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Ehsan Khan's five-fer helps Hong Kong seal 83-run win

Atkinson scored a patient 76.
Atkinson scored a patient 76. © Getty
Offspinner Ehsan Khan picked up his maiden five-wicket haul in List A cricket to help Hong Kong defend a modest 194 in their World Cricket League Championship encounter against Nepal on Friday (October 13). Ehsan broke through Nepal's middle order to leave them reeling at 96 for 7 during their run chase. The visitors were already in a spot of bother at 69 for 4, despite being well-placed at one stage.
After Sagar Pun's early dismissal, Gyanendra Malla and skipper Paras Khadka steadied the innings with a 36-run stand before Aizaz Khan sent Malla packing for 21. Aizaz made more inroads to leave the middle order exposed as Dipendra Singh Airee and Khadka fell in quick succession. With the top four already back in the pavilion, the onus was on Aarif Sheikh and Sompal Kami to resurrect the innings. Since Nepal were chasing only 195, the duo took its time to rebuild, adding 22 runs from 57 balls.
At this point, Ehsan weaved his magic which resulted in a three-wicket burst that tilted the contest completely in Hong Kong's favour. While Kyle Christie got rid of KC Karan for a second-ball duck, Ehsan stopped Binod Bhandari's mini cameo and breached last-man Sandeep Lamichchane's defence to finish the game.
Earlier in the day, Nepal's decision to bowl first after winning the toss proved to be the right call as Anshuman Rath fell for a duck in the fourth over with Hong Kong's account yet to be opened. Skipper Babar Hayat tried to break the shackles with a couple of boundaries and a six but he couldn't keep the momentum going and eventually fell for a 26-ball 29.
From that point, it was a one-man show as wicketkeeper-batsman Jamie Atkinson failed to find a partner to stick with him. Nepal kept striking at regular intervals and had Hong Kong reeling at 119 for 7. Atkinson went past his fifty, but couldn't bat through the 50 overs, falling for a well-compiled 76 with a little less than ten overs still remaining in the innings. Tanwir Afzal then chipped in with a vital whirlwind 38, in which he cleared the rope thrice. The knock helped the hosts crawl up to 194, which proved to be more than enough in the end.
Brief scores: Hong Kong 194 in 50 overs (Jamie Atkinson 76, Tanwir Afzal 38; Sandeep Lamichchane 3-48, KC Karan 2-22) beat Nepal 111 in 34.5 overs (Paras Khadka 26, Aarif Sheikh 23; Ehsan Khan 5-17, Aizaz Khan 3-14) by 83 runs
Tag : Cricket Info
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