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Nepal make history, qualify for World T20 Championships

Nepal qualified for their first ICC Twenty20 World Cup after beating Hong Kong by five wickets Wednesday in a qualifying match at the the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Chasing 144 runs for victory, Nepal survived a last-over scare to score the required 13 runs, with 10 runs coming from the first two deliveries and a last-ball misfield producing the winning runs at the Zayed Cricket Stadium here.

Sharad Vesawkar turned hero for his country hitting a six followed by an inside-edged four through fine leg off the first couple of balls of the final over. With scores level, Vesawkar, then pierced a packed ring through extra cover to send Nepal through to Bangladesh for the 2014 tournament.

Skipper Paras Khadka chipped in with 46 off 39 balls and Gyanendra Malla's 30 off 27 helped Nepal qualify for their first ICC event.

The win also took Nepal to the semi-final of the qualifying tournament where they will meet Afghanistan.

Earlier, after being put into bat, a quick-fire 25 by Tanwir Afzal propelled Hong Kong to 143. Waqas Barkat and Nizakat Khan chipped in with 25 runs each.

Jitendra Mukhiya, who narrowly missed out on a hat-trick, was the pick of the Nepali bowlers taking three wickets.

Also joining Nepal in the event proper was the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which successfully defended a modest score of 118 runs to upset the Netherlands by 10 runs.

This will be the first time since 1996 World Cup that the UAE will make an appearance on the global stage.

The results from today's matches mean four sides have now sealed their places in the World Twenty20 after Afghanistan and Ireland booked their seats on Monday.

In the other matches of the day, Papua New Guinea beat Namibia by 25 runs and Scotland beat Italy by seven wickets. These two winners, as well as Hong Kong and the Netherlands, will now have a second chance to qualify for the World Twenty20 when they clash in cross-over matches tomorrow.  

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