International, National

Afghanistan earns a narrow victory

Cricnepal/Kathmandu – Nepal lost the opening match of Asian Cricket Council(ACC) Emerging Teams Cup against the arch rival Afghanistan by a narrow margin of 3 runs (D/L Method) on Saturday at Singapore Cricket Club.

Afghanistan 169/9 (50.0 ov) v Nepal 157/10 (45.3 ov)
Nepal lost by 3 runs – August 17, 2013

Nepal won the toss and invited Afghanistan to bat first in a bowling friendly condition. Mohammad Shahzad 22(26) & Nawroz Mangal 31(49) gave the Afgani a good foundation putting 33 runs on the board for the first wicket. Avinash Karn gave the first break for Nepal.

Half of the batting team were dismissed when the score was 69 in 23.4 overs. Nepali bowlers were on the top form at the period. But the middle orders – Asghar Stanikzai 33, Mohammad Nabi 17, Dawlat Zadran 11 showed some fights to put a competitive score on the scoreboard.

Unbeaten Gulbadin Naib smacked 30 runs off 44 balls with 3 boundaries and a six to take the score to 169 runs in their 50 overs for Afghanistan. Basanta Regmi’s 5-31 was best bowling performance for Nepal along with Avinash Karn, Chandra Sawad & Sagar Pun who took wicket a piece. Skipper Paras Khadka bowled 3 overs for 9 runs.

It was Basanta’s fourth 5 wicket haul in 50 overs edition.

Nepali inning started cautiously to chase down 169. Opener Subash Khakurel 23 (55) and Anil Mandal 3 (26) played a watchful inning. Nepal lost their first wicket when Anil Mandal was run out. Gyanendra Malla then joined the other opener. Khakurel lost his wicket against Nabi after they had 20 runs partnership for third wicket. Incame the Skipper and joined Malla at the crease. They took the score from 40/2 to 83 runs in 26.2 overs. But Hamid Hassan dismissed Malla for well made 23 off 53 balls. It was a crucial time for batters as the rain stopped the play, Nepal were 84/3 off 27 overs.

After the rain interval, the umpire revised the target to 161 runs from 46 overs.

Sharad Vesawkar 24(51) and Paras Khadka played a solid innings to bring the target down. Khadka was in great touch as he managed to score his half century. As the duo were having a 48 runs partnership, Nabi took the crucial wicket of the match that too of Khadka who was playing at 60 runs (62 balls, 6 fours, 2 sixes). Nepal were at 131/4 at that stage.

That wicket brought a disaster for Nepal, the remaining six wickets fell just for 26 runs. Worst part was that the last 5 wickets fell for just 4 runs. Afghanistan bundled out Nepal for 157 runs in 45.3 overs, 3 balls left in the match.

Nepal saw five run outs in the chase which changed the complexion of the match. Nepal lost the match once again with their arch-Rival Afghanistan by 3 runs (D/L Match). For his 60 runs in the match, Paras Khadka was adjudged with Man of the Match.

Nepal’s next encounter is against India U-23 on Tuesday, August 20th at Singapore Cricket Club.