Kathmandu/Cricnepal: Nepal faced yet another defeat as the tournament favorite and defending champion Afghanistan hammered Nepal by 34 runs in the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers in UAE on Friday.
After the loss, Nepal have been dropped to the fifth spot of the eight teams. While, Afghanistan lead the table with all four wins.
In a match played at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Afghanistan won the toss and elected to bat first before setting up a good target of 158 runs to Nepal losing only 6 wickets off the maximum 20 overs.
Chandra Saud yet again brought a good start for Nepal with taking the wicket of Shabir Noori in the forth ball of the very first over. But, the 86 runs stand between Karim Sadiq and Mohammad Shahzad gave Afghanistan a strong score till Sadiq was caught by Mahaboob Alam in the bowl of Paras Khadka. Sadiq scored a quick 52 runs off 39 balls that included a four and 3 sixes.
Shahzad also had 52 runs on board from 43 balls including three fours and two sixes. Shahzad shared another 30 runs partnership with Nawroz Mangal(21 ball-27). Mohammad Nabi remained unbeaten at 16 runs off 8 deliveries.
Chandra Saud though grabbed 3 wickets remained expensive as he conceded 30 runs in his 3 overs. Paras Khadka, the economic of all with the rate of 5.25 picked up 2 wickets off his 4 overs spell. Shakti Gauchan added another wicket conceding 30 runs off 4 overs. Basanta Regmi finished 0 for 33(4 overs), Sanjam Regmi finished 0 for 30(4 overs) Mahaboob Alam had 0 for 11(1 over). Only two extras were conceded from the side of Nepal.
In reply, Nepal could manage to score only 123 runs in 20 overs losing 6 wickets. Nepal lost Pradeep Airee in the very first ball. Anil Kumar Mandal scored a half century, third half century from Nepal side in this tournament whoch was not sufficient enough for the win. Mandal played 49 runs to score 50 with four fours and a six. Mandal shared a 47 runs partnership with Sharad Vesawkar.
Though having a steady game, Nepal could not accelerate their run rate and had to suffer the chase with losing regular wickets. Paras Khadka scored 24 runs off 20 deliveries before departing for a catch in the last over. Vesawkar played 25 balls for his 18 runs. A 11 runs were credited extra for Nepal.
For Afghanistan, Dawlat Zadran and Mohammad Nabi grabbed two wickets each while man of the match, Karim Sadiq picked up a wicket.
In other matches of the day, Canada defeated Bermuda by 72 runs, Netherlands defeated Denmark by 7 wickets and P.N.G. defeated Hong Kong by 4 wickets from group A. While in group B, Namibia defeated Uganda by 4 runs, Scotland defeated Oman by 52 runs, Ireland defeated U.S.A by 64 runs and Kenya defeated Italy by 7 wickets.
Nepal earlier defeated Hong Kong and Denmark in their first two matches while lost to Papua New Guinea on Thursday.
Nepal will face Bermuda on 18th in Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.