Day 5: Nepal v Saudi Arabia at Tribhuvan University: NEPAL BLAST INTO CONTENTION

  • ACC Twenty20 Cup Nepal vs Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia won the toss and elected to first first. Nepal made two changes in the team, experienced pacer Binod Das and left-arm spinner Rahul Viswakarma are in while pacer Amrit Bhattarai and batsman Binod Bhandari is out of the playing XI.
  • Nepal 9/0 in 1 over with a four each from Subash Khakurel and Anil Mandal.
  • Saudi Arabia XI: Babar Hussain, Faheem Afrad, Hammad Saeed, Kashif Rashid Meher, Kashif Shafiq, Khawar Suhail, Mohd Abdullah, Mohd Essa, M Zaheer, Rizwan Qayaaum, Waqas Akram.
  • Nepal 14/0 in 2 overs. The sun has shining, yet little dew in the field and Nepali openers going well. Saudi introduces left-arm spinner Khawar Suhail in the third over.
  • Saudi bowlers tighten the runs as Nepal scores only two runs in last two overs. Very good bowling by Saudis and Nepali team under pressure. Nepal 16/0 in 4 overs.
  • WICKET, Subash Khakurel is gone. Tries a reverse sweep, mistimes it and give an easy catch at short-extra-cover. Nepal 18/1 in 5 overs.
  • Mehboob Alam is new man in, Nepal trying something new here today but still to see how much it works. So far, Nepal's attempt to score runs quickly hasn't materialized. Nepal 21/1 in 6 overs.
  • A four and it's 9 runs in an over - Anil Mandal hits Waqas Akram for a four at mid-wicket. Nepal 30/1 in 7 overs.
  • SIX, Mehboob hits Mohd Abdullah for a six at long-off. On his knee and a top shot from the experienced player.
  • SIX, another, this time at mid-wicket. Mehboob Alam, the crowd-favorite here, is showing what he can do. How far he can go? Nepal 46/1 in 8 overs.
  • 50 up for Nepal. Runs are now coming better for Nepal. Mehboob and Anil both playing with confidence. Nepal 57/1 in 9 overs.
  • Half-way through and Nepal are at 65/1 in 10 overs. Mehboob on 24 and Anil on 30 are batting well for Nepal and Nepal seems like heading for a good total.
  • Kashif Meher bowls a relatively tight over, only 5 runs off the over. Nepal 70/1 in 11 overs.
  • SIX, Mehboob Alam follows up a straight four with a big hit at mid-wicket. The fielder hoped for a catch, jumped off to save a six but no chance for him.
  • SIXS and 50, Mehboob Alam steps up to hit two sixes both at long-on/midwicket region off Afrad to reach his fifty in style. First fifty for Nepal in the tournament. Nepal 94/1 in 12 overs.
  • Mehboob Alam is a brilliant Nepali cricketer who has a few records, including 10 wickets in a one-day match, for Nepal.
  • SIX, Mehboob Alam hits Meher for a six at long-on, good clean shot and Nepal crosses 100 runs. Nepal 102/1 in 13 overs.
  • Saudi Arabia brings pace, with Mohd Zaheer who did well until the last ball. Was flicked for a four by Alam as Nepal ends 14 overs at 111/1.
  • CHANCE, Mehboob Alam holes a shot which went too high, three men runs towards it but fell safe.
  • WICKET, clever work by Meher. Runs out Anil Mandal who has left his crease, Meher swings his arm, doesn't leave the ball and takes the bails out of the non-striker's stumps. Captain Paras Khadka the new man. Nepal 119/2 in 15 overs.
  • Nepal 132/2 in 16 overs and Mehboob Alam is on 81, the highest individual score in the tournament surpassing Amjad Ali's 79 scored yesterday at the same ground. Can he reach the century?
  • What an over! FOUR, FOUR, SIX & WICKET, Nothing going well for Saudi Arabia. Paras Khadka inside edges for a four, then hits at long-on that was misfielded for a four and Paras then decides to hit big at mid-wicket. Khawar Suhail responds by taking a wicket of Paras, stumped! Nepal 149/3 in 17 overs.
  • SIX, Pradeep Airee hits six to Meher on the first ball he faces. Clean shot at mid-wicket.
  • Nepal 162/3 in 18 overs and that's the highest score for Nepal in any Twenty20 match. Earlier, Nepal had chases Bahrain's 157 scoring 159. Good going Nepal and crowd, thousands of them, absolutely enjoying the batting today.
  • WICKET, Mehboob Alam goes for 88. Khawar Suhail bowls a wide, Alam couldn't reach it and was smartly stumped. A very well knock by Alam. That's a prized wicket for Suhail. Gyanendra Malla the new man in for Nepal.
  • Mehboob Alam played 41 balls for his 88, hit six sixes and five fours in the knock.
  • WICKET, Pradeep Airee is out on 11. He hits Suhail towards mid-wicket region, the ball goes high and the fielder catches it in second attempt. Nepal 170/5 in 19 overs.
  • Nepal concludes the innings at 183/5 in 20 overs. Very good score.
  • DROPPED, Hammad Saeed is dropped first ball of the innings. Binod Das who returned to the squad is not very happy man. He has hit for two fours after that. Pradeep Airee dropped absolute sitter at the mid-off, had a long time to judge and adjust himself.
  • DROPPED, again. Saeed is dropped again, this time by wicketkeeper who calls it and then fail to judge properly. Binod Das is certainly not happy here who got an applause when he returns to boundary and he thanks them by taking off his cap for them. Saudi Arabia 11/0 in 1 over.
  • DROPPED, yet again. Saeed holes again and Binod Das drops it himself this time. Hardest of three because he had to run backward but should have taken as he got both his hands on it and slips during his fall.
  • WICKET, finally. Pradeep Airee doesn't drop this one to dismiss Saeed, who hits Mehboob Alam straight to mid-off, the ball was travelling like bullet. SA 19/1 in 2 overs.
  • Binod Das really bowls well. He gets a couple past edge, a couple on pads and a edge that went for a run. Saudi Arabia under pressure and despite going after every ball, finding it had to get runs. SA 21/1 in 3 overs. Target 184.
  • FOURS, Kashif Shafiq, who had hit 70 off 46 balls to Hong Kong earlier, hits Mehboob Alam for two consecutive fours, first one at midwicket and second straight. Good batting.
  • Kashif Meher now hits Alam for two more fours in the over, one at square leg and other at long-on to end the fourth over at 38/1. Left-arm spinner Basant Regmi replaces Binod. Target 184.
  • WICKET, Basant Regmi gets Meher as Gyanendra Malla takes a skied one at extra cover. He is one of the best fielders in the side and doesn't drop many. An easy catch, taken easily. SA 39/2 in 5 overs. Target 184.
  • Correction: It was Shafiq who was out. Khawar Suhail is the new man in.
  • WICKET, Suhail skies one and Paras Khadka takes an easy catch at gully. He attempts to sweep to off-spinner Sanjam Regmi and top-edges it. Sanjam bowled a very good over. SA 41/3 in 6 overs. Target 184.
  • Just one run off Basant Regmi's over. Saudi batsmen finding it hard to connect spinning deliveries. SA 42/3 in 7 overs. Target 184.
  • WICKET, Sanjam Regmi bowls Kashif Meher cleanly, tries to play at backfoot and could not connect. Not a good shot. SA 43/4 in 8 overs. Target 184.
  • Rahul BK's first over, 3 runs off it. SA 46/4 in 9 overs. Target 184.
  • Half-way through, Saudi reach half-century. Not very bad score cosidering that Nepal had earlier scored 65 in 10 overs. SA 53/4 in 10 overs. Target 184.
  • WICKET, Babar Hussain is stumped off Rahul BK in the last ball of the over. SA 56/5 in 11 overs. Target 184.
  • WICKET, Sanjam Regmi takes another wicket. This is third for him, trapped straight, given lbw straight away to Rizwan Qayyum.
  • WICKET, run-out. Mohd Abdullah is run out trying to take a quick single. Both batsmen runs and hesitates. SA 57/7 in 12 overs. Target 184.
  • SA 60/7 in 13 overs. Target 184.
  • The TU Ground is jampacked and the spectators are enjoying everything today. They have tried everything - the Mexican wave, the flag lap, big noise.... it just feel amazing to hear the cheering and see them, almost has become more interesting than batting for many of the journalists in the pressbox.
  • Saudi Arabia can't win this game from here - unless there is a very magical performance by someone. Nepal wants to bowl out them as soon as possible in as many low score as possible to give themselves a chance to qualify for the semifinal on run-rate if three teams finishes on 6 points. SA 69/7 in 14 overs. Target 184.
  • Saudi Arabia tries to get as much as possible. They have hit 18 runs in last two overs. SA 78/7 in 15 overs. Target 184.
  • WICKET, Waqas Akram is bowled out by Paras Khadka's off-break. Captain brings himself in when he sensed Saudi batsmen starting to hit and strikes. SA 81/8 in 16 overs. Target 184.
  • WICKET, Paras Khadka strikes again for his second wicket. Mohd Essa is bowled out.
  • Saudi Arabia 84/9 in 18 overs.100 more required in 2 overs.
  • VICTORY, a deserving one for Nepal. Nepal beats Saudi Arabia by 95 runs and end up league round with 3 wins in 4 matches. Paras Khadka bowled Afrad in the first ball for the last over. The results mean Saudi Arabia have not chance now to qualify for the semifinals. They still have UAE to play on Thursday.
  • Nepal is atop the Group B now with this win, but UAE and Hong Kong can both end up with three wins, equivalent to Nepal, and the decision will be on the net run-rate. Nepal's run rate, despite today's big win, isn't that great. Hong Kong is playing Kuwait now, and UAE will meet Saudi Arabia tomorrow, both of which can play calculated.

ACC Twenty20 Cup, Day 5
Group B: Nepal vs Saudi Arabia at Tribhuvan University
Saudi Arabia won the toss and elected to field first
Nepal 183 for 5 off 20 overs (A Mandal 35, M Alam 88, K Sohail 4-27)
Saudi Arabia 88 all out in 19.1 overs (M Naseem 21, S Regmi 3-10, P Khadka 3-5)
Man of the match: Mehboob Alam (Nepal)

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Filed December 7th, 2011