Nepal and Hong Kong have qualified for the quarter finals of the Asian Games men's cricket competition after wins over Maldives and Japan today in Hangzhou, China.
In the morning match, Nepal captain Rohit Paudel won the toss and chose to bat first. There was no repeat of their record-breaking performance against Mongolia the other day, but they still made a big score against a second-string Maldives side, racking up 212-7 from their 20 overs.
Rohit Paudel top scored with 52 from 27 balls with Kushal Malla contributing an unbeaten 47 from 20 balls. A pair of 35s from Kusal Bhurtel and Gulsan Jha also helped Nepal towards their total.
The Maldives did well to bat almost a full 20 overs against their more experienced opponents, their last wicket falling with two balls to spare in their innings. Muaviath Ganee top scored for them with 36, whilst Abinash Bohara bowled superbly to take six wickets for only 11 runs.
In the second game, Japan were put into bat by Hong Kong captain Nizakat Khan, and their innings had a somewhat top heavy look to it. Opener Lachlan Yamamoto-Lake top scored with 60 from 36 balls whilst skipper Kendel Kadowaki-Fleming scored 32 batting at number three. There were no other double digit scores though as Japan were bowled out for 127.
Hong Kong went about their chase steadily rather than spectacularly, securing a five wicket with with seven balls to spare. Nasrulla Rana top scored with an unbeaten 36 from only 18 balls, with Babar Hayat contriburing 30.
The teams do not yet know their opponents in the quarter finals as they will be drawn randomly against one of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka or India.
There is one more match to come in the first round as Malaysia play Thailand in the final Group C match tomorrow. A win for Malaysia will secure their place, whilst a win for Thailand will mean that net run rate will decide the final quarter finalist.