Bangladesh were all but assured of qualifying for the main round of the World Twenty20 after inflicting an eight-wicket defeat on Nepal on Tuesday.
The tournament host was the only team in its group with two wins from two matches, and is favoured to claim the qualifying spot when it meets winless Hong Kong on Thursday.
Nepal, which beat Hong Kong on Sunday, never looked like challenging when it was restricted to 126-5, and Bangladesh raced to 132-2 in 15.3 overs.
Shakib Al Hasan was unbeaten on 37 off 18 balls and sealed the victory with his fourth six after refusing to run a winning single on the previous ball.
Opening batsman Anamul Haque top-scored with 42 off 33 balls, and shared an opening stand of 63 with Tamim Iqbal, who made 30, as Nepalese bowlers found it hard to handle the wet ball under heavy dew.
Earlier, after electing to bowl first with the dew in mind, Bangladesh medium fast bowler Al-Amin Hossain took two wickets in three deliveries to have Nepal at 39-3 before captain Paras Khadka (41) and Sharad Vesawkar (40) added 85 for the fourth wicket.
“The toss was important because of the dew and it was very difficult to grip the ball,” Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim said.
Khadka rued the fact that his batsmen could not hit a single six while Bangladesh batters smashed nine in their brisk run-chase.
“Nepal needed 140-plus to challenge Bangladesh in these conditions,” Khadka said. “We got stuck and didn’t rotate strike, lacked the big hits too.”
BRIEF SCORES: Nepal 126/5 (P Khadka 41, S Vesawkar 40; A Hossain 2/17) lost to Bangladesh 132/2 in 15.3 overs (A Haque 42, S Hasan 37*; B Regmi 1/14)
Hong kong knocked out
Chittagong: Opener Mohammed Shahzad and Shafiullah hit half-centuries as Afghanistan recorded a convincing seven-wicket win over Hong Kong in a Group B match to keep their hopes alive to qualify in the World Twenty20 in Chittagong on Tuesday.
In the process, Afghanistan earned its first win in the World Twenty20 and kept alive slim hopes of making the Super 10 with an emphatic maiden victory on Tuesday.
Chasing 154 to win, Afghanistan overhauled the target with two overs to spare and knocked Hong Kong out of the tournament in the process as Shafiullah came up with a blistering unbeaten knock of 51 off just 24 balls.
Shahzad, who hit 68 off 53 balls, and Sahfiqullah added 47 runs for the third wicket before the opener was caught by Irfan Ahmad off Haseeb Amjad. Shahzad hit nine boundaries in his significant knock.
Shafiqullah kept batting well from the other end and steered the side to the finish line. Afghanistan collected 24 runs in the 17th over bowled by Aizaz continued…
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