Gutsy Nepal dash Afghanistan’s hopes
Afghanistan made a heavy weather of chasing what appeared an achievable target at the Chittagong Stadium, thanks to intelligent bowling and fielding by the opposition in the slog overs.
Earlier, a breezy knock of 56 off 54 deliveries by Subash Khakurel propelled Nepal to 141 runs for the loss of five wickets, the cricket board spokesman said.
Farid Hotak told Pajhwok Afghan News Afghanistan won the toss and opted to bowl at the Chittagong Stadium, making three changes to the line-up that needed a big win to stay in with a chance of reaching the next stage.
Najib Tarakai and Gulbadin Naib were replaced by Nawroz Mangal, Karim Sadiq and Mirwais Ashraf -- a move that apparently failed to make any difference.
Sharad Vesawkar contributed 37 runs to Nepal’s total before he was dismissed by Shahpur Zadran. Gyanendra Malla chipped in with a quick-fire 22, facing 13 balls.
Shahpur captured two wickets, while Dawlat Zadran, Mirwais Ashraf and Mohammad Nabi bagged one wicket apiece.
The dismissal of Asghar Stanikzai, who smashed an impressive 49, on the penultimate delivery, saw Afghanistan’s hopes dashed. Shafiqullah also hit a magnificent 36, but other Afghan batsmen went out cheaply.
Jitendra Mukhiya was the pick of Nepal’s bowlers, accounting for Mohammad Shahzad, Najibullah Zadran and Samiullah Shinwari. , Shakti Gauchan and Sompal Kami claimed two wickets each.
Afghanistan: Mohammad Shahzad, Najibullah Zadran, Asghar Stanikzai, Mohammad Nabi (captain), Nawroz Mangal, Karim Sadiq, Shafiqullah, Samiullah Shinwari, Mirwais Ashraf, Dawlat Zadran and Shapoor Zadran.
Nepal: Subash Khakurel, Sagar Pun, Gyanendra Malla, Paras Khadka (captain), Sharad Vesawkar, Binod Bhandari, Naresh Budayair, Basant Regmi, Shakti Gauchan, Sompal Kami and Jitendra Mukhiya
After their 10-wicket humiliation at the hands of Bangladesh in the opener in Mirpur on Sunday, Afghanistan thrashed Hong Kong by seven wickets on Tuesday.
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