Hong Kong v Nepal, World T20, Group A, Chittagong

Big stage for two debutants

The Preview by Alan Gardner in Chittagong

March 15, 2014

Comments: 98 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

March 16, 2014
Start time 1930 local (1330 GMT)


Mark Chapman scored a match-winning 53, Hong Kong v Zimbabwe, World T20 warm-up, Chittagong, March 12, 2014
Mark Chapman's recent form, with two half-centuries, augurs well for Hong Kong © ICC
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Series/Tournaments: World T20
Teams: Hong Kong | Nepal

Big Picture

They may be second on the bill but, for these two World T20 debutants, it has never been any bigger than this. T20 has been cricket's major vehicle for growth and the ICC's decision to include six Associates at this tournament for the first time should be applauded but once the coin is tossed at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, there will be no time for fraternity between Hong Kong and Nepal.

This time last year, the two teams were battling the likes of Singapore, Bahrain and Malaysia at the ACC T20 Cup for spots at the World T20 Qualifier. In the UAE, Nepal stormed to third place, behind the more established Ireland and Afghanistan, sealing their place in Bangladesh with a last-ball win against Hong Kong, having taken 13 off the final over. The scenes of celebration, at the ground and back home in Nepal, were quite something.

Despite losing that quarter-final, Hong Kong saw off Papua New Guinea to secure their own qualification. That seems to have ignited something in a country known more for its banking arm than its sporting prowess. A young side sprinkled with players from a variety of backgrounds has been on fire in recent weeks, beating Ireland and Netherlands during a training camp in Sharjah and then scalping Zimbabwe in their opening warm-up match in Chittagong.

That win was followed by a stunning comeback against Netherlands, defending 127, with Haseeb Amjad's display of reverse swing helping him to six wickets. Some of their inspiration in that game came from an inspired, one-handed catch by Nizakat Khan and the fielding of both sides will provide an indication of how hard they have worked.

Nepal have not enjoyed such a fast start, beaten by Ireland and UAE, but they are eager to give a good account of themselves and, in the words of captain Paras Khadka, "present Nepal cricket in front of the world". His side has become, like Afghanistan, poster boys for the Associate game, from their success at the 2006 U-19 World Cup and their rise through the ICC's World Cricket League structure.

In many ways, the journey to Bangladesh has been the story for Nepal and Hong Kong and it would be a major shock if either was to reach the second round. All games at the WT20 will have T20 international status, so both countries will also contest their first match in the format. The prospect of playing in front of 15,000 people, or more, will be both reward and challenge. As they try not to blink, they should enjoy the experience too.

Form guide

(including warm-up matches)
Hong Kong WWWWL
Nepal LLWLW

Players to watch

Irfan Ahmed can open the batting and contribute regularly with the ball, while captain Jamie Atkinson has experience of playing first-class cricket in England. Mark Chapman, however, could be their lynchpin, having made two classy half-centuries in the warm-up games. The left-hander, who was raised in New Zealand, plays in orthodox fashion but is capable of upping the rate.

Khadka is Nepal's totem but, on the pitches of Bangladesh, the left-arm spinner Basant Regmi will have a vital role to play. He is Nepal's leading international wicket-taker and played a central role in securing qualification in the UAE last year. If they are in need of some bash with the bat, Sharad Vesawkar has previously displayed a cool head and strong forearms.

Team news

Hong Kong rested three of their first-choice XI for Netherlands but should be back to full strength. Munir Dar, their leading wicket-taker in the UAE, has been banned from bowling due to his action but remains in the squad as a batting option.

Hong Kong (probable) 1 Irfan Ahmed, 2 Waqas Barkat, 3 Jamie Atkinson (capt & wk), 4 Babar Hyat, 5 Nizakat Khan, 6 Mark Chapman, 7 Munir Dar, 8 Tanwir Afzal, 9 Haseeb Amjad, 10 Najeed Amar, 11 Nadeem Ahmed

Khadka said that Nepal had been tinkering with their line-up in the warm-up games and would decide their XI after looking at the pitch. The top order is pretty settled. Avinash Karn provides a left-arm seam option and they could utilise Rahul Vishwakarma as a second spinner.

Nepal (probable) 1 Sagar Pun, 2 Subash Khakurel (wk), 3 Gyanendra Malla, 4 Paras Khadka (capt), 5 Binod Bhandari, 6 Sharad Vesawkar, 7 Naresh Budayair, 8 Basant Regmi, 9 Shakti Gauchan, 10 Sompal Kami, 11 Jitendra Mukhiya

Pitch and conditions

Chittagong has a reputation for high scores and slow turn but the recent T20s at the ground between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka saw something on offer for the quicks too. The evening start time, plus its location close to the sea, should mean conditions are a little cooler.

Stats and trivia

  • Nepal have beaten Hong Kong in their previous two T20s
  • Paras Khadka is 14 runs shy of 500 in T20s
  • Hong Kong pace bowlers Haseeb Amjad and Tanwir Afzal both represented Pakistan at U-19 level

Quotes

"These last couple of weeks people have really started to take notice of Hong Kong cricket. In the past, people might have thought of Hong Kong as one of the weaker sides in the group, at major tournaments, but we've shown we can take on anyone."
A confident Jamie Atkinson, the Hong Kong captain

"There are so many people who are so eager to see what Nepal is going to do. As players we are excited, but we need to control our emotions as well. We need to play the cricket we have learnt, not go overboard."
Nepal captain Paras Khadka doesn't want to get carried away

Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

RSS Feeds: Alan Gardner

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by wapuser on (March 17, 2014, 1:36 GMT)

Extremely proud to see Nepal at top. Thrashed Hong Kong. Very much appreciated the support from Bangladesh, Indian more specially the support from Sri Lanka fans.

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 16:39 GMT)

Congratulation ! Nepal teams...... Best of Luck !

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 14:10 GMT)

Will be supporting Nepal in this match. As a Bangladeshi I already like their football team, now they finally arrived in cricket. And the best part is the got a completely native team unlike Hong-Kong. Hope cricket prospers in Nepal, more teams are always better.

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 13:53 GMT)

Nepal!!! Nepal!!! Nepal!!! Nepal!!!

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 13:52 GMT)

best of luck to nepal. we indians support u

Posted by Schumann on (March 16, 2014, 13:41 GMT)

I see NEPAL vs Pakistan here ... totally rooting for Nepal here . Love from Bangladesh !!!

Posted by 11MP on (March 16, 2014, 13:38 GMT)

Brings tears in my seeing my Nepali brothers playing first T20. Good Luck Nepal!!! from Indian fan.

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 13:27 GMT)

Millions of Nepaliese waited for this day, a historical moment for Nepaliese. Hopeful about their well performance. Go Nepal go.

Posted by wapuser on (March 16, 2014, 13:23 GMT)

Good luck .....all the best with best wishes

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 13:20 GMT)

Nepal is nepal

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 13:16 GMT)

All d best team Nepal...Cheers

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 13:02 GMT)

go nepal go....

Posted by wapuser on (March 16, 2014, 13:00 GMT)

don't understated nepal love nepal we all proud of you

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 12:59 GMT)

Nepal you must win ok, best of luck

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 12:56 GMT)

great time for nepalese team.............. its time to prove your talent for country

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 12:55 GMT)

Go Nepal Go .... froma BD fan

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 12:52 GMT)

go nepal go we r with you we r so happy now nepal also playing worl t20 just show them

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 12:48 GMT)

best of luch both teams....I will support the both teams..

Posted by AsadEjaz on (March 16, 2014, 12:36 GMT)

Hong Kong will win today beacuse they have two pakistanis bowlers. Best of luck Hong Kong

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 12:32 GMT)

i must say good luck for team UAE

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 11:45 GMT)

yes we can .... NEPAL NEPAL NEPAL

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 11:12 GMT)

Best of Nepal.......... Go Nepal go.... it is time to show to world...

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 11:02 GMT)

yes we know that u can....do it Nepal....it's a right time to show ur talent

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 10:56 GMT)

world will surprise by knowing that only associate country which has equal or more cricket fans than test playing nation! today is the day we were waiting for long! the day come! we will show the world a nation with big cricket fans is in world stage!

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 10:48 GMT)

Yes Nepal common we can do it!! Best wishes from all the Nepalese ppl... Jay Nepal :)

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 10:48 GMT)

despite the form and the international rankings we are in , we are with nepal ... and always will be ... because the main aim of our team has already been achieved ... that is to let the world know that there is a small himalayan country Nepal ... and the mark our team makes in this tournament would be a freebee !! Thanks to icc ... all the very best team Nepal ... Hail Nepal !!

Posted by alipk52 on (March 16, 2014, 10:48 GMT)

Don't know whom to support, both nations are our good friend, I wish both teams all the very best, may the deserving team will be the winner. Good luck from Pakistan.

Posted by wapuser on (March 16, 2014, 10:21 GMT)

Go Nepal go.... its time to show..

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 10:18 GMT)

go nepal we are with u...

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 10:13 GMT)

best of luck nepal

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 10:10 GMT)

good luck to both teams. should be a tight game. HK goes in favourites.

Posted by JohnnyNg on (March 16, 2014, 9:57 GMT)

Good luck team HK !! With nothing to lose, they can just go out, play and enjoy the game! It's a pity that the sport is yet to receive much local publicity in HK but i'm very proud of them !

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 9:57 GMT)

come on Nepal we can do it..............

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 9:49 GMT)

all the best Nepal

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 9:00 GMT)

Good luck to Team Nepal.With 100% win record in T20 against HongKong and given suitable conditions,we are really favourites to win the game today. I urge Nepalese Cricket Fan's to support Nepalese team and make our dream come true. Eagerly waiting..Very exciting.:))

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 9:00 GMT)

hero's turn will come!!! go Nepal!!!

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 8:59 GMT)

best of luck to gorkhali team..

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 8:47 GMT)

best of luck nepali team

Posted by wapuser on (March 16, 2014, 8:45 GMT)

Go Nepal go.....best wishes from India...

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 8:42 GMT)

Best of Luck ! Paras, think well and do positive,

we are with you

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 8:18 GMT)

Hong Kong looks much stronger and coming from two back to back wins against two major teams so watch out guys. Best of luck to both teams on the debut....

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 8:16 GMT)

Best of luck Nepali, rock it. (y)

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 8:09 GMT)

Really excited to see nepal in World Cup . Let's cheers everybody

Posted by tanmaymore87 on (March 16, 2014, 7:55 GMT)

all the best to fellow nepalese from an indian fan....all the best brothers

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 7:46 GMT)

All the best TEAM NEPAL. You can do it even when you are out of form this last few months. May the cocktail of HOLI (Festival of colors) and CRICKET bring some extra energy to pull back to your own form and grab your maiden T20 International victory. Jay NEPAL.......

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 7:13 GMT)

gud luck Nepal.. its like u must win nepal

Posted by meellon on (March 16, 2014, 6:20 GMT)

Nepal may win, Nepal may lose. Latter case is more possible as they are in bad most form now than they could ever be...

But fans of Team Nepal will always be roaring !!! Jai Gorkhali !!!

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 6:19 GMT)

inshah allah nepan is win this match we r win............?

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 6:17 GMT)

gud luck to nepal. frm indian fan...

Posted by wapuser on (March 16, 2014, 6:02 GMT)

Best of luck Nepal..thrashing honkong would be fun

Posted by CricfanAustralia on (March 16, 2014, 5:50 GMT)

All the best to Nepalese cricket team.....

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 5:36 GMT)

we are going to win the game today. go nepal go...

Posted by yohandf on (March 16, 2014, 5:34 GMT)

Teams like Nepal are going to get better than Hong kong irrespective of this result . coz Nepal has a passion for cricket and game is rooted in their culture among citizens . Canada is in world cricket since 1979 UAE since 1996 but without much success coz game is played and run by expats wheres Irish & Afghan teams improved in leaps and bounds withn a decade .

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 5:15 GMT)

Debuting in the T20 World Cup with a WIN will be the dream of both the teams. But the stats between this team has been changed from few weeks. Nepal has always a strong opponent for Hong Kong. But the Nepalese Cricket has been collapsed in few warm-up games. To be in the game Nepal should not again repeat such stupidity. I would be supporting Nepalese Cricket for the bright future. They should focus on everything in the game like batting, fielding and bowling too. All their batting lineups has been collapsed in the recent games. Only Paras Khadka is not a Nepalese Cricket. All the remaining players should know about it and show their games. All the Best for Nepalese Cricket and I am sure that they will not disappoint the Nepalese around the World. :)

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 5:12 GMT)

we are out there to get experience and pull in some surprise. may festival of colors fall great upon us. gearing up for it.

Posted by acceptedHuman on (March 16, 2014, 5:04 GMT)

Nepal is being playing well since few years in international level let's hope they will continue their good work in WorldCup Thanks Cricinfo for lovely interview with Karn and Khada

Posted by wapuser on (March 16, 2014, 4:45 GMT)

We have got opening problem but solid captain at middle is our strength !!! Come on Nepal. All the best Gorkhalis. We are hoping a win.

Posted by wapuser on (March 16, 2014, 4:42 GMT)

Nepal should focus more into the upcoming juniors...otherwise the next qualifications will go in vain...Most of the nepali along with me have lack of courages. ..so guys I hope yo all will gain more and more confident. From this huge tournament .no matter whether you win or loss

Posted by Hrit24 on (March 16, 2014, 4:17 GMT)

In my opinion,both teams have come a long way in a very short span of time.I guess Hong Kong probably are the favorites to win this one,given their victories over Zimbabwe and Netherlands in the warm-up matches and secondly,they possess some potentially destructive match-winners like Atkinson,Chapman,Afzal,Amjad,Ahmed,Nizakat,etc.But Nepal has an excellent team that,like Afghanistan,has risen from ICC-WCL-Div.5 in no time and stormed their way to third place behend Ire&Afg in the WT20Q.Secondly,the game is extremely popular in the Himalayan country and the team is made entirely of local talent.The same cannot be said of HongKong(made up mostly of expats) but hopefully with the ODI Status more locals will turn up in coming years.Possible Lineups: HK:Ahmed,Barkat(wk),Atkinson(c),Chapman,Nizakat,Hayat,Dar,Amar,Nawaz,Afzal,Amjad Nepal:Pun,Khakurel,Khadka(c),Malla,Airee,Baskota,Bhandari(wk),Gauchan,Regmi,Kami,Budayair I am particularly impressed with Kami, who has shown pace and is only 17.

Posted by tashan329 on (March 16, 2014, 3:46 GMT)

Best of Luck to both the teams. My money is on Hong Kong.

Posted by tearshan on (March 16, 2014, 3:34 GMT)

Congradulations specially to Nepal! We love to see another south asian team competing at world stage. Hope today will be a hit day for all you nepal friends..love from Sri Lanka! Hello hunnybunny:)

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 3:28 GMT)

Over Hong Kong Nepal should have a certain confident level as they are the team which we have beaten quite a few times, though we had also been at the receiving end but that's what the battle between these two team makes interesting as there is no clear cut favorite. On the given day any of them is capable of overpowering the opponent and at least it can be guaranteed that the match between these arch-rivals won't fall anywhere sort of entertaining the fans.

Having said that, the recent poor form (including the 50 overs qualifying back in NZ and some warm-ups in B'desh may be considered as worrying signs for Nepal but it's the time to move ahead as the matches starting today are the whole new beginning of a new era for a nation like Nepal as it's our first ever presence in global event of any sports (barring some Olympians). People of Nepal have waited for this day since so long and the team itself is pretty aware of this fact. So start a fresh Team Nepal, play with pride and dignity!

Posted by wapuser on (March 16, 2014, 3:25 GMT)

Congrats to nepal to their maidan world cup entry and i wish nepal will win the match

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 3:24 GMT)

Good Luck to both kiddos hope they grow up soon and harness the tree of cricket

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 3:12 GMT)

Nepal will definitely do its best against HK .................On most of the encounters Nepal beat them in both t20s and odis except in world cup qualifier in newzland.............i'm with nepal go and do the best to beat hk boys....................

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 3:08 GMT)

best of luck nepal

Posted by sssugat on (March 16, 2014, 2:47 GMT)

a big festival for we nepalese! Never been so proud for being Nepalese. Love my nation people and the Cricket Heroes! We will cheer every ball. Shout like mad Nepal Nepal Nepal Nepal.............Nepal!!!

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 2:43 GMT)

Give your best we are always with u....Jai Desh Jai Nepal

Posted by wapuser on (March 16, 2014, 1:28 GMT)

Nepal !! Nepal!!!nepal!!! No one can dare to beat bir gorkhali!!! Love Nepal!!!

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 1:10 GMT)

The time has come guys. Give us your best to make this historical day even more important. time up to play softly its time for some serious action and victory. you the players have the power to lead the nation to victory. you have been our idol and will always be. So give your best Nepali cricketers its time to wake up !!

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 0:24 GMT)

If this game was to be decided on the passion of the fans, there is only one winner. Nepal will have support in the stadium as well as thousands watching from home tomorrow. Not so sure about Hong Kong.

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 0:05 GMT)

best of luck nepal

Posted by   on (March 15, 2014, 23:53 GMT)

Common paras dai and team.........We Nepali are united to support your battalion.........Jay Nepali Cricket

Posted by NepalinT20 on (March 15, 2014, 23:09 GMT)

Hope for the best prepare for the worst, Actions speaak louder than words so guys its time to prove yourself.

GOOD LUCK

Posted by wapuser on (March 15, 2014, 20:46 GMT)

We are gorkha we gon a show

Posted by   on (March 15, 2014, 20:31 GMT)

good luck to both teams, love to see Asian cricket rising..:) - a Bangladeshi

Posted by   on (March 15, 2014, 20:22 GMT)

I am not a fan of sides like honglkong and UAE who don't have a lot of local talent. Sometimes it is like they are b or d team of other Asian nations

Posted by wapuser on (March 15, 2014, 20:20 GMT)

Nepal is a country without a single international standard stadium and we are in world cup...you guys have made proud to us...only lacking we have is batting ...anyways best of luck...i have a faith n is gonna work this time...hoping luck...bst of luck

Posted by   on (March 15, 2014, 20:17 GMT)

best of luck guys..we want at least a couple of upsets...

Posted by   on (March 15, 2014, 19:49 GMT)

Hong Kong players are all imported from Pakistan.....

Posted by GulmeliGovinda on (March 15, 2014, 19:38 GMT)

this time to prove Nepali cricket in international level best of luck .....

Posted by beingrajan on (March 15, 2014, 19:27 GMT)

whole nation sleeping but cricket can wake up us..best of luck Nepal

Posted by   on (March 15, 2014, 19:18 GMT)

Its a very big day and proud moment for Nepali cricket.we are exiting to see in world stages. Win/Loss is the part of the game, hopefully our guys will give their 100%. ALL THE BEST NEPAL.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2014, 18:44 GMT)

Very good. Easy meal for the likes of Chris Gayle, Warner, Watson, Smith, Narine, Beavo and company. It is a pleasure to see additional nations being added to the test nations.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2014, 17:58 GMT)

looking forward to see our Nepal boys coming in to the radar of world class commentators as they would get scrutized on their technique, style of play, temperament, body langauge and the overall brand of cricket. That should definitely be interesting to listen to for all Nepal team supporters.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2014, 17:49 GMT)

nepal is to win the match if they bowl first...this is because like india,Nepal is strong in chasing.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2014, 17:04 GMT)

I will be with Nepal tomorrow...Best of Luck Nepal.. from Bangladesh

Posted by Prasanna_310 on (March 15, 2014, 17:02 GMT)

For those who don't know- Nepal is one of the rarest cricketing nation from associates (also from some Test nations) with all the players from its own backyard. No pakistanis, Indian or South African!

Posted by Prasanna_310 on (March 15, 2014, 16:56 GMT)

Mark my words guys; There will be a commentator that draws a resemblance of Paras Khadka and the absent Kevin Pietersen! Nepal will open with spin Hongkong have strong chances if they start well, otherwise Nepal is in business. Nepal will have strong chances if they survive fast bowling spell.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2014, 16:32 GMT)

big day for Nepal cricket. Hopefully our guys come out on top. Nothing like playing for your country and winning....

Posted by   on (March 15, 2014, 14:57 GMT)

Nepal will win the match

Posted by   on (March 15, 2014, 14:31 GMT)

It is a huge thing to play in a World Cup for both the nations, but I doubt the crowd will be any form of pressure for Nepal. We have crowds of 25,000+ turning up for every major match in Kirtipur, the home ground of Nepal.

That aside, everything else will be surreal and boys should just look to enjoy themselves and play natural cricket and they should be good!

All the best Nepal!

Posted by   on (March 15, 2014, 14:04 GMT)

they r looking exciting

Posted by   on (March 15, 2014, 13:55 GMT)

Good luck, Nepal.

Posted by IndianEagle on (March 15, 2014, 13:51 GMT)

it would be fun to watch these teams. Gud luck guys.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2014, 13:45 GMT)

I am Willing to see Nepal first T20 world-cup with the win .And Hope it will qualify to second round All popcorn in hand just waiting 4 tommorrow. All The Very Best .Nepal..Nepal <<Nepal :)

Posted by   on (March 15, 2014, 13:42 GMT)

Being a nepalese..it is such a proud moment to see ur team representing in world cup tournmanent..gud luck boys..win or loss..give ur heart out

Posted by ramz_01 on (March 15, 2014, 12:16 GMT)

welcum to international cricket nepal and HK.

Comments have now been closed for this article

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