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Nepal make short work of Kuwait, set up virtual final with Singapore

Jul 27, 2019 | CN Staff |

Skipper Paras Khadka stuck a blistering half-century to help Nepal pull off a comprehensive chase and beat Kuwait by seven wickets to set up a virtual final against hosts Singapore in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup Asia Qualifier at the Indian Association ground on Saturday.


Taking the field after recovering from a back injury, Paras' decision to bowl first was vindicated by Sandeep Lamichhane and Basant Regmi as the spin duo took six wickets between them restricting Kuwait to 141-9 in 20 overs.

Needling 142 for victory, Paras and Sharad Vesawkar forged a match-winning 78-run partnership to help Nepal reach 143-3 with 25 balls to spare. Paras made 68 runs off 42 balls, while Sharad was unbeaten on 38 from 30 deliveries.

In what now is a virtual final, Nepal will take on Singapore where only a victory can help them finish first and earn the only available spot for the 2020 ICC Twenty20 World Cup Global Qualifiers to be held in October and November this year in the United Arab Emirates.

Nepal are second in the table with four points from three matches, just below Singapore lead the standings with five points.

Paras and Gyanendra Malla gave Nepal a flying start with a quick fire 44-run opening wicket stand that took just 23 balls. Gyanendra struck a 13-ball 19 off Muhammad Kashif after slamming two fours and a six.

After Gyanendra's departure, Paras went on to add 56-ball 78 with Sharad for the second wicket. Paras smashed eleven fours and a six on his way to register his third Twenty20 International half-century. His first one came against Netherlands back in 2015 followed by second one against Malaysia earlier this month.

Sharad -- who finished the match with six -- played role of an anchor in that stand before ending up with a 30-ball 38 laced with four boundaries and a maximum.

Kashif took all three wickets for Kuwait returning the figures of 3-30 from 2.5 overs.

Earlier, Basanta and Sandeep applied brakes on Kuwait run-flow before Kashif cut lose in the last two overs against Karan KC and Avinash Bohora. He struck both the bowlers for two sixes each and remained unbeaten on 49 off 36 balls. His innings also included two boundaries.

Adnan Idrees added 14-ball 25 with five fours before falling to Basanta who took 3-20. Sandeep also took 3-21 from four overs. Karan was hit for 40 runs and in the process took two wickets. Abinash had the figures of 1-35.



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