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By Shrikant Shankar
Mar 16, 2014
Nepal outplayed Hong Kong to win the second ICC World T20 2014 qualifying match in Group A by 80 runs at Chittagong on March 16, 2014. Nepal had posted a competitive total of 149 for eight in their 20 overs of the T20 World Cup tie. Hong Kong were then bowled out for 69 in 17 overs. This was the second lowest total in the history of T20 World Cups. The highest score for Hong Kong was 20 from Babar Hayat. Basant Regmi and Shakti Gauchan took three wickets each.
The Hong Kong innings began with a wicket on the first delivery. Nepal captain Paras Khadka opened the bowling with his right-arm off-spin. He bowled one across to the right-handed Irfan Ahmed and found the outside edge of the bat. Wicketkeeper Subash Khakurel took the catch.
Hong Kong captain Jamie Atkinson played a cut shot over cover-point to a short and wide delivery from Sompal Kami. The next delivery was also outside off-stump and Atkinson chopped it onto the stumps. He was out for six runs. Khadka then bowled one from round the wicket and Waqas Barkat came down the pitch and hit the ball over extra-cover for a four.
There was some poor fielding as well from the Nepal players and that helped the Hong Kong batsmen to get some pressure away. One misfield resulted in a four for Barkat and then there was a dropped catch, albeit a tough one, to dismiss Hayat. He responded with two back-to-back fours to get the score moving along.
Left-arm spinner Gauchan struck in the seventh over. Barkat came down the track and was early in his lofted drive and hit the ball to Jitendra Mukhiya at long-off. He was dismissed for 18 runs off 19 deliveries.
Mark Chapman hit a wide delivery from Basant Regmi in-between short third-man and backward-point for a four. But two deliveries later, Regmi bowled Chapman for 13 off 12 deliveries. Nizakat Khan was then bowled first ball. Regmi found the gap in-between bat and pad and struck the middle-stump. Tanwir Afzal blocked the hat-trick delivery.
Shakti Gauchan then struck twice in the 12th over. He first bowled Hayat for 20 and then Aizaz Khan was bowled for a three-ball duck. Regmi got his third wicket as Afzal gave a catch to Khadka to get out for a duck. Kami then found the outside edge of the bat to dismiss Najeeb Amar for two. Nadeem Ahmed was the last wicket to fall as he was bowled by Mukhiya for five runs. This was also the fourth lowest total in T20I history.
Earlier, Hong Kong captain Atkinson had won the toss and elected to send Nepal into bat. Openers Subash Khakurel and Sagar Pun began brightly for Nepal. Right-handed batsman Khakurel struck three fours early on showcasing his strong bottom-handed strokeplay. Sagar Pun also get a couple of fours as Nepal raced along to 36 for no loss.
But Hong Kong struck twice in quick succession. 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.
Gyanendra Malla and Khadka then shared a 80-run partnership for the third wicket. 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. That also brought up the 50-run partnership between Khadka and Malla.
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. The score moved along over 100 but Khadka could not complete his half-century.
He was dismissed by left-arm spinner Najeeb Amar for 41 off 37 deliveries. He struck four fours in his innings. Malla then took over the scoring. 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) beat Hong Kong 69 in 17 overs (Waqas Barkat 18, Babar Hayat 20; Basant Regmi 3 for 14, Shakti Gauchan 3 for 9) by 80 runs.
Man of the Match: Shakti Gauchan
(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)
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