Nepal 149-8 (Malla 48, Amjad 3-25) beat
Hong Kong 69 (Gauchan 3-9) by 80 runs
ICC World Twenty20 2014 Group A, Chittagong
Nepal cruised to a huge 80-run victory over Hong Kong as the two sides kicked off their debut ICC World Twenty20 campaigns in Chittagong.
Gyanendra Malla and skipper Paras Khadka set up their competitive total of 149 for eight with a third-wicket stand of 80.
Hong Kong then suffered a nightmare start in their pursuit of that target as Khadka (1-7) removed Irfan Ahmed first ball. It was then over to their strong suit, the spin pair of Basant Regmi and Shakti Gauchan, as wickets tumbled regularly and Hong Kong were skittled for just 69 with Regmi and Gauchan returning combined figures of six for 23.
18-year-old seamer Sompal Kami got the big wicket of skipper Jamie Atkinson for six to make it nine for two, with Waqas Barkat and Babar Hayat then leading a mini-recovery before the spinners were introduced.
Barkat was caught off Gauchan for 18, with Regmi then running riot by dismissing Mark Chapman and Nizakat Khan with successive deliveries and then also sending Tanwir Afzal packing for a duck in his very next over. In between times, Gauchan had accounted for Hayat (20) and Aizaz Khan (0) as the scoreline read 60 for eight. Gauchan ended his four overs with figures of three for nine, with fellow left-arm spinner Regmi taking three for 14 from his four-over allocation.
There was to be no respite for Hong Kong once Regmi and Gauchan had finished their spells as Kami (2-13) and Jitendra Mukhiya (1-12) dismissed Najeeb Amar (2) and Nadeem Ahmed (5) to wrap up the comprehensive win.
Nepal had been asked to bat by Hong Kong skipper Atkinson at the start of the match and their opening pair of Subash Khakurel and Sagar Pun got them off to a brisk start by putting on 36 in less than five overs. However, they both fell in quick succession; Haseeb Amjad making Pun the first of his three wickets when on 13 and Nadeem Ahmed having Khakurel caught for 22.
Star player Khadka, along with Malla, though, ensured that Nepal would post a competitive total. The two added 80 in 11 overs before Khadka was removed by Najeeb Amar for 41 off 37 balls to trigger something of a late-innings collapse.
In all, Nepal lost six wickets for the addition of 33 runs from the final 3.4 overs of their innings as Hong Kong kept fighting. Binod Bhandari fell to Nadeem (2-26) for one, with Malla then departing in a crazy last over to Amjad for 48 off 41 balls.
Malla’s dismissal was followed up the very next ball by the run out of Sharad Vesawkar for 14, with Haseeb then clean-bowling new man Naresh Budayair and running out Gauchan from the final ball of the innings. Gauchan, though, would have the last laugh and would be named man of the match for his superb spell.
© Cricket World 2014