Nepal captain Paras Khadka scored 41 runs © AFP
By Shrikant Shankar
Mar 16, 2014
Nepal posted a competitive total of 149 for eight against Hong Kong in the second qualifying match in Group A of the ICC World T20 2014 at Chittagong on March 16, 2014. Gyanendra Malla top-scored with 48 runs and captain Paras Khadka scored 41. Four wickets fell in the last four deliveries of the innings for Nepal. Hong Kong need 150 runs to win the T20 World Cup tie.
Earlier, Hong Kong captain Jamie Atkinson had won the toss and elected to bowl first on a slow track. Hong Kong’s Left-arm spinner Najeeb Amar became the oldest player to make a T20I debut. Nepal openers Subash Khakurel and Sagar Pun got off to a bright start.
Khakurel hits one past mid-on to get his first four. He then hit one through mid-wicket four another four. He then showcased his strong bottom-handed strokeplay with a pull towards square-leg, which also got him a four. Haseeb Amjad bowled a short delivery and Khakurel pulled again to get a four over mid-wicket.
Pun was a little late on scoring the boundaries, but he eventually came down the track to hit one over the umpire for a four. He again came forward and hit one inside-out over extra-cover for his second four.
The score raced along to 36 when Hong Kong struck. Haseeb Amjad bowled one on a back of a length and Pun hit it on the up to Waqas Barkat at short extra-cover. Barkat took a good catch to his right. Pun was out for 13.
Left-arm spinner Nadeem Ahmed struck of his first delivery. Khakurel mishit one in the air and Aizaz Khan took a low catch at mid-on. Khakurel was out for 22. The score was 36 for two after 5.1 overs.
Khadka got off the mark with a slog-sweep over mid-wicket for a four. He then came down the track to Nadeem Ahmed and hit one over wide mid-off for another four. Aizaz Khan bowled one straight and Khadka whacked that in front of mid-wicket for a four. There was a misfield as well at the boundary. That also brought up the 50-run partnership between Khadka and Malla.
Khadka then came down the track to Nadeem Ahmed and hit a four through long-off. Nepal reached 50 in the seventh over. After a bright start, Nepal slowed down and only reached 60 for two after 10 overs.
Malla got amongst the runs a little later. Aizaz bowled one on the pads and Malla hit it wide of the mid-wicket fielder for his first four. Malla then hit one from Irfan Ahmed for a four towards long-off. Two deliveries later, he pulled a loose short delivery over mid-wicket for another four.
Next ball, Khadka again came down the track to Nadeem Ahmed and hit one high in the air towards long-on. Najeeb dropped a sitter and Khadka got two runs.
Sharad Vesawkar got two fours over backward-point in the 19th over as the score moved along. The first ball of the 20th over, Haseeb bowled a low full-toss and Malla hit that for the first six over deep mid-wicket. Then the last four deliveries saw two run-outs and two wickets for Haseeb as Nepal finished at 149 for eight.
Nepal 149 for 8 in 20 overs (Subash Khakurel 22, Gyanendra Malla 48, Paras Khadka 41; Haseeb Amjad 3 for 25) vs Hong Kong.
(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)