The ICC World T20 is in full swing and day one got underway with two fixtures which included three associate teams. ANTOINETTE MULLER wraps up the action.
The ICC World T20 kicked off in Bangladesh on Sunday with the qualifying round seeing Bangladesh beat Afghanistan and Nepal thump Hong Kong. Nepal are currently top qualifying Group A on net run rate with Bangladesh second. All four teams have a break for a day before doing it all over again on Tuesday
Here’s a wrap from Sunday’s action.
Bangladesh beat Afghanistan by nine wickets
As much as the commentators might have wanted you to believe that the occasion was a big one for Afghanistan, it’s not like they have not been on the world stage before.
It did, however, look like the Afghans were taking part in their first ever major tournament. Bangladesh won the toss and chose to field, a decision which proved to be a good one. Afghanistan looked at sea with just three batsmen making it into double figures. Just one other player managed to score more than five. It was a train wreck and Afghanistan were far too mouthy for their own good for most of the match. Afghanistan stuttered to 72 all out in 17.1 overs and it was the first time ever Bangladesh had managed to bowl out an opponent in T20s – quite a feat for the hosts.
Bangladesh made light work of chasing 73 with Anamul Haque top-scoring with his 44 off 33, putting Afghanistan back in their box. The hosts were as impressive as Afghanistan were poor and while Bangladesh really should qualify for the next round, Nepal will be one of their biggest challenges.
“We enjoyed the big game, the pressure game. We weren’t overconfident. It’s a part of the game. Today Bangladesh played very well, that’s why they won the game. Otherwise we are not a team to lose like this. The conditions, the pitch was a little too difficult as well,” – Afghanistan captain, Mohammed Nabi.
“It is always slightly difficult playing against teams like Afghanistan. You don’t know what’s coming your way. Someone from No. 7 or 8 can blast the bowlers. Or someone can suddenly bowl well. It will be wrong to make predictions against them, so it is important to look after ourselves, and look to improve in every game,” – Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan
Bangladesh won by nine wickets
Afghanistan 72 all out (Gulbadin Naib 21; Shakib Al Hasahn 3-8)
Bangladesh 78-1 (Anamul Haque 44; Samiullah Shenwari 1-14)
Nepal beat Hong Kong by 80 runs
It’s been five years since an associate won a match at the World T20 and although there wasn’t a choice other than an associate winning between Nepal and Hong Kong, the former were massively impressive.
Nepal’s innings had everything you expect from a T20 outing. Stuttering openers, solid middle over partnerships and a few stumbles towards the end overs. Still, posting 149-8 in 20 overs was an impressive effort with Gyanendra Malla and skipper Pars Khadka being the two most successful batsmen with 41 and 48 respectively. Hong Kong had won the toss and elected to field, but instead of putting the pressure on, their bowlers were hammered all over the park instead.
In reply, Hong Kong had little to offer with the bat and Khadka was as impressive with the ball as he was with the bat and will probably reach cult status very soon. He’s has played for Nepal in three Under-19 World Cups and has been groomed for his captaincy role since his age group outings. He has the charisma and likability to become a hero of the tournament, even if his team does not make it into the next round. For now, he can rest easy after a thumping win.
Hong Kong stuttered to 69 all out in 17 overs thanks to a combination of poor shots and some fine bowling from Nepal. Basant Regmi and Shakti Gauchan picked up three wickets apiece as Nepal started their campaign with a mammoth 80-run victory.
More Quote, unquote
“It’s a massive opportunity to put themselves in the shop window. I know a lot of the associate players, in this tournament, are thinking a couple of good performances individually can put themselves on the world map as well and try to get their careers furthered,” – Jamie Atkinson, Hong Kong captain.
“From the time we qualified it’s been like a festival back home. It’s been crazy. Everybody is excited, and for us, as players, it’s a great opportunity for all the players to make a name for yourself, make a name for your country. We will do whatever we can to try and win as many games as possible. We will try and push for a better result every time we play,” – Paras Khadka, Nepal captain. DM
Nepal won by 80 runs
Nepal 149-8 (Gynendra Malla 48, Paras Khadka 41; Haseeb Amjad 3-25)
Hong Kong 69 all out (Babar Hayat 20; Shakti Gauchan 3-9)
Photo: Afghanistan’s Samiullah Shenwari appeals for Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal’s dismissal successfully during their ICC Twenty20 World Cup match at the Sher-E-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka March 16, 2014. (REUTERS/Andrew Biraj)