Nepal stuns Afghanistan by 9 runs at World T20
CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh (AP) — Nepal beat Afghanistan to have a stunning chance of reaching the World Twenty20 Super 10 but Hong Kong couldn’t quite help in a late upset victory over Bangladesh on Thursday.
Nepal’s first T20 win over Afghanistan, by nine runs, in its first major event tied it with the tournament host in the qualifying table.
But to help Nepal and eliminate Bangladesh, Hong Kong had to win by a rush of runs but could only stagger to the last-over victory. Bangladesh advanced with a better run-rate than Nepal.
Nepal still made its mark, with a win over Hong Kong, close defeat to Bangladesh, and exciting win over Afghanistan.
With 24 needed off the last over with three wickets in hand, Asghar Stanikzai kept Afghanistan hopes alive with three boundaries from the first four deliveries off Sompal Kami to bring down the equation to 10 off two balls.
However, the desperate attempt at another six went in vain, as Gyanendra Malla took a simple catch at long-on to dismiss Stanikzai, who struck six fours and one six in his 49 off 36 balls.
Nepal, after scoring 141-5, stranded Afghanistan on 132-8.
Subash Khakurel hit a maiden half-century for Nepal, smashing six fours and one six in 56 off 53. He was sluggish at the start but guided the side toward a safe target as wickets were tumbling.
His 76-run partnership with Sharad Vesawkar set the tone. Vesawkar scored 37 off 32 and Gyanendra Malla made 22.
Shapoor Zadran took 2-19 for Afghanistan.
Nepal’s Jitendra Mukhia then claimed a career best 3-18, ripping through the Afghanistan middle order by taking two wickets on consecutive deliveries. He was aided by Shakti Gauchan, 2-25, in triggering the collapse. Kami took 2-32.
Nepal 141-5 in 20 overs (Subash Khakurel 56, Sharad Vesawkar 37; Shapoor Zadran 2-19, Mirwais Ashraf 1-14) def. Afghanistan 132-8 in 20 overs (Asghar Stanikzai 49, Shafiqullah 36; Jitendra Mukhiya 3-18, Shakti Gauchan 2-25) by 9 runs.