Afghanistan bounced back to winning ways with a stylish win over Hong Kong © AFP
By Devarchit Varma
Mar 19, 2014
Afghanistan will aim to build on the winning momentum when they take on a struggling Nepal side in the Group A qualifying match of the ICC World T20 2014 tournament at on Thursday.
The Afghans are coming off from an impressive win over Hong Kong as they beat them by seven wickets on Tuesday to keep their hopes alive in the T20 World Cup . On the other hand, Nepal, who had thrashed Hong Kong by 80 runs, lost heavily to the hosts Bangladesh in the clash at Chittagong.
Afghanistan will fancy a big win as Nepal haven’t clicked as a unit, and their over-dependence on their captain Paras Khadka would certainly be an area where they would like to exploit.
Both the sides are still in the tournament unlike Hong Kong, but both will need a big win to keep hopes alive. Afghanistan did manage to register a big win in their previous game and so did Nepal with their 80-run rout, but neither side’s position for the next round is confirmed.
Afghanistan’s huge defeat to Bangladesh continues to hurt them, and Nepal’s win over Hong Kong has kept all the possibilities open in the Group A.
The Afghans will be pleased in the manner their batsmen went about their chase against Hong Kong, more so because their dashing opener Mohammad Shahzad has finally got runs under his belt after a lean patch. Shafiullah Zadran too chipped in with a half-century, but unfortunately for them, even an emphatic win did no good to them as they needed a better margin.
Nevertheless, Afghanistan will be determined to go all guns blazing against Nepal and would use their recent international experience accumulated so far in the Asia Cup 2014 and the T20 World Cup matches to dish out an impressive show.
On the other hand Nepal are sitting at the second spot in the points table, thanks to the big win over Hong Kong, and they will aim to make amends and bounce back. Nepal are not even expected to cause upsets in this tournament, but what the fraternity wants to see is the passion and commitment that they have shown so far.
Khadka has been a consistent performer with the bat, but Nepal need their top order to fire as a strong total on-board would certainly apply more pressure on a desperate Afghanistan side. Nepal’s spinners were on the money against Hong Kong and they would need another such performance from them in bid to strengthen their claim for next round.
Afghanistan: Mohammad Nabi (c), Karim Sadiq, Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Asghar Stanikzai, Nawroz Mangal, Samiullah Shenwari, Najibullah Zadran, Mirwais Ashraf, Shapoor Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Najeeb Tarakai, Dawlat Zadran , Aftab Alam, Hamza Hotak, Shafiqullah.
Nepal: Paras Khadka (c), Pradeep Singh Airee, Binod Bhandari, Naresh Bahadur Budayair, Shakti Prasad Gauchan, Avinash Karn, Subash Khakurel (wk), Gyanendra Malla, Jitendra Mukhiya, Basant Regmi, Sagar Pun, Sompal Kami, Sharad Vesawkar, Rahul Vishwakarma, Amrit Bhattarai.
Time: 09:30 GMT | 15:00 IST
ICC World T20 2014 Points Table and Team Standings
ICC World T20 2014 Schedule details
(Devarchit Varma is a reporter with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)