Bangladesh Hammer Nepal
Bangladesh 132-2 (Anamul 42, Shakib 37no) beat
Nepal 126-5 (Khadka 41, Al-Amin 2-17) by 8 wickets
ICC World Twenty20 2014 Group A, Chittagong
Bangladesh handed Nepal an eight-wicket thrashing under the floodlights at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong, meaning that they remain in pole position to qualify for the Super 10 phase of the ICC World Twenty20 2014 from Group A.
Nepal’s spin pair of Basant Regmi and Shakti Gauchan, who proved so effective in demolishing Hong Kong on Sunday, found the going tough against the Bangladesh top-order as they struggled to grip the ball because of heavy dew.
Openers Tamim Iqbal and Anamul Haque added 63 in less than eight overs after Nepal had been restricted to 126 for five despite the best efforts of Paras Khadka (41 off 35 balls) and Sharad Vesawkar (40 off 43 balls).
Tamim contributed 30 to the opening stand before being caught off Regmi from his 22nd delivery. Anamul followed soon after to make it 79 for two in the 11th over as he was run-out for 42 off 33 balls, having hit seven boundaries.
If Nepal sensed a slight opportunity at this stage then it was soon scotched as Shakib Al Hasan came in and dominated the bowling. He plundered four sixes off 18 balls - including turning down the winning single in favour of smashing a maximum next ball - to end on 37 as Bangladesh sealed victory in the 16th over to further improve their net run rate following their hammering of Afghanistan in the tournament opener. Sabbir Rahman finished unbeaten on 21 off 20 balls and played a valuable second-fiddle to Shakib during their unbroken third-wicket stand of 53.
Only Regmi of the Nepal bowlers was able to contain the Bangladesh batsmen for any length of time, although he was nowhere as destructive as on Sunday, ending with one for 14 from three overs. His partner in crime against Hong Kong, Gauchan, conceded 40 runs from four wicket-less overs, while Sompal Kami and Sagar Pun each conceded more than 10 runs per over.
Earlier in the evening, it had been the Bangladesh seamers who had set up the win after Mushfiqur Rahim had won what he later described as an important toss. Medium-pacer Farhad Reza (1-27) came on as first change in the fourth over and sent wicket-keeper Subash Khakurel packing for eight, with Sagar Pun (12) and Gyanendra Malla (13) then both dismissed by Al-Amin Hossain in the seventh over.
Al-Amin was later named man of the match for his spell of two for 17, but most of the Bangladesh bowlers were impressive. Mashrafe Mortaza picked up one for 23 from his four-over allocation, while Shakib conceded only 22 runs from his four overs.
It was left to Nepal skipper Paras Khadka to give his team something to defend. He hit 41 and found support on this occasion from Vesawkar to add 85 in 12.3 overs for the fourth-wicket. They both departed in the final couple of overs as Nepal posted a respectable, albeit ultimately inadequate, total.
© Cricket World 2014