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Bangladesh beats Nepal to claim the last Super 8 place at the T20 World Cup, Pakistan bows out.

KINGSTOWN, Saint Vincent (AP) — Tanzim Hasan Sakib and Mustafizur Rahman took seven wickets between them as Bangladesh beat Nepal by 21 runs Sunday to claim the last Super Eight place at the Twenty20 cricket World Cup.

Bangladesh now will play with India, Afghanistan and Australia in one Super Eight group while the United States, England, the West Indies and South Africa will play in the other. The Super Eight stage starts on Wednesday.

In a thrilling, low-scoring match, Bangladesh’s qualifying hopes looked to be in the balance when it was bowled out for 106 in 19.2 overs after losing the toss.

But Tanzim (4-7) bowled his four overs consecutively, leaving Nepal’s innings in disarray at 26-5 after the seventh over. Nepal couldn’t recover and eventually was bowled out for 85 in the last over on a treacherous pitch at Kingstown, St Vincent.

“We just wanted to keep things very simple and bowl in good areas,” Tanzim said. “We didn’t panic, we knew could defend this score and we were very confident about that.”

The pitch at the Arnos Vale Stadium provided sharp turn and bounce for the Nepal spinners who shared six wickets in the Bangladesh innings. Leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichanne took 2-17 to reach 100 wickets in T20 internationals.

Conditions also assisted the seamers with swing and often spiteful bounce. Sompal Kami took 2-10 from his three overs for Nepal, including a wicket for the first ball of the match.

But the tough conditions cut both ways. While Nepal took advantage of them to dismiss Bangaldesh cheaply, Bangladesh did the same and to greater effect.

The match provided a catalogue of thrills from the moment Sompal dismissed Tanzid Hasan with the very first ball. For no apparent reason Tanzid decided to charge the bowler who fired the ball hard into the pitch. Tanzid’s shot came too late and he only managed to spar the ball back to the bowler.

Nepal let its control slip at the end of the Bangladesh innings when Mustafizur and Taskin Ahmed put on 18 for the 10th wicket including 11 from the 19th over.

Tanzim was superb at the top of the Nepal innings, giving Bangladesh the start it needed. He was fired up, ran in hard, created disconcerting bounce and swung the ball.

He bowled Bhurtel with his second ball of the match and dismissed Anil Sah two balls later. Tanzim clashed with Paudel at one point, causing the umpires to caution the Bangladesh captain. But Tanzim had the final say and dismissed Paudel to leave Nepal 20-3 in the fifth over.

Aasif Sheikh fell to Mustafizur in the sixth over, after which Nepal was 24-4.

Nepal was 42-5 after 10 overs and its hopes of ending the tournament with a win were revived by a 50 partnership for the sixth wicket between Kushal Malla (27) and Airee (25).

But the veteran Mustafizur (3-7) conceded only one run and dismissed Malla in the 17th over, then bowled a wicket maiden, removing Airee (25) in the 19th over to help seal the match. Nepal needed 22 from the last over and lost its last two wickets to the first two balls.

“I think as a bowling unit we bowled really well but as a batting unit I think we could have done better, especially the top-order batsmen,” Paudel said. “Bangladesh bowled really well with the new ball.”

Pakistan bows out

Earlier, Pakistan needed allrounder Shaheen Shah Afridi to show off his bowling and batting skills in a three-wicket consolation win over Ireland at Lauderhill, Florida.

Afridi destroyed Ireland’s top-order batters with 3-22 and then smashed a couple of sixes in his unbeaten 13 off five balls as he guided Pakistan to a scrappy 111-7 in 18.5 overs to win its last Group A game. Captain Babar Azam was 32 not out and helplessly watched another batting collapse before Afridi’s little cameo came to Pakistan’s rescue.

After Pakistan won the toss and chose to bowl first, Afridi’s twin-wicket burst in the opening over had Ireland reeling at only 2 runs for the loss of two wickets. Ireland lost another batter to make it 4-3, and was then 15-4 off the first three overs.

Left-arm spinner Imad Wasim grabbed 3-8 in four overs to restrict Ireland to 106-9 on a lively wicket which had been under cover for most of the last week because of heavy rain in Florida, which had prevented the previous three games at the tournament venue.

“We lost back-to-back wickets, but managed to get over the line in the end,” Babar said. “We’ve got to go home, chat and see where we lacked and then come back. We couldn’t finish off close games… we weren’t good as a team.”

Pakistan, which failed to chase down a run-a-ball target against rival India and lost to the U.S. in a major upset, nearly messed up against a spirited Ireland bowling attack. At 52-2 after eight overs, it looked comfortable before Barry McCarthy (3-15) and Curtis Campher (2-24) sliced through the brittle middle-order and Pakistan slipped to 62-6 in 11 overs.

Abbas Afridi, playing his first game in the tournament, made 17 off 21 balls before he too holed out with 12 needed but Afridi ensured Pakistan didn’t lose.

Ireland finished last in its group with three defeats and its solitary point coming against the U.S. in a rain-abandoned game at the same venue. Pakistan finished third with four points behind qualifiers India and the United States.

Sri Lanka wins

Later, Sri Lanka ended its disappointing campaign with an 83-run win over the Netherlands in the final match in Group D at Gros Islet, St. Lucia.

The Netherlands came into the match with everything to play for but ended with nothing. It needed Nepal to beat Bangladesh to have a chance of reaching the Super Eight stage. That hope faded when Bangladesh beat Nepal by 21 runs.

“We’ll sit down and reflect after the tournament, when we get back to the Netherlands and see which areas we’ve got to be better at to progress in these sort of tournaments,” Netherlands captain Scott Edwards said.

Sri Lanka lost its first two matches but ended on a high note Sunday.

It made an imposing 201-6 batting first, led by Charith Asalanka who made 46 from 21 balls and Kusal Mendis who scored 46 from 29. Dhanajaya de Silva made 34 and Angelo Mathews an unbeaten 30 from 15 deliveries.

In reply, the Netherlands was 47-2 after the six-over power play. But it struggled through the middle overs against tight bowling and finally was bowled out for 118 in the 17th over.

“Especially after losing the first two games, this is win is very healthy for us,” Sri Lanka captain Wanindu Hasaranga said.

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AP cricket: https://apnews.com/hub/cricket