Semi-Final 1: Nepal v Afghanistan at Tribhuvan University

  • ACC Twenty20 Cup, Semi-Final 1 Nepal v Afghanistan: START DELAYED Another cold and foggy morning in Kathmandu and the match which was due to start in 15 minutes will be late in doing so. The Tribhuvan University ground is still shrouded in mist and the groundsmen are still working on the wicket. Yesterday, in similar conditions, the match started 25 minutes after its scheduled start at 0355hrs GMT, 9.40 AM local time.
  • The crowd is landing in hundreds by the minute and the mist is lifting steadily, play my well be possible around 10AM, 35 minutes from now. Groundsmen still out in the middle, the umpires do not yet have possession of the ground. Toss yet to happen
  • There may be no cricket at the moment but that's not stopping the crowd from showing their enthusiasm, they are louder than the PA system which is playing Nepali songs at full blast. Great atmosphere
  • The ground almost at full capacity already, around 10,000 already, and there are several thousand more waiting to get in. First sight of the sun too, just now, hazing through the moisture, and the prospects of play getting ever closer
  • Both teams out in the middle now, performing their first serious warm-ups of the morning. And the sun is burning off the haze, vapour visibly coming off the surface, and the covers are coming off too, play not too far away...
  • The toss will be in 10 minutes, the game will start in 25 minutes at 10.15 local time and it will be 16-overs a side
  • Nepal won the toss and Paras Khadka has chosen to bat
  • Nepal's batters Subash Khakurel and Anil Mandal have come out a little early, Afghanistan and the umpires still to take their positions on the field. Play about to get underway. Hamid Hassan from the Chobhar End to bowl the first over for Afghanistan. Game on!
  • Hamid running in hard, first ball on a length, Subash defends on the back foot and the second ball just cuts through him!
  • Nepal off the mark with a leg bye, Anil Mandal RHB to face Hamid now
  • One slip for Hamid Hassan RF
  • One off the over, ball hitting bat, rather than the other way round and Nepal are 1 for 0. Dawlat Zadran RMF from the Pavilion End
  • Dawlat starts with a no ball and the signal of the free hit receives the biggest cheer of the day so far, Subash to face it, BIG swing, goes high but falls just three feet away from him, 1 run, Nepal 3 for 0 in the second over
  • Nepal 8 for 0 after 2 overs, Anil Mandal looking to be as positive as possible
  • Hamid Hassan after a two-match break is just roaring in, just a half a yard too quick for the batsmen at the moment.
  • Four dot-balls so far this over, and the ball not leaving the square
  • Anil flicks one to backward square for a single to end the over, Nepal 9 for 0 after 3 overs
    Binod the Guru Pandey, says that this is the first time the Afghanistan senior side have been in Nepal
  • WICKET Dawlat Zadran RMF too quick for Subash, a heave goes under the bat for the stumps to be splayed and Nepal are 10 for 1 in the 4th over, Subash out for 3 off 7 balls. Mahaboob Alam LHB the new bat. Made 89 against the Saudis last innings. If he gets the same today it will be an even greater achievement
  • WICKET But Mahaboob goes without scoring, second ball, caught at cover, and Nepal are 10 for 2 in the 4th over
  • Paras Khadka RHB the new Nepali bat, draws a no-ball FREE HIT first ball
  • Paras late on the free-hit pull and almost too late to beat the throw from mid-on, off the mark though and after 4 overs Nepal are 13 for 2
  • Hamid takes a rest 2-1-1-0 takes a rest and Zamir Khan SLA comes on in his place at the Chobhar End. Nepal will be undoubtedly more comfortable against him than Hassan no matter how well he bowls
  • WICKET Four dot balls create pressure and Anil going for a flat-footed heave, is bowled, leg-stump plucked out of the ground, 14 for 3 in the 5th over
  • The young spinner's done well, just one off the over and Nawroz Mangal performs another piece of inspired captaincy, Nepal 14 for 3 after five overs, Paras Khadka RHB and Gyanendra Malla RHB the two Nepalis at the crease
  • Sami Shenwari LB replaces Dawlat Zadran 2-0-11-2 at the Pavilion End
  • Third FREE HIT for Nepal, three runs from them so far, Nepal 17 for 3 in the sixth over
  • Sami Shenwari's googly almost gets through last ball of the over, 18 for 3 after eight overs and Binod the Guru Pandey points out that there has still been no boundary in the Nepal innings
  • WICKET Malla miscues an attempted booming off-drive and Sami claims it at cover, Zamir Khan SLA doing the damage yet again and Nepal are 18 for 4 at the start of the ninth over
  • Zamir SLA a short man, bowls quick, fizzing spinners, his fingers really ripping across the ball and on this surface is getting plenty of purchase, 2-0-3-2 so far, Nepal 21 for 4 after 7 overs
  • Mohammad Nabi OB is on at the Pavilion End now
  • Nabi's boundary fielders, long-off, long-on and midwicket for Paras. Basanta Regmi LHB is the other batsman
  • Nepal 23 for 4 after eight overs and still no boundary for the home side today. Crowd yet to come to life, in the way that little Zamir Khan SLA has
  • The crowd, about 12000 now, are getting behind their team and a huge roar greets the first boundary of the day Basant Regmi swinging Zamir over square leg for SIX and Nepal are 33 for 4 after nine overs
  • WICKET Zamir Khan takes a great catch, Basant sweeping and the fielder dives and holds low down at square leg and Nepal are 33 for 5 in the tenth over, Nabi's first wicket
    Hamid just misses a Paras paddle at square leg, made plenty of ground but couldn't get there, Nepal 38 for 5 after 10 overs
  • Hamid Hassan RF back on at the Chobhar End, replacing Zamir 3-0-13-2
  • WICKET Hamid just too quick for Prithu and bowls him off the inside edge, drilling him relentlessly throughout the over and Nepal 39 for 6 after 11 overs
  • Paras 14* off 16 balls so far, won't have scored many more tougher runs than these. Pradeep - the hitter- Airee RHB the other batsman, Nepal 42 for 6 after 12 overs
  • Just one boundary so far for Nepal, Basant Regmi's six
  • Hamid to finish his spell, 3-1-2-1 so far
  • Hamid fires one in so fast, it hit Pradeep as he tried to evade it, flew off the glove for FOUR, Nepal 47 for 6 after 13 overs, Hamid finishes with 4-1-7-1
  • The second SIX of the innings, Paras shimmies down the wicket to Sami Shenwari and lofts a clean soarer over to long-on and Nepal are 57 for 6 with five overs to go
  • Nabi OB changes ends and Pradeep late cuts sublimely for three and Nepal are 61 for 6 in the 15th over. Afghanistan's field-placement and fielding pretty good too however
  • Dawlat Zadran RMF back on at the Pavilion End in place of Sami 3-0-17-0
  • It's the last over, it's a 16-overs side match
  • WICKETS Paras bowled for 30 off 29 balls, 1 six, second ball and then wicket-keeper MS Shehzad throws down the stumps to beat Pradeep's full-length dive and Nepal are 67 for 7 with three balls to go
  • The wicket under the impact of Hamid and Dawlat suddenly looking a fast-bowler's track, plenty of bounce and steep at that on evidence
  • Nepal finish on 68 for 9 off their 16 overs, a wicket falling off the last ball, Dawlat Ahmadzai finishes on 4-13 and Afghanistan will need to score at a little over four an over to get to the Final on Sunday. INNINGS BREAK
  • Basant Regmi SLA opens the bowling for Nepal at the Chobhar End, spin really the only thing that could hold Afghanistan back, Afghanistan's target 69 off 16 overs
  • Basant's first over produced just one run but Karim Sadiq RHB is away with a FOUR through point off Binod Das RFM and Afghanistan are 5 for 0 in the second over, Target 69 off 16 overs
  • Afghanistan 8 for 0 after 2 overs, Target 69 off 16 overs, Karim survives a run-out chance, having to dive full-length back into his crease
  • Basant Regmi causing problems, Karim beaten outside off and then takes a calculated risk, sweeping from off-stump through square-leg for FOUR but then a crafty off-glance gets him his second FOUR and Afghanistan are 15 for 0 after 3 overs, and he pinches the strike!
  • Fog and dew meant a delayed start and play went underway at 10.10 AM as a 16-overs a side match. Nepal made 68 for 9
  • Karim drives powerfully through cover, FOUR in a stand-and-deliver kind of mood today, (when is he not?), helps one round to leg for FOUR, Binod Das just straying, and Afghanistan are 24 for 3 in the 4th over
  • Binod bowls, on a length, Karim stands straight and drives on the up, top shot, FOUR, doesn't get fully hold of the next ball, but there's enough pace and distance on it to evade mid-on and it's another FOUR and Afghanistan are 36 for 0 after 4 overs, Target 69 off 16 overs
  • Shabbir Noori just may have edged one judging by Basant Regmi's reaction, either way, Subash couldn't hold on and Shabbir, about to be be the tournament's highest run-scorer, looking as uncomfortable as he has done all tournament against the left-arm spinner. Afghanistan 37 for 0 after 5 overs, Target 69 off 16 overs
  • Rahul Vishwakarma SLA on in place of Binod Das at the Pavilion End now
  • Men at long-off, long-on and midwicket on the boundary for Rahul
  • Just a thought - there may be more fans here at this TU Ground in Kathmandu than there at the Bangladesh v Pakistan Test match in Chittagong
  • Three off the Rahul SLA over and Afghanistan are 40 for 0 after 6 overs, Target 69 off 16 overs
  • Basanta Regmi to bowl himself through, 3-0-11-0 so far
  • Shabbir 'Lara' Noori not reading the left-arm spinner at all well. But its the mark of a class bat not to get out when things are difficult.
  • Karim gives the impression he's a run-out waiting to happen
  • WICKET Basant strikes, Karim down on one knee, attempting a sweep is stumped by Subash and he goes for 32 off 25 (seven 4s), Afghanistan 41 for 1 after 7 overs. MS Shehzad RHB the new bat, Basant 4-0-12-1
  • Shabbir has made just 4 off 16 so far. MS is not a very patient man either he or the Afghan innings could be over quite soon, Afghanistan need 28 more runs in nine overs
  • The Hong Kong and Oman teams are watching on, they play the second semi-in an hour or so, and one of them will play one of these teams in the final on Saturday.
  • Shabbir dances down and manufactures a full-length Rahul SLA delivery into a full-toss, straight SIX, followed by another SIX, smoked over long-on this time, Afghanistan 55 for 1 at the half-way stage, need 14 more runs to win
  • Sanjam Regmi OB on at the Chobhar End after Basant's excellent spell. And the crowd, are getting agitated.
  • Shabbir smites another SIX, over the long-on fielder and then slams a FOUR, to diving long-on's right and Afghanistan are four runs away from victory, 66 for 1 in after 9 overs
  • MS Shehzad swings Paras Khadka high over mid-on for a one-bounce FOUR and AFGHANISTAN WIN BY NINE WICKETS
  • An easy win for Afghanistan, set up by their bowlers, the pace of Hamid Hassan and Dawlat Zadran too much for the unaccustomed Nepali batsmen who were late on all but a couple of their strokes against them. Left-arm spinner Zamir Khan impressed too, and his catch in the deep to dismiss Basant Regmi was an example of all-round excellence by the Afghans in the field. Nepal weren't allowed to make runs and then Karim Sadiq and then Shabbir Noori took Afghanistan to the Final.

ACC Twenty20 Cup, Semi-Final 1
Nepal v Afghanistan at Tribhuvan University
Match reduced to 16-overs a side
Nepal won the toss and chose to bat
Nepal: 68 for 9 off 16 overs, (P.Khadka 30; D.Zadran 4-13, Z.Khan 2-13)
Afghanistan: 70 for 1 off 9.2 overs (K.Sadiq 32)
Man of the Match: Dawlat Zadran (Afghanistan)

Tournament page

Filed December 9th, 2011