Coming into the game under pressure after losing against Hong Kong, in a must win situation to qualify for semis, and playing in front of over 15000 Nepali cricket fans, the biggest crowd nepali cricket has ever seen -the occasion itself called for a captain’s knock from Paras Khadka and that’s exactly what he delivered scoring 87 of 54 balls and lead Nepal to 19 run victory over Malaysia.
Batting first Nepal posted 163 runs for eight wickets and restricted Malaysia for 144. The match turned up just like ACC Elite Cup match against Malaysia earlier this year requiring heroics of Paras and Prithu for Victory. Paras had then scored 89 runs then and Prithu with 3 wickets to give Nepal victory in the semi-final of ACC Elite Cup
Captain of U-19 Prithu Baskota starred with the bowling under pressure getting 2 early wickets for Nepal. Without his efforts the strong Malaysia batsmen could have easily run through the match as they did against Singapore.
Coming into bat at number 4, Nepal in a grave crisis of 16/2 in a match of utmost importance Paras started to attack right from the word go scoring four of his first ball. He scored 10 more boundries and 3 sixes in the match winning innings. This is the fouth T20 fifty and highest score for Paras in T20s, his previous best 68 against Hong Kong in ICC World T20 Qualifier.
With the win Nepal stand comfortably 2nd in the points table and unless something out of the world happens tomorrow Nepal are into the semis.
Losing the toss and put into bat first Malaysia struck twice through young seamer Nazril Rahman who dismissed Airee for naught and Gyanendra Malla for 2. Shubash Khakurel was however solid at the other and had scored 11 with a six and a four of 5 balls before Malla’s dismissal at teams score of 16.
Paras then joined Shubash and the duo added 48 runs in 37 balls getting 50 runs for Nepal in . It took a magical ball from Shaharulnizam Yusuf to dismiss Shubash, stumped for 25 of 23 balls. Paras kept piling on the runs and he was well supported by Binod Bhandari who scored 20 of 16 balls as they added 49 runs for 4th wicket. He was eventually out bowled missing a ball from Sharulnizam Yusuf trying to slog sweep at the end of 14th over.
After Binod’s, Paras Khadka put his foot on the accelerator as Nepal added 36 runs in 3 overs. Malaysai got Khadka’s wicket in the third ball of 17th over. Hasan Gulam taking his wicket just after a ball that flew over mid wicket for a massive six. After Khadka’s dismissal Malaysia were able to apply brakes to the scoring rate, the other batsmen came and went and couldn’t manage big shots. Sharad 1, Prithu 7 and Basanta Regmi 2 all scored their runs at less than a run a ball. Shakti provided Nepal with final push with his exquisite running between the wickets taking the score to 163.
Hasan Gulam, Nazril Rahman, Sharulnizam Yusof and KH Durrani bagged 2 wickets each for Malaysia
Chasing 164 Malaysia thanks to a wayward first over from Chandra Sawad had a flying start scoring 15 off the first over. Basanta Regmi got Faizal Hasan for 6 as the first wicket in the second over. However the runs kept coming and at the end of 3 Malyasia were 30/1. The second over from Sawad fetched 9 runs.
Prithu introduction in the bowling proved immediately effective as he got rid of Shuharril Fetri for 6, and consisted only 5 runs in his first over. Coming to bowl under immense pressure when power-plays were on his impressive bowling was immediately acknowledged by the corwd with massive applaud.
When Shakti Gauchan bowled his first over just after Prithu, it highlighted Prithu’s feat even more remarkable. Going for 14 runs with smacked for a six and a four by Ullah Khan, Shakti’s over made everyone clear how tough it was to bowl in a flat deck. On the other hand Ullah Khan was batting brilliantly for Malaysia, member of Malyasian Premiere League Champion Kedah he had scored 33 of 16 balls with 5 fours and 2 sixes, quickly taking the game away from Nepal.
Despite of being under the pump and bowling to a world class batsmen Prithu kept on impressing dissmissng Ullan Khan for 33 in the third ball of his second over.
After Ullah’s departure, runs dried up Malaysian batting panicked and produced a mix up in the middle resulting in run out of Suhan Kumar in the start of 7th over. Malyasia then 55-4.
Malaysia however kept scoring runs and matched Nepal’s scoring till 10th over. Sanjam Regmi dismissed dangerous Ahmed Fiaz in the 11th over. It was all downhill from then for Malaysia who kept loosing wickets.
Shafiq Sharif provided some resistance for Malaysia scoring a half century, and stayed not out on 53 of 38 balls.
Malaysia got to 144 runs at the end of 20 over giving Nepal a 19 run victory. Prithu and Sanjam Regmi bagged two wickets for Nepal.
“Crowd was Exemplary”
After the match ACC development officer Rumesh Ratnanayeke, impressed with crowds number and behavior in the entire match expressed that the crowd support and behavior was Exemplary. Roy Luke Dias, former Coach of Nepal added that amongst non-test playing nations Nepal had the best crowd support.
Cash Prize to Man of the Match
Along with the man of the match trophy Paras Khadka was given a Rs.10,000 cash prize; Player of the match against Maldives Pradeep Airee was also called upon in the same moment for his cash award in that game. CAN promised to keep this culture going for rest of the tournament.