The United Arab Emirates narrowly scraped into the semi-finals of the ICC Intercontinental Cup, edging Nepal by 0.5 points. Nepal defeated the UAE by 172 runs in the final group game in Kathmandu last weekend. Hosts Nepal can count themselves unlucky not to be the team to represent Asia in the semi-finals in Namibia in October after scoring a superb outright victory over UAE in the three-day encounter. Batting first, Nepal made 287 for seven declared and 125 for six declared. They then bowled out the UAE for 164 and 76 with skipper Binod Das, who took a career-best six for 27 against Hong Kong, taking five for 27 in the second innings. The UAE were missing two key players, all-rounder Khuram Khan and fast bowler Ali Asad. Set 249 to win by Nepal, they were reduced to 29 for six before being bowled out for 76. But the victory still left Nepal agonisingly short of qualifying - by half a point. Hong Kong, the other team in the Asian group, lost to the UAE by seven wickets last month in Sharjah, and saw their game against Nepal end in a draw after rain washed out more than two days of play. The UAE will join the winners of Europe, America and Africa in the semi-finals in October. The Cup is for associate members of the ICC to help promote the longer version of the game in developing countries. With the UAE and Nepal games also doubling up as Fast Track Countries Tournament matches, Hong Kong only have two more fixtures in 2005, against Singapore and Malaysia later this year.