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Afghanistan lifts ACC title with big win

Dawlat Zadran takes four wickets in rain-affected encounter against Nepal; UAE and Hong Kong end campaigns with wins

Afghanistan lifts ACC title with big win - Cricket News
Afghanistan won four of its five matches to take its tally to eight points, the most by any team in the competition, to win the ACC Premier League.
Afghanistan emerged triumphant in the Asian Cricket Council Premier League 2014, lifting the title after a 108-run win over Nepal via the Duckworth-Lewis method in a rain-affected encounter on Wednesday (May 7), the fifth and final day of the tournament.
 
The win took Afghanistan’s tally to eight points, the most by any team in the competition, after four wins in five games.
 
Dawlat Zadran, the right-arm pacer, was instrumental in delivering victory for Afghanistan, returning match-winning figures of 4 for 26 in seven overs to restrict Nepal to 128 for 9 in its allotted 32 overs. Earlier, Afghanistan’s top order came good as the team put up a healthy total of 262 in 49.3 overs. Rain interrupted Nepal’s chase, already rocked by Dawlat’s early strikes, and it was then set a target of 237 in 32 overs at the Kinrara Academy Oval in Kuala Lumpur.
 
All of Afghanistan’s top three made solid contributions, setting the base for a good total. Noor Ali Zadran (43 off 59) and Usman Ghani (51 off 61) put on 98 for the opening wicket in 19.1 overs, and Hashmatullah Shahidi contributed 51 off 77 to hold the innings together after both openers departed in quick succession. Mohammad Nabi, the captain, also chipped in with a vital contribution down the order, hitting 34 off 25 from No.6 to push the score along.
 
For Nepal, Shakti Gauchan and Basant Regmi picked up six wickets between them, with Gauchan returning figures of 3 for 39 in ten overs, while Regmi finished with 3 for 45 in 8.3 overs. Aarif Sheikh took 2 for 39 in eight overs, while Sompal Kami, who opened the bowling, and Raj Pradhan took a wicket each.
 
Nepal’s chase got off to a shaky start, Dawlat taking four of Nepal’s top five batsman to ensure Afghanistan had the upper hand from the beginning. Rain halted play in the 17th over, with Nepal 56 for 5, and already facing a steep ask.
 
Paras Khadka, the captain, made a battling 33 off 51 balls, but he was the only one who held firm for Nepal.
 
Elsewhere at the Bayuemas Oval, United Arab Emirates beat Oman by 57 runs to finish third on the points table with its third win in the tournament. UAE’s bowlers rose to the occasion after its innings had ended on 162 all out in 38.4 overs, bowling Oman out for just 105 in 38 overs.
 
Kamran Shazad and Fayyaz Ahmed led the way for UAE, taking three wickets each. 
 
Put in, UAE was on the back foot early when Munis Ansari struck a double blow in the seventh over, getting Amjad Ali and Khurram Khan, the captain. Mohammad Shahzad, who had shared a 41-run opening stand with Ali, then built a 47-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Krishnachandran Karate. Shahzad hit his first half-century of the tournament, while Ansari returned figures of 4 for 43 in nine overs.
 
Oman had reached 75 or 3 in the 23rd over, having overcoming early strikes, before a collapse ensued. Oman lost its last seven wickets for the addition of only 30 runs, as UAE won comfortably in the end. Mohammad Naveed was also among the wickets, picking up a couple, to complement Kamran and Fayyaz.
 
At the Selangor Turf Club, Hong Kong’s bowlers backed their captain Jamie Atkinson’s decision to field first, coming up with a collective effort to bowl Malaysia out for 184 in 46.5 overs, allowing the batsmen to complete a four-wicket win, Hong Kong’s first of the tournament .
 
Malaysia’s innings was built around a 66-run sixth wicket stand between Khizar Hayat (37) and Hammadullah Khan (38), but that was the only partnership of note.
 
Nadeem Ahmed, the left-arm spinner, returned figures of 3 for 28 in 8.5 overs for Hong Kong, while Tanwir Afzal and Irfan Ahmed, who opened the bowling, took two wickets each. Nizakat Khan and Waqas had a wicket apiece.
 
Hong Kong lost Irfan Ahmed early during its chase. Waqas (44) and Nizakat (37), however, added to their good work with the ball to stitch together a 67-run stand for the second wicket in just 58 balls. The duo departed in quick succession, following which Atkinson (22) and Babar Hayat (45) came together for a 53-run stand for the fourth wicket that took their team closer to the target.
 
Shahrulnizam Yusof, the left-arm spinner, accounted for two wickets, giving away 43 runs in ten overs, but it was Khizar Hayat who stood out, his off-spin fetching him returns of 2 for 29.  

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