Nepal rout Hong Kong in clash of World T20 debutants
Nepal cricketers celebrate after the dismissal of Hong Kong cricketer Irfan Ahmed Naresh Budayair at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong on March 16, 2014 - by Munir Uz Zaman
Nepal hammered 149-8 after being sent into bat and then bowled Hong Kong out for just 69 in 17 overs in the day-night match at Chittagong's Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium.
The memorable group A win was set up by skipper Paras Khadka and Gyanendra Malla, who put on 80 for the third wicket after Nepal were reduced to 36-2 in 5.1 overs.
Khadka hit a 37-ball 41, while Malla made 48 off 41 balls with four boundaries and a six.
Nepal lost four wickets off the last four deliveries of the innings -- two of them run out -- which denied them a bigger total.
But even the 150-run target proved too stiff for Hong Kong after the inspirational Khadka had opener Irfan Ahmed caught behind with the first ball of the innings.
Hong Kong suffered a dramatic middle order collapse, losing four wickets in eight balls at the same score of 58.
The innings was wrecked by Nepal's two left-arm spinners, with Shakti Gauchan claiming three wickets for nine runs and Basant Regmi taking three for 14.
Babar Hayat top-scored for Hong Kong with 20, but eight batsmen failed to reach double figures against the steady Nepalese attack.
Hosts Bangladesh had thumped Afghanistan by nine wickets in the group A tournament opener in Dhaka earlier on Sunday.
Nepal and Hong Kong are among six qualifiers -- the others being Ireland, Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands -- who joined Zimbabwe and Bangladesh in the two-group preliminary league.
The two group winners will then contest the Super-10 round with the top eight Test nations -- Australia, Pakistan, South Africa, England, New Zealand, India, Sri Lanka and the West Indies -- from March 21.
The final is on April 6 in Dhaka.
Nepal 149-8 (Paras Khadka 41, Gyanendra Malla 48, Haseeb Amjad 3-25, Nadeem Ahmed 2-26)
Hong Kong 69 all out in 17 overs (Babar Hayat 20, Shakti Gauchan 3-9, Basant Regmi 3-14)
Nepal won by 80 runs
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