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Match Report - Hong Kong Men's T20I Series - Final - Nepal vs Papua New Guinea

PNG trounce Nepal by 86 to claim trophy; Lui impresses despite A team falling short
By Jay Dansinghani

Two days after Nepal beat them by 85 runs in the group stages of the Hong Kong China Men’s T20I Series, Papua New Guinea avenged the defeat, going one better to triumph by 86 runs and lift the trophy. Tony Ura’s 61 was instrumental in helping the Pacific Islanders recover from 43 for four to post an imposing 171 for eight before their near-flawless seamers sealed victory for the Assad Vala-led unit.

In the morning game, the Hong Kong China A team’s batters made a good account of themselves, racking up 165 for seven in response to the first team’s 235 which was powered by fifties from eventual Player of the Match Anshuman Rath (55) and Aizaz Khan (52). Rajab Hussain, however, was impressive at the death, picking up the wickets of Rath and Babar Hayat (42) in a two-over spell of 2-14.

Jason Lui starred with the bat, muscling 58 off 40 balls. Arguably his best shot was a pick up off the pads against Ehsan Khan, which sailed over deep mid wicket for one of his three maximums.

Papua New Guinea vs Nepal

After Nepal opted to bowl first, seamer Karan KC took a mere two balls to strike, squaring up Sese Bau who was caught at slip for a duck. Akash Chand, who finished with 3-41, struck twice with the new ball including the big wicket of Vala who skied a high catch up to keeper Binod Bhandari. Hiri Hiri smashed two fours and a six in his brisk 15 but hit Gulshan Jha straight to Lokesh Bam to leave PNG reeling with four wickets down in the sixth over.

Undeterred, Tony Ura continued on his merry way, smashing Pratis GC and and Bibek Yadav for a six and a four in the 11th and 13th over respectively.

Khushal Bhurtel turned the tide back in Nepal’s favour when he dismissed Ura, who was caught by Yadav to restrict PNG to 113 for six in the 14th over. Bhurtel would take two more wickets in a spell of 3-24 but Alei Nao’s trio of maximums in a 10-ball 30 titled things in favour of PNG.

Chasing 172 for victory, Nepal were never in the chase. Left-armer Kabua Morea (2-13) found swing back into the right-handers, bowling Bhurtel and Bhandari for 5 and 4, respectively. Nao continued to trouble Nepal, this time running out Gulshan Jha for 6 before Rohit Paudel hit Bau straight to substitute fielder Norman Vanua to restrict the Himalayan nation to 37 for four in the eighth over.

Unlike PNG, Nepal never recovered. Chad Soper was arguably the pick of the bowlers, taking 2-15 in a four-over spell. He was well-supported by Bau (2-10) and Semo Kamea (2-13) as his team romped to a clinical victory.