Nepal lets Bangladesh off the hook to bow out of group phase

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Suffers 83-run defeat after reducing host to 33-4

Photo Source: Raman Shiwakoti/CAN


Nepal allowed Bangladesh to recover from a precarious position twice to suffer a 83–run defeat in its second match at the Sheikh Kamal International Stadium in Gopalganj, Bangladesh on Tuesday to bow out from the group phase of the Emerging Teams Asia Cup.

The team first failed to capitalize on brilliant bowling of Avinash Karn who took a wicket each in his first three overs to reduce Bangladesh to 15-3 in 4.3 overs to vindicate the decision of skipper Gyanendra Malla to field first. His new-ball partner Mahboob Alam then made it 33-4 dismissing Nazmul Hossain Shanto, who has played a Test, at the end of 10 overs.

But captain Mominul Haque used his senior level experience to rescue the hosts forging a 78-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Nasir Hossain. Haque, who has played 22 Tests and 26 one-day internationals (ODI), made a brisk 61 off 78 balls.

Nepal again had Bangladesh in trouble at 175-8 in 40.2 overs but Hossain added crucial 76 runs with Abul Hasan, with experience of three Tests and six ODIs, for the ninth wicket to put up an imposing total of 257-9 in the stipulated 50 overs. Hossain remained unbeaten on 109 off 115 balls laced with 12 fours and two sixes while Hasan made a quick-fire 29 off 30 balls.

Teenaged leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane took two wickets while Dipendra Singh Airee and skipper Malla took one wicket each for Nepal.

Bangladesh carried the momentum gathered at the end of its innings and reduced Nepal to 16-3 in 6.5 overs dismissing Malla for a 10-ball duck, his opening partner Sunil Dhamala 1(13) and Asif Sheikh 12(15). Dilip Nath then joined teen-sensation Airee and added 98 runs for the fourth wicket to raise hopes of an improbable victory.

But the Nepali run chase lost steam once Nath was dismissed for 41 off 62 balls in the 30th over. Keeper-batsman Nath hit three fours and a six in his fluent innings. Senior batsman Sharad Vesawkar was dismissed 11 balls later for two off five deliveries while Airee was dismissed 14 balls later to make it 125-6 in 33.3 overs. Airee, who made a sensational start to his career scoring a match-winning fifty in his second match against Kenya in Kathmandu recently, made 56 off 85 balls with six fours.    

Allrounder Alam (10 off 17) hit a six while Binod Bhandari swung his bat around smashing 33 off 23 balls laced with six fours and a six but it was too little too late as Nepal was bundled out for 174 in 42.3 overs. Rahatul Ferdous Javed took four wickets and Shaif Uddin three.

Nepal is now out of the race for semifinal after losing two matches and will play Hong Kong, which is also out after losing to Pakistan and Bangladesh in its first two matches like Nepal, in its third match on Thursday.

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