With the World T20 match being played in Sri Lanka, Cricketers and Cricket lover all around the world are being focused in the T20 matches. For the none Test playing Nations of Asia ,Asian Cricket Council (ACC) , has been organizing the tournament since 1996 (as quoted in the ACC website, here).
The 50 over match this year was played with the 10 teams Nepal , Afghanistan , Malaysia , Oman, Bhutan, Maldives, Hong Kong , Saudi Arabia , Kuwait and UAE. with the big team in Asia non test playing like Nepal ( ICC World Cricket League Four , winner ) , UAE ( Four times Elite Cup winner) , Afghanistan (back from the World T20 Cup ) ,Hong Kong and Oman , this year any team would have got the chance of wining the game. Below are the games by Nepal ,
Nepal Vs UAE (03/10/2012)
With the straight six win in the ICC World cricket League Four,Nepal was hoping for the great start and win the match. As expected by the Nepali cricket lovers the Nepali Team started game with the win .
Losing the Toss Nepal were invited to bowl first, Nepali spinners ,after the Division four game Shakti Gauchan (8.5-1-32-5) and Basanta Regmi (6-1-13-3) shared eight UAE wickets which helped Nepal to restrict the UAE team in 133 runs in 40.5 Overs at Sharjah Cricket ground.
Seeking the win Nepali team came to the pitch with Subash Khakurel and Anil Mandal, except Anil Mandal (63 from 129 Balls ) no other batsmen passed 20 Runs. Losing Six wickets in 45.2 overs Nepal won the match.
Anil Mandal for his 63 Runs was awarded with the Man of the Match award.
Score Card here
Nepal Vs Kuwait (06/10/2012)
Nepal was in the ground with the spirit to win with the team they had played four times and won all the matches in senior level. Nepali team was in the field with all the spinners except Paras Khadka the captain of the team.
Nepal won the toss and elected to bat first. Nepal started slow with the bat, but despite the batting style of Nepali team with the help of Paras Khadka’s 106 from 77 balls, Subash Khakurel’s 45 from 86 balls , Gyanendra Malla’s 53 from 59 balls and Pirthu’ s 37 from 18 balls Nepal was able to bring the total of 280 Runs in their fifty Over match.
Nepal always had a plus point in the fielding in any form of the Cricket, most of the games have been won by the team with their fielding capability. Kuwait were on the field seeking a win and batted like a winner, from very beginning of the inning Kuwait punished Nepali bowlers, loosing six wickets in 46.2 overs Kuwait won the match with four wickets. That was a two points for the Kuwait team and first win against Nepal in their five encounters.
Nepal Vs Saudi Arabia (07/10/2012)
With no rest after the lost with Kuwait Nepali team was in the pitch to win the match, Saudi Arabia loosing all the matches till the game was last of the table. Paras Khadka winning the Toss chose to field first, with the best bowlers Nepal packed the team of Saudi in 48.2 Overs in just 131 Runs. Paras khadka (8.2-2-35-3) , Basanta Regmi (10-2-29-3), Shakti Gauchan (10-2-14-2) and Bhuwan Karki (10-1-23-2) helped to pack the Saudi team in low total.
Target of 132 Runs from 50 Overs Nepali batsmen Anil Mandal (29 from 25 Balls ) and Subash Khakurel( 35 from 31 Balls ) gave a solid partnership of 52 runs to start the match and Gyanendra Malla (61 from 23 Balls) helped Nepal a victory of 9 wickets in 13.1 Overs.
For the excellent piece of batting Gyanendra Malla was awarded with Man Of the Match Award .
Score Card here
Nepal Vs Hong Kong (09/10/2012)
With the 2 wins and 1 loss both the teams were even, winning all the matches except to Nepal UAE was already in the Semi finals, the winner of this match would decide next semi-finalist. Winning the Toss in the crucial match Nepal chose to Bat first. Through out the tournament Nepal had batted good, so did they in the crucial match with Hong kong.
Nepal made a trail this match opening the game with Subash and Gyanendra , Subash lost his wicket for zero, the pressure was in the next batsmen Anil Mandal. Gyanendra (28 from 51 balls) and Anil Mandal (37 from 74 balls) created a partership of 70 runs, after a bit of settlement Captain of the team Paras Khadka showed some of the classic batting and scored 61 from 54 balls, other batsmen Basanta Regmi (31 from 41 balls) , Praddep Airee (25 from 26 balls) helped Nepali team to score 225 Runs in 50 Overs loosing 7 wickets.
With the average target, Hong Kong started Batting, but with the excellence in the field Nepali team Packed the Hong Kong team for 100 Runs and won the match with 125 Runs to make place in the Semi Final. Amrit Bhattarai back in the team lead the bowling card with 8-1-26-3 and was helped by Basanta Regmi (9-4-20-3) with the Captain Paras ( 6-1-8-2).
With the All round performance by the captain Paras was awarded with the Man of the Match award.
Score Card here
Semi Final : Nepal Vs Malaysia (10/10/2012)
Winning the match with Hong Kong Nepal was selected to play the Semi finals, Nepal now had to face Malaysia in the Semi. Delayed match due to fog each team would bowl only 45 overs , Toss in the Semi was won by Malaysia and they elected to field first. With the experience and confidence Nepali team was in the field with the Regular openers Subash Khakurel and Anil Mandal, the starting was not that good for Nepal as Nepal has lost both the openers 21 Runs, the experience counted and Gyanendra Malla and Captain Paras Khadka made a good partnership of 112 Runs before loosing Malla for 34 from 60 Balls. Paras Khadka ( 89 from 96 Balls) was next men to be out when Nepal was in 147 Runs. Sharad Vesawkar (37 from 44 balls) and Pirthu Baskota (34 from 21 Balls) helped Nepal reach 241 in 45 Overs.
Again a brilliant performance in the field Nepal won the Semi with Malaysia and were ready to face UAE in the Finals. Pirthu Baskota (8-0-47-3) with Shakti Gauchan (9-1-30-2) helped Nepal win the game with 21 Runs.
For his brilliant 89 captain Paras was awarded with the Man of the Match Award.
Socre Card here
FInal: Nepal Vs UAE
Nepal has never won the Elite Cup, so this was a chance to win the title as UAE had already lost the game with Nepal in the league, Nepal won the Toss and elected to field first. Nepal was able to hold UAE for 241 Runs in 50 Overs with Shakti Gauchan (10-2-36-3) and Sanjam Regmi (10-0-55-1).
Chasing the 242 Runs in 50 Overs, Nepal had a slow but a brilliant start, 94 Runs Partenership in 21 Overs then the first wicket was Anil Mandal (44 from 67 Balls) , Subash Khakurel (55 From 74 Balls) was the second wicket, the batting line up was going good with Gyanendra Malla ( 32 from 41 Balls) and Paras (31 From 37 Balls). The Match became interesting after the wicket started to fall, Sharad Vesawkar played well scoring 38 from 36 Balls and match was tied in the 50th Over after loosing Shakti Gauchan trying to take a winning Run.
Score Card here
As the game was a Tie and Run Rate was same so Nepal and UAE were combine winner for the ACC Trophy Elite Cup 2012.
Paras Khadka for his brilliant tournament was awarded with the Man of the Series.
Paras Khadka was the Most Run Scorer with 291 Runs in 5 innings with 72.75 Average and best of 106 Runs, Where as Shakti Gauchan was the Most wicket taker in the tournament bowling 51.5 Overs and taking 15 wickets with economy of 3.18
Also see Nepal’s Journey in ICC World Cricket League Division Four 2012
Article by Binit Bhattarai. Bhattarai can be followed through is blog binitbhattarai.wordpress.com