Kuala Lumpur: Oman started their Asia Cup Qualifiers campaign with a facile win over Nepal at Kuala Lumpur chasing down a target of 222 with seven wickets in hand and 15 overs to spare on Wednesday.
After opting to field first, Oman restricted Nepal to 221 for nine riding on good bowling performances by left-arm spinner Ajay Lalcheta (10-1-34-2), pacer Bilal Khan (10-1-54-2) before Khawar Ali made 84 off 96 to guide the run chase.
He was ably supported by skipper Zeeshan Maqsood who made 45 off 36 deliveries. At the top of the order, Jatinder Singh scored 30 off 67 while Vaibhav Wategaonkar 41 off 69 deliveries.
For Nepal, skipper Paras Khadka was the only wicket-taker returning one for 24 in his seven overs. IPL recruit Sandeep Lamichhane was miserly, but went wicketless with figures of 10-1-27-0. Nepal affected two run-outs in the match.
After being put in to bat, Nepal found themselves struggling at 58 for 3, with opener Gyanendra Malla scoring 45 off 60 deliveries. Sagar Pun and Aarif Sheikh then rebuild the Nepal innings with a 92-run stand for the fifth wicket. Pun made 83 off 84 deliveries while Sheikh added 36 off 74 balls.
Karan KC then played a little cameo of 26 off 10 as Nepal finished with 221 for nine. Apart from Bilal and Lalcheta, Mohammad Nadeem also picked two wickets for 67 runs in his ten overs for Oman while opening bowler Kaleemullah returned 10-1-29-0.
In other Asia Cup Qualifiers matches, UAE steamroll Singapore by 215-run margin while Malaysia stunned Hong Kong.
One team out of Malaysia, Oman, UAE, Hong Kong, Nepal and Singapore will qualify for the Asia Cup 2018 starting September 15 in the UAE.