SHARJAH: Nepal defeated Singapore by nine wickets to claim the fifth position in the ACC Twenty20 Cup here today.

Nepal bowled Singapore out for just 89 runs in 19.4 overs and overcame the target losing one wicket in 14.2 overs. Nepal lost the only wicket in the form of Mehboob Alam when the allrounder was bowled in the third over.

But opener Dipendra Chaudhary, who was dropped at long-on when he was on 20, and Naresh Budhayer, batting for the first time in the tournament, guided the team safely home with an unbroken stand of 77 runs. Dipendra fell one run short of half century, while Naresh remained unbeaten on 32 off 39 balls hitting three fours. Man of the match Dipendra hit four boundaries and a six in his unbeaten 49 off 40 balls.

Naresh, who made the national team debut on Saturday against Bahrain, started slowly scoring nine runs in the first 20 balls but kept going till the end along with Dipendra, the most successful batsman with 152 runs in six matches. SA Janjua (1-13) was the only successful bowler of Singapore.

Earlier, Singapore lost two wickets in the third over with 21 runs on the board. Naresh Budhayer ran out CR Suryawanshi (14) off the bowling of Binod Das in the fourth ball of the third over and the former skipper had Buddhika Mendis (six) caught by Dipendra at point.

Naresh effected another run out in the seventh over to send M Arora (three) to the pavilion making it 31-3, while Basanta Regmi bowled C Janik (two) to reduce Singapore to 35-4.

Sanjam Regmi, who was hit for a six with the second ball of his first over, bounced back to claim the wicket of D Mulewa for a duck, caught behind by Mahesh Chhetri. CR Kumarage

played on to his stumps to give Shakti Gauchan the wicket in the 11th over to make it 52-6. The Singaporean batsmen struggled to score runs against the spin attack and Sanjam earned two scalps in the 17th over, reducing the opponents to 77-8. First he had top scorer SK Janjua (25) stumped by Mahesh Chhetri, who took a catch behind the stumps to dismiss SA Muhammad (three).

Binod Das wrapped up the innings with two wickets in the last over. He had M Shoib caught by Paras at extra cover with the first ball and bowled Pramodh Raja (13) three balls later. Sanjam was the pick of the bowlers with 3-19 off four overs, while Das finished with 3-21 off 3.4 overs. Basanta and Shakti pocketed one wicket apiece.

Nepal coach Roy Luke Dias said the win was the outcome of the good team work. “We bowled well backed by some good fielding. We dropped couple of chances but they were difficult ones.

It was a good team effort,”

he added. He was, however, not satisfied with the batting. “We were not chasing a big total and Mehboob Alam made the same mistake again,” he added.

Skipper Paras said the team played for pride and fared well. “I don’t think we played a right tournament in right time,” he added. “We bowled well in the tournament and we need to build such a temperament,” said the skipper. He praised the way Naresh Budhayer batted today. “He got the opportunity and proved his calibre,” he added.