KATHMANDU, Oct 9: Nepal is taking on Hong Kong on Tuesday in a must win match to secure a place in the semifinal of the ACC Trophy Elite being held in the UAE.
With the victory over Saudi Arabia on Sunday, Nepal´s chance to qualify for the semifinal came back on track while UAE confirmed semifinal berth defeating Kuwait by 141 runs on Sunday.
Nepal, who beat UAE by 4 wickets in the first match, suffered 4-wicket defeat against Kuwait.
In the group B points table, the UAE is on top with six points from four matches. Hong Kong is in second place on the table with four points from three matches. Nepal also has four points from three matches but inferior net run rate than Hong Kong.
As Nepal is taking on Hong Kong on Tuesday, any team that wins Tuesday´s match will qualify for the semifinal of the tournament.
"It will be a vital match. If we win it, we´ll not only go forward but also have a chance to finish on the top of the group´s points table," said Nepali team coach Pubudu Dassanayake.
Dassanayake expected that at least one of the two fast bowlers would be available for the match. "We are trying to get them fit before the match. We can hope at least one would be available for the match," said Dassanayake. Nepali fast bowlers Binod Das and Amrit Bhattarai, are suffering from injury and they were not in the team that faced Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
Hong Kong is a team of World Cricket League Division 2. On the other hand, Nepal has recently secured promotion to Division 3.
Hong Kong is the winner of 2008 edition of the ACC Trophy Elite held in Malaysia. Nepal reached the finals of 2002 and 2010 edition of the tournament but had to satisfy itself as runner-up in both occasions.
Nepal and Hong Kong had played six One-Day matches in the past. Nepal had won the last three encounters while Hong Kong had won the first three.
Nepali men´s team has never lost to Hong Kong in 50 over format after the 179-run semifinal defeat in 2000 edition of the ACC Trophy Elite held in the UAE.
Nepal had lost to Hong Kong by five wickets in 1996 edition of ACC Trophy Elite held in Malaysia and suffered six wickets defeat in 1998 edition in Kathmandu.
Nepal defeated Hong Kong by 87 runs in 2006 edition in Malaysia. In group-stage match of 2008 edition in Malaysia, Nepal stunned Hong Kong by 44 runs, but Hong Kong pull up its game and finished the tournament as the ultimate winner. In 2010 edition in Kuwait, Nepal thrashed Hong Kong by 118 runs.