Chittagong, Bangladesh - Bangladesh was all but assured of qualifying for the main round of the World Twenty20 after inflicting an eight-wicket defeat on Nepal on Tuesday.
The tournament host was the only team in its group with two wins from two matches, and is favored to claim the qualifying spot when it meets winless Hong Kong on Thursday.
Nepal, which beat Hong Kong on Sunday, never looked like challenging when it was restricted to 126-5, and Bangladesh raced to 132-2 in 15.3 overs.
Shakib Al Hasan was unbeaten on 37 off 18 balls and sealed the victory with his fourth six after refusing to run a winning single on the previous ball.
Opening batsman Anamul Haque top-scored with 42 off 33 balls, and shared an opening stand of 63 with Tamim Iqbal, who made 30 as Nepalese bowlers found it hard to handle the wet ball under heavy dew.
Earlier, after electing to bowl first with the dew in mind, Bangladesh medium fast bowler Al-Amin Hossain took two wickets in three deliveries to have Nepal at 39-3 before captain Paras Khadka (41) and Sharad Vesawkar (40) added 85 for the fourth wicket.
“The toss was important because of the dew and it was very difficult to grip the ball,” Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim said.
Khadka rued the fact that his batsmen could not hit a single six while Bangladesh batters smashed nine in their brisk run-chase.
“Nepal needed 140-plus to challenge Bangladesh in these conditions,” Khadka said. “We got stuck and didn't rotate strike in the middle ... lacked the big hits too.”
Bangladesh 132-2 in 15.3 overs (Anamul Haque 42, Shakib Al Hasan 37 not out; Basant Regmi 1-14) def. Nepal 126-5 (Paras Khadka 41, Sharad Vesawkar 40; Al-Amin Hossain 2-17) by eight wickets.