Afghanistan keep their hopes of qualifying for the super sixes of the ICC World Cup Qualifiers intact after a comfortable win over Nepal by 6 wickets with 68 balls to spare. With the victory, Afghanistan will hope for Nepal’s victory over Hong Kong by a giant margin on Monday.
Mohammad Nabi was the catalyst for the win contributing with both bat and ball. He foremost sliced 4 wickets of Nepal, including crucial one of Nepal’s Skipper Paras Khadka who was on-slaught, and later with the bat contributed 34 off 32 balls.
Chasing 195 runs to win, Afghanistan rolled a surprise card with Skipper Rashid Khan coming to open the innings with Javed Ahmadi. It paid off as Rashid, with 5 fours made quick 21 runs off 14 balls before getting out to Karan KC, to put early pressure on Nepal. Afghanistan, then calmly and carefully batted on saving wickets. The second wicket partnership of 65 runs between Ahmadi (26) and Rahmat shah (46) came in 107 balls to steer the innings securely.
With the fall of Rahmat Shah in the 26th over, Nepal could have had a comeback. But it was dismissed by Mohammad Nabi as he fired 34 runs of 32 balls with 2 fours and a six. After his departure, Najbullah Zadran then secure the win for the test nation, smashing 4 fours and 3 sixes on his way to 52 runs. Nepal used 7 bowlers among which Dipendra Singh Airee had the best figure with 2 for 25 ruins.
Earlier winning the toss, Nepal surprisingly decided to bat first. . Playing his first match of the tournament, Anil Sah Failed to impress getting dismissed early on for 7 runs to mystery bowler Mujeeb Ur Rrahman. Out of form veteran Gyanendra Malla once again failed to deliver with the bat making 23 runs from 69 balls at an unimpressive strike rate of 33.33.
Paras Khadka top scored for Nepal. The in-form skipper smashed 75 runs from 82 balls with 10 fours and one over the boundary hit. After the end of Paras Khadka, Dipendra Singh Airee handled the innings with 32 runs and boundaries at regular intervals. Nepal was bundled for 194 runs in the ultimate over. Mohammad Nabi picked up 4 wickets while Rashid Khan picked 3 wickets for Afghanistan.
Afghanistan are placed third in the group B with 2 points while Nepal are last and yet to register a point.