismissed once.
Hong Kong's final group game is against the United Arab Emirates in Queenstown on Thursday.
Kenya grabbed their first victory of the tournament in Mount Maunganui yesterday.
In the clash of two win-less teams in Group B, Kenya triumphed by 47 runs to give them some hope of making the playoffs.
Kenya won the toss and chose to bat and flourished after a hesitant start.
They were 35-2 in the 13th over but opener Alex Obanda and No 4 Collins Obuya combined for a dominant partnership. They added 112 for the third wicket, with Obanda making 80 off 103 balls (seven fours) and Obuya 71 off 91 deliveries, with six boundaries.
Veteran Steve Tikolo then whacked an unbeaten 55 off only 41 balls, featuring four fours, to get his side to 253-5 off their 50 overs.
Opener Abram Mutyagaba led the way in Uganda's reply with 61 from 93 balls but his side was always well behind the run-rate. A late surge from Richard Okia (28 off 29 balls) and Frank Nsubuga (32 not out off 34 deliveries) wasn't enough to get their side off the bottom of the table after three matches as they finished at 206-8.
Scotland's Calum McLeod starred in the rain reduced game against the United Arab Emirates in Queenstown yesterday.
Scotland batted first in a 28-over per-side fixture and McLeod and opening partner Matty Cross pummeled 178 off just 17 overs for the first wicket and Scotland eventually finished on 265 for six from 28 overs,
The UAE were brave in their chase but come up short, being bowled out for 218.
Nepal 150 all out in 50 overs (B Regmi 45, P Khadka 29, S Kami 26; H Amjad 4-40, A Khan 2-28, I Ahmed 2-29) lost to Hong Kong 154-0 in 34 overs (I Ahmed 86no, W Barkat 56 no) by 10 wickets
Kenya 253 for eight in 50 overs (A Obanda 80, C Obuya 71, S Tikolo 55; P Ochan 10-0-56-2) beat Uganda 206 for eight in 50 overs (A Mutyagaba 61, P Selowa 32, F Nsubuga 32*; N Odhiambo 8-0-46-2).
Scotland 255 for six in 28 overs (C MacLeod 113, M Cross 88; M Naveed 6-0-44-3, R Mustafa 6-0-45-3) beat United Arab Emirates 212 all out in 26.5 overs (K Khan 87, S Patil 41, S Anwar 36; I Wardlaw 6-0-35-3, R Haq 4.5-0-45-3, C MacLeod 4-0-34-2).