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Brave Nepal go down fighting

Nepal lost their first Twenty20 International after the ICC World Twenty20 going down to Hong Kong by two wickets in a close encounter at the P Sara Stadium in Colombo on Monday.


The only action that was possible in the limited over during the tour of Sri Lanka seemingly headed for a one-sided affair after Nepal were bundled out for just 72 runs in 20 overs. But Nepali bowlers put on a splendid bowling display in a tough pitch to bat on before Hong Kong crept to 73-8 in 19.5 overs.


Nepal got their defense right on track when two wickets in a single over from Shakti Gauchan and one from Som Pal Kami reduced Hong Kong 7-3. A run out from Subash Khakurel and Amrit Bhattarai’s prized scalp of dangerman Irfan Ahmed (eight) had Hong Kong reeling at 21-5 inside nine overs.


Aizaz Khan and Anas Khan kept Hong Kong in the game with a 20 run stand but two wickets in a single over Sagar Pun brought Nepal back in the game. Sagar dismissed set Aizaz for 21 off 31 before removing Haseeb Amjad (two) as the scores read 48-7 in 15.5 overs.


Anas, however, kept his cool and along with Tanwir Afzal (nine) shared 22 runs for the eighth wicket that ultimately took the game away from Nepal. Anas had already sealed the game hitting a boundary off the last ball from Som Pal in the penultimate over leaving Hong Kong with three to win from six balls.


Skipper Paras Khadka brought himself in the last over and removed Afzal but by then it was too late. Anas remained unbeaten on 21 off 28 with two boundaries.


Earlier, Nepal got folded for their lowest total in Twenty20 Internationals. Hong Kong elected to field first after winning the toss and the decision heavily favoured them with one after another Nepali batsmen failed to stay long at the crease. It is the ninth lowest total in the overall Twenty20 International in the world.


Nepal’s lowest score in Twenty20 is 39 which they had made against the Netherlands during the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers in 2012. In a sorry looking Nepali batting card that had only one batsman making runs in double figures, Som Pal saved Nepal’s blushes with 40 off 31 with six boundaries and two sixes.


Sompal came into the crease with Nepal heading towards their a humiliating total in Twenty20 at 25-8 and shared 43 runs for the ninth wicket with Shakti Gauchan, who remained unbeaten on five. Gyanendra Malla (five) and Naresh Budhayer (five) were the next best scorers


Scorecard :- Nepal VS Hong Kong 

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