Nepal win thriller against Afghanistan

Afghanistan

Nepal won a thrilling encounter against Afghanistan in Chittagong on Thursday, emerging victorious by nine runs and defending the 141 they posted thanks to some brilliant fielding and death bowling.

Nepal won a thrilling encounter against Afghanistan in Chittagong on Thursday, emerging victorious by nine runs and defending the 141 they posted thanks to some brilliant fielding and death bowling.

Nepal scored 141 for five earlier on, and it didn't seem to be enough, but a flurry of wickets and some astonishing catching in the deep, better than anyone else in the tournament thus far, saw them win.

Afghanistan reached 132 for eight in the end, with Ashghar Stanikzai's 49 at the death not enough to save his side after the top order failed yet again. Nepal's death bowling was on point, with Jitendra Mukhiya showing real class.

Afghanistan won the toss and chose to field, looking to keep their unbeaten T20 streak against Nepal alive by restricting them to a low score. For much of the knock, this appeared to go to plan, until Sharad Vesawkar's 37 pushed the score to defendable.

Otherwise, opener Subash Kahkurel was the main batsman for the Nepalese, scoring 56 off 53 balls before becoming one of Shapoor Zadran's three wickets. The other notable contribution was from Gyanedra Malla, who made 22.

Afghanistan's chase started very poorly, as they lost their first three wickets for 30 runs. Jitendra took two early wickets, while Shakti Gauchan continued to gather fans with his wickets and big smiles.

The catching was the difference between the sides though, as well as the boundary fielding, with the Nepal players throwing themselves about to stop fours, and this proved vital in the end. Khadka was a vital catcher, taking to very good grabs in the deep.

In the end, Stanikzai tried to smash the winning runs and did rather well. He made 49 off 36 balls and was out in the final over, with 10 required off two balls. Then it was 10 off one, and the last ball was a dot.

Afghanistan: Mohammad Shahzad, Nawroz Mangal, Asghar Stanikzai, Shafiqullah, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Samiullah Shenwari, Dawlat Zadran, Shapoor Zadran, Karim Sadiq, Mirwais Ashraf

Nepal: Subash Khakurel, Sagar Pun, Gyanedra Malla, Paras Khadka, Sharad Visawkar, Binod Bhandari, Basant Regmi, Naresh Budayair, Shakti Gauchan, Sompal Kami, Jitendra Mukhiya

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