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WT20: Bangladesh, Nepal off to rousing starts

Last updated on: March 17, 2014 08:43 IST

Debutants Nepal produced a dominating all-round performance to crush Hong Kong by 80 runs in another qualifying Group A match.

Sent in to bat, Nepal first rode on batting heroics from Gyanendra Malla (48) and skipper Paras Khadka to post a competitive 149 for eight and then left-arm spinners Shakti Gauchan and Basant Regmi scalped three wickets each as Hong Kong were dismissed for 69 runs.

- Scorecard: Nepal vs Hong Kong

Nepal will next play hosts Bangladesh in their crucial last Group A encounter on Tuesday.

The winner of that match will seal a place in the main round of World T20.

Bangladesh had defeated Afghanistan by nine wickets earlier in the day, which means the other Group A match between Afghanistan and Hong Kong on Tuesday is just a formality.

Against Hong Kong, Nepal made a bright start to their innings after being put into bat, with the opening duo of Subhash Khakure (22) and Sagar Pun (13) adding 36 runs for the first wicket.

After Khakure and Pun's dismissal in quick succession, Malla and captain Paras took the onus on themselves to guide Nepal innings and stitched crucial 80 runs off just 65 balls for the third wicket to set the platform the Himalayan nation.

Malla scored his 48 off 41 balls with the help of four fours and one six, while Khadka's knock came off 37 deliveries and was laced with four boundaries.

For Hong Kong, pacer Haseeb Amjad picked up three wickets for 25 runs, while left-arm orthodox picked up two wickets giving away 26 runs.

Chasing 150 for victory, Hong Kong's innings never really got off as they lost wickets at regular intervals to be bowled out in 17 overs.

Only three Hong Kong batsmen -- Babar Hayat (20), Waqas Barkat (18) and Mark Chapman (13) -- managed double digit scores.

Regmi and Gauchan produced out fine left-arm spin bowling display and shared six wickets between them to rock Hong Kong's chase.

Apart from Regmi and Gauchan, 18-year-old pacer Sompal Kami grabbed two wickets for 13 runs.

Shakib, Anamul help Bangladesh crush Afghanistan

Earlier, Bangladesh spinners, led by Shakib Al Hasan, guided their side to a thumping nine-wicket win over Afghanistan at the Shere Bangla National Stadium.

- Scorecard: Bangladesh vs Afghanistan

The hosts made an impressive start to their campaign as they first dismissed Afghanistan for a paltry 72 in 17.1 overs after electing to field and then returned to overhaul the target in 12 overs with the loss of one wicket.

Shakib was the pick of the bowlers giving away just eight runs bagging three wickets in his 3.1 overs, while Abdur Razzak (2/20) claimed two in his four overs to help their side avenge the Asia Cup defeat to the minnows.

Opener Anamul Haque (44 not out) and No. 3 batsman Shakib (10 not out) took Bangladesh home after Afghan batsmen just could not negotiate the Bangladeshi spinners on a pitch that offered a bit of turn and bounce.

Haque's delightful knock off 33 balls included four boundaries and three sixes, while Tamim Iqbal made 21 in 27 deliveries before he was trapped in front by Samiullah Shenwari.

Earlier, Afghanistan had a disastrous start when opener Mohammad Shahzad (0) was dismissed on the very first ball of the innings by pacer Mashrafe Mortaza.

Coming in next, Gulbadin Naib (21) played some handsome shots and added 36 runs for the second wicket with debutant Najeeb Tarakai (7).

But Gulbadin's dismissal after his 22-ball knock, which included three fours and a six, triggered a batting collapse. Shakib claimed the wickets of Najeeb and Gulbadin on consecutive deliveries in the sixth over. Nawroz Mangal was then run out in the next over as Afghanistan slipped to 36 for four.

Middle-order batsmen skipper Mohammad Nabi (3), Karim Sadiq (10), Shafiqullah (16) and Samiullah Shenwari (1) too failed to lift their side.

Other wicket-takers were spinner Mahmudullah (1/8), medium-pacer Farhad Reza (1/2) and Mortaza (1/8) as they forced Afghanistan to their lowest ever T20 total.

Afghanistan will face Hong Kong at Chittagong on March 18, while Bagladesh takes on Nepal.

Image: Shakib Al Hasan celebrates after picking up a wicket

Photograph: Andrew Biraj/Reuters