Nepal beat Afghanistan by 9 runs

Nepal-cricketers-1Afghanistan while chasing 142 made mess of their chase and were reduced to 50/5 in nine overs. Mohammad Shahzad (6) opened with new partner Karim Sadiq (8) but that did not helped Afghanistan’s cause as Sadiq looking to heave on the on-side was clean bowled off Sompal Kami’s delivery. Shahzad impressive in the last game was putting in an every effort to score but he failed to find the gaps and soon perished. Then middle order batsmen Najibullah Zadran (5), Nawroz Mangal (5) and Mohahamad Nabi (1) went down without any major contribution and left Aghanistan in all sorts of trouble.

Asghar Stanikzai (49) and Shafiqullah (36) added 33 runs to bring stability to Afghan chase. With required rate steeping up Shafiqullah tried to cut loose and he was not successful as he fell to spinner Basant Regmi.

Stanikzai and Samiullah Shenwari (15) took the game closer and added 32 runs for the 7th wicket before Jitendra Mukhiya picked Shenwari’s wicket in the penultimate over.

Afghanistan needed 24 runs from the last over and Stanikzai looked like the man for Afghanistan as he hit two consecutive fours off first two balls, he then had fitness issues and developed cramps. On fourth ball Stanikzai struggling with cramps hit a boundary keeping Afghanistan kicking and alive. With 10 to get from two balls Stanikzai looked to clear the boundary but was caught, which meant 10 runs from last ball and Sompal Kami bowled the dot ball thus Nepal clinched their first win over Afghanistan.

Jitendra Mukhiya was impressive upfront as he picked three wickets for only 18 runs in his four overs. Spinner Shakti Gauchan and Sompal Kami finished with match figures of 3-0-25-2 and 4-1-32-2 respectively.

Earlier Nepal managed 141/5 in their 20 overs. Put to bat first by Afghanistan Nepal lost wickets early and looked contained with the bat. Opener Subash Khakurel and Middle order batsman Sharad Vesawkar got Nepal out of the blocking zone. The duo chipped in with a partnership of 76 and their late onslaught gave Nepal a decent score to defend.

Mirwais Ashraf played his first game of the tournament and was economical he had match figures of 4-0-14-1. Shapoor Zadran picked two wickets in one over and looked impressive throughout his spells.

Man of the Match: Jitendra Mukhiya

Brief Scores: Nepal 141/5 (S. Khakurel 56, S. Zadran 19/2) bt Afghanistan 132/8 (Stanikzai 49 J. Mukhiya 18/3) by nine runs.