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Nepal crash to stunning Qatar defeat

Jul 23, 2019 | Cricketingnepal |

Nepal bowled their heart out but still couldn’t avert a stunning four-wicket defeat against Qatar in their opening encounter of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup Asia Qualifier on Tuesday at the Indian Association Ground in Singapore.

Electing to bat first, Nepal blew away a strong start to get bundled out for just 122 in 20 overs. With a mediocre total to defend, Nepali bowlers did try to claw their way back into the game before Qatar reached 124-6 in 19.2 overs.

Nepal at one stage had put their nose ahead reducing Qatar to 99-6 in 14.4 overs but a 25-run partnership for the seventh wicket between Nouman Sarwar (15 not out) and Mohammed Rizlan (nine not out) ended their comeback bid.

Nepal's defeat now leaves the tournament wide open and if the title favourites win their next three mathes with healthy run rate, they will secure the top spot and ultimately a place in the Global Qualifiers. Only the table toppers will make it to the Global Qualifiers in the UAE.

Qatar were in a driving seat after they collected 13 runs from the first over from Sompal Kami before Sandeep Lamichhane struck in the first ball of the second over removing Faisal Javed (one). No 3 Kamran Khan blitzed with a 15-ball 22 hitting two sixes and as many fours before falling prey to Karan KC.

Another opener Inam-ul-Haq stayed put and together with Muhammad Tanveer (11) added 30 runs for the third wicket. Sandeep did manage to remove Tanveer and Zaheer Ibrahim (12) before two brilliant run outs affected Dipendra Singh Airee, including that of Inam-ul-Haq, reduced Qatar to 99-6.

However, 122 on the board was always going to be hard to defend for Nepal in a small ground where many Singapore edges went for boundaries. Inam-ul-Haq top scored for Qatar with 41 runs off 32 balls that included six boundaries. Sandeep returned the figures of 3-33 in his four overs.

Earlier, skipper Paras Khadka and Gyanendra Malla added 36-ball 49 for the first wicket to come up with Nepal's highest opening stand in the shortest version of the game. The previous best was 36 runs between Subash Khakurel and Sagar Pun against Hong Kong in ICC World Twenty20 2014.

Paras was the aggressor in that stand making 28 off 17 balls that included four boundaries and a six. Gyanendra hits two fours and a six on his way to scoring 24-ball 23. But despite the bright start, Nepali middle and lower middle order failed to make the most of it with only Dipendra playing with some grit.

Nepal lost Sompal Kami (11) in the last ball of the 14th over but only needed to accelerate the innings but they instead ended up scoring just 34 runs in 37 deliveries losing six wickets in the process. Dipendra, returning from his finger injury, made 35-ball 34 with a six and a four.


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