Nepal marked a remarkable debut in their maiden ICC World Twenty20 appearance thrashing Hong Kong by 80 runs at the Zahur Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong on Sunday.
On a pitch that favoured spinners, Nepal made 149-8 after Hong Kong invited them to bat first. Nepal’s spinning duo of Shakti Gauchan and Basanta Regmi wreaked havoc in reply as Hong Kong were folded for just 69 runs in 17 overs.
In their first ever World Twenty20 participation and playing under a sizeable Nepali supporters, Nepal moved into the record books bundling out Hong Kong for the second lowest total of the World Twenty20 history. West Indies had dismissed Ireland for 68 runs in the 2010 ICC World Twenty20.
Nepali openers Subash Khakurel and Sagar Pun (13) gave their best start so far for Nepal adding 36 runs for the first wicket but both headed back to the pavilion in quick succession. Subash made 22 off 16 with four boundaries.
Skipper Paras Khadka and Gyanendra Malla then stepped into the crease and the two batsmen not only consolidated the innings but also laid the foundation for a decent total on board. From 36-2 after 5.1 overs, Paras and Gyanendra put on a stand of 80 runs until a flurry of wickets in the last over prevented Nepal from crossing what it looked like an easy 150-run mark.
Paras was dropped twice and departed after making 41 runs from 37 balls with four boundaries. In the ground that had long boundaries, Gyanendra slammed a six of seamer Haseeb Amjad in the first ball of the final over and ended up making 48 from 41 with four hits to the fence.
Sharad Vesawkar made 14 off nine with two fours and was one of the four Nepali batsmen to be dismissed in the last four balls of the final over. Gyanendra was first to go missing out on his first Twenty20 half century by just two runs.
With dangerous opener Irfan Ahmed always a big threat, Nepal needed an ideal start in their defense and Paras delivered with his off spin when the Hong Kong all rounder nicked the Nepali skipper behind the wickets to Subash Khakurel in the very first ball.
Hong Kong captain Jamie Atkinson then played Som Pal Kami on to his stumps and it was all spinners show in the match. Shakti removed another opener Waqas Barkat for 18 and after a 21 run partnership between Mark Chapman (13) and Babar Hayat, Basanta seized the control of the match with twin dismissals of the former and new man Nizakat Khan that put the Nepali bowler on a hat-trick.
Tanwir Afzal survived the hat-trick ball but wickets kept on tumbling for Hong Kong. Shakti bowled Hayat for 20 off 25 and Aizaz Khan (duck) in a single over before Basanta dismissed Tanwir for a five-ball duck.Som Pal and Jitendra Mukhiya polised off the tail as Hong Kong lost their last seven wickets for just 11 runs. Shakti was declared the man-of-the-match.