Nepal thump Malaysia by 69 runs to become group winnersThe hosts collect six points from four matches and will meet the Netherlands in the final on Saturday.
Nepal registered a thumping 69-run win over Malaysia to finish on top of the standings in the Tri-Nation Twenty20 International Series at the TU cricket ground in Kirtipur on Thursday.
Put into bat first, Nepal posted a mammoth total of 217-7 after a collective batting effort from the home team batsmen on a day that saw opener Kushal Bhurtel fail to reach half-century milestone for the first time in the series. In reply, Malaysia were bowled out for 148 runs in 19.1 over after T20I debutant Kamal Airee, Sompal Kami and Sandeep Lamichhane picked three wickets each. Nepal had edged Malaysia by nine runs in their first match on Monday.
The outcome means Nepal finished on top of the standings with six points winning three matches and losing one. The Netherlands wrapped up the group stage at second accumulating five points after two wins and a tie while Malaysia bowed out third with only one point. Hosts Nepal and the Netherlands were already assured of final place as top two teams on Thursday.
The final is set for Saturday.
“Our boys did well today, in both the batting and bowling departments. This win has obviously boosted our confidence for the final clash,” said Nepal skipper Gyanendra Malla.
“It needs a winning mentality to land a trophy and we are positive.”
Bhurtel, who had scored 62 runs and 61 runs against the Netherlands, and not out 61 against Malaysia in the first leg matches, departed for 16 runs. The 25-year-old who made his debut in the T20I series opener was caught by Syed Aziz off Muhammad Wafiq in 4.1 overs.
But his opening partner Aasif Sheikh and captain Gyanendra Malla shared a 73-run partnership for the second wicket. Sheikh smashed 42 runs off 31 and Malla played a quickfire 41 runs off 25. Malla cracked a boundary and four sixes before he was caught by Wafiq off Anwar Rahman in the first delivery of the 12th over.
Sheikh, the half-century scorer against the Netherlands in the opener and Malaysia in the second match, was trapped leg before in the penultimate ball of the same over by Rahman. He hit three fences and as many sixes.
Dipendra Singh Airee, coming to bat at number four, contributed 33 runs from 17 deliveries that included five fences and a six. Binod Bhandari was out cheaply for eight runs.
Kushal Malla and Karan KC were the other major contributors scoring unbeaten 19 runs and a quickfire 45 runs respectively. Kushal hit two boundaries in his 10-ball knock while KC cracked seven sixes in his 13-ball blitz before he was caught by Rahman off Syed Aziz. KC slammed four sixes to Dhivendran Mogan in the 18th over and three sixes to Wafiq in the following over before his dismissal in the first delivery of the last over.
Malaysian bowler Aziz, Rahman and Fitri Sham grabbed two wickets apiece while Wafiq claimed one. Aziz gave away four runs in his one-over spell while Rahman conceded 37 runs in his four-over bowling. Sham gave away 32 runs in his four-over bowling.
The Malaysian run chase received a huge blow as they lost their openers Aziz and Anwar Arudin cheaply for four and six runs respectively. Aziz was trapped leg before by Sompal Kami in the fourth ball of the innings and Arudin was caught by KC off Kami in the third over.
Captain Ahmad Faiz, who came to bat at number three, and middle order batsman Aminuddin Ramly were the major contributors for the Malaysian side. Faiz hit 31 runs off 21 deliveries before he was caught out by Bhurtel off Sushan Bhari. Ramly scored 41 runs off 18 deliveries that included five sixes and a four. He hit three sixes to Bhari in the 12th over before being caught by Kami off Sandeep Lamichhane in the 14th over.
Ainool Hafizs, Fitri Sham and Wafiq were the other Malaysian batsmen to reach double-digit figures. Hafizs scored 11 runs, Sham 14 runs and Wafiq 12 runs.
Sompal Kami, Sandeep Lamichhane and Airee were the most successful Nepali bowlers claiming three wickets apiece. Kami was the most economical bowler giving away 20 runs in his four-over bowing with a maiden over. Lamichhane conceded 42 runs in his four-over haul. Airee gave away 16 runs in 3.1 over bowling.