Nepal have qualified for the men's Asia Cup after beating the UAE in the final of the ACC Premier Cup today in Kathmandhu.

The ten team tournament featured, in addition to the finalists, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar and Singapore, plus Bahrain and Saudi Arabia who were promoted from the ACC Challenger Cup tournament held earlier this year.

Group A went mostly to the form book with ODI status teams Nepal and Oman making up the top two positions and reaching the semi-finals. Qualifiers Saudi Arabia were able to beat Qatar, who lost all four games and, it is assumed, will be relgated back to the Challenger Cup.

In Group B, qualifiers Bahrain finished ahead of Singapore, whose decline since Tim David stopped playing for them continues with them going without a win this week. The first surprise of the tournament came when Hong Kong beat UAE, but Hong Kong were surprised themselves when Kuwait beat them by 30 runs on the last day of group play, meaning that Kuwait were an unexpected semi-finalist alongside the UAE.

Kuwait's semi-final against the hosts was rained off, with Nepal progressing to the final by virtue of their higher pre-tournament seeding. UAE beat Oman by two runs in the other semi-final, which was also impacted by the weather, but not by enough to prevent a result.

The top three teams from the tournament qualify for the ACC Emerging Teams tournament against the A sides of the five full members, so there was something riding on the third place play-off. Kuwait were bowled out for 130 and the game was abandoned with Oman on 41 without loss after six overs of their reply, with Oman qualifying for the tournament based on their pre-tournament seeding.

Rain continued to impact the final, with a reserve day necessary to complete the game. Nepal were dominant in the final, reducing UAE to 106-9 in 27.3 overs before rain brought an end to the day's play. Just 11 more runs were added this morning, taking the UAE to 117. Lalit Rajbanshi was the pick of Nepal's bowlers with 4-14, whilst Asif Khan's 46 was the only score of note for the visitors.

Nepal lost their first three wickets for just 22 runs, but the new Nepal doesn't collapse in the face of a tricky start, with Gulsan Jha and Bhim Sharki putting on an unbroken 96 to secure the seven wicket victory. Jha was the top scorer with 67, whilst Sharki contributed 36.

The Asia Cup is scheduled for Pakistan in September with Nepal set to play India and the hosts. The whole thing is very much up in the air though with India apparantly unwilling to play in Pakistan and reports suggesting that they have rejected a proposed hybrid solution that would see India play their games outside of Pakistan. Pakistan are thought to be unwilling to have the tournament moved to an alternative venue.

If the tournament does get cancelled, it wouldn't be the first time Nepal had qualified for the Asia Cup only to have the event cancelled - they were set to play in the tournament in 2006 before that edition was cancelled.