Hong Kong avenged last year’s defeat against Nepal, defeating host’s Nepal comprehensively by 6 wickets and 21 balls remaining in their match played today at TU International Cricket Ground.
Hong Kong outplayed Nepal in all three sectors-batting bowling and fielding to pull off a convincing victory against much fancied host. Coming into the match Hong Kong had lost two back to back T20 against Nepal and with this victory Hong Kong have settled the scores at two each.
Winning the toss and Batting first Nepal posted 115 run in 20 overs. Gyanendra Malla top scored for Nepal with 38 of 39 balls while Pradip Airee made 21 of 23 balls. Nadeem Ahmed picked three vital wickets for Hong Kong to restrict Nepal to a small total.
Nepal started the inning very slow; Nepal started the inning with the usual opening duo of pradeep and Shubash who added 16 runs before Shubash fell to Tanwir Afzal for 6 runs. Malla and Airee batted cautiously against a disciplined Hong Kong bowling and added 19 for the third wicket. Tanwir once again broke the partnership as Airee was stumped for 21 of 23 balls when the score was 35.
Paras came to bat at the score 35-2 and looking at his previous record against Hong Kong everyone expected big runs from him. Khadka however departed early at personal score of 4, his lowest against Hong Kong in T20 match. He was bowled by Nadeem Ahmed in the last ball of 8th over: the score then 40-3.
It was downhill from then all the way to the end, Hong Kong disciplined bowling was helped as Nepal kept losing constant wickets and thus the players were not being able to up the scoring rate Nepal Sharad, Basant and Regmi came in but got out early scoring 5, 5 and 7 respectively.
Nepal then needed big blows then from bat of vice captain and Mr. Dependable Gyanendra Malla, but he too fell to a scoop like shot, caught at fine leg off the bowling of Aizaz Khan. Shakti Gauchan smacked a six in the nineteenth over giving Nepal some hopes of consolidation, but batting with the tail, he didn’t get the strike as much as he wanted, and eventually got run out in an attempt to get back to strike in penultimate ball of the inning.
Nadeem Ahmed got 3 wickets for Hong Kong, while Tanwir Afzal and Aizaz Khan bagged 2 wickets each.
In reply Hong Kong got to the target in 16.3 overs thanks to 42 runs from Nizzakat Khan and 39 from vice Captain Waqus Barkat. Irfan Ahmed provided Hong Kong a sizzling start scoring 30 off just. Basanta Regmi bagged 3 of the 4 wickets while Shakti Gauchan got one for Nepal.
Chasing a small total Irfan Ahmed gave Hong Kong a blistering start 30 of 16 balls adding 41 for the first wicket with Waqus Barkat. Basanta got the first break through for Nepal, as Irfan lofted one to mid wicket and Shakti completed a running catch.
Shakti Gauchan got rid of captain James Atkinson in the fifth over in the same score giving Nepal hopes of glory.
Nizzakat Khan then joined Barkat in the field and the pair guided HongKong to victory adding 70 runs for the third wicket before Barkat was bowled by Basanta in the 15th over. Basanta got one more wicket in the last ball of his spell as Kruger fell for a golden duck caught by the keeper.
Nizzakat remained not out on 42 as Babar Hayat scored the winning runs off Manjeet’s ball in the 17th over.
Nadeem Ahmed was declared Player of the match by ACC Development officer Rumesh Ratnanayeke for his bowling figures of 4-0-18-3, perhaps because he got rid of Nepali captain who had always performed brilliantly against Hong Kong for just 4.