Hosts Bangladesh dished out a solid all-round display to register a convincing eight-wicket win over Nepal in a Group A qualifying match of the ICC World T20 in Chittagong on Tuesday.
Electing to bowl, the hosts restricted Nepal to 126 for five, before chasing down the target with 27 balls to spare at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
This was Bangladesh's second win in as many games, the first one coming against Afghanistan, and the result means they have put one foot into the Super 10.
Anamul Haque top-scored for Bangladesh with a 33-ball 42 and put on 63 runs for the opening wicket with Tamim Iqbal (30) to put his side on course for a win.
The experienced Shakib Al Hasan (37) finished the game in style, clobbering partime off-spinner Sagar Pun for a four and a six. He faced just 18 balls, hitting four sixes and a boundary.
The first-wicket stand was Bangladesh's best in T20 Internationals.
Al-Amin Hossain was the best bowler with figures of 2-17. He bowled a terrific final over to keep Nepal to 126 for five after Bangladesh had won the toss.
For Nepal, skipper Paras Khadka (41) and Sharad Vesawkar (40) were the main contributors.
Coming into the match with a win, Bangladesh showed intent from the word go, reducing the visiting side to 39 for three in the seventh over. With Bangladesh bowling to a disciplined line, the Himalayan nation struggled to recover from there.
Chasing a modest target, Haque and Iqbal got off to a brisk start scoring boundaries at will, and took their side to the doorstep of vitory. By the time Haque got out in the 11th over, Bangladesh held a firm grip on the match.
Shakib and Sabbir Rahman (21 not out) put on an unbeaten 53 runs to clinch the issue with plenty to spare, much to the delight of the home fans.
Earlier, after opener Subash Kakhurel's (8) dismissal, Hossain accounted for two wickets -- Sagar Pun (12) and Gyanendra Malla (13) -- in a span of three deliveries to rock Nepal's innings.
But Khadka and Vesawkar then joined hands and shared 89 runs off 75 balls to lay the foundation for Nepal's score. Just when it was time to accelerate, Khadka was cleaned up by Mashrafe Mortaza as the batsman went for cheeky sweep.
Towards the end, new man Binod Bhandari did not help his side's cause as he wasted five deliveries without adding a run to Nepal's total.
Apart from Hossain, Mortaza (1-23) and medium pacer Farhad Reza (1-27) scalped one wicket apiece for Bangladesh.
Image: Anamul Haque
Photo: Andrew Biraj/Reuters