Bangladesh v Nepal, World T20 Group A, Chittagong March 18, 2014

Nepal batting fails to hit the heights


Nepal have hit some heights recently - coming from "the roof of the world" should mean they can handle them - but they were unable to sustain the dizzying altitude achieved by winning their first World T20 match as they came up against the hosts, Bangladesh, who had the bit between their teeth during an eight-wicket win.

Victory against Hong Kong, although by a huge margin, had been founded on steady batting followed by disciplined attack with the ball against nervy opponents. Bangladesh were always going to ramp the pressure up a few notches, with reputation as well as qualification on the line, and although Nepal put in another solid display after being inserted they were unable to achieve the required upwards curve at the end of their innings.

Nepal's coach, Pubudu Dassanayake, was understandably pleased with the way his team had acquitted themselves in their first encounter with a Test-playing nation but regretted that the batting fell away again, this time to more costly effect.

"They went through the plans well," he said of his players. "We wanted to be 90-100 for not too many down in the 15th over. They did what we asked of them. But what we lacked was a good finish. If we had got 140-145 things might have been different. Overall I'm very happy with the quality of shots they played and the aggression that they showed. It was a good game for us, despite the result."

Nepal were 86 for 3 after 15 overs, with Paras Khadka and Sharad Vesawkar well set after coming together with the score on 39. Fourteen runs came in the 17th over but they otherwise struggled to find the boundary, a situation compounded at the end when Al-Amin Hossain conceded just a single and a wide from the final six balls.

As happened two nights ago, Khadka was forced to rebuild after Nepal's openers perished for insubstantial scores. Dassanayake said that Al-Amin's dismissal of No. 3 Gyanendra Malla for 13 was key and backed Subash Khakurel and Sagar Pun to continue developing into an effective partnership at the top of the order.

"In the last two games I've been happy with the way Subash and Sagar shaped up," he said. "We've had an issue with the openers for a while but we started believing in them and they have begun to play as a pair, as a partnership. They are showing the quality, but still they have to get more runs. That will come. Paras is leading from the front and showing his quality at this level. We missed Gyanendra a bit today, when he was dismissed early. He's another one who can score at this level."

Nepal first planted a flag in world cricket by winning the Plate Championship at the 2006 Under-19 World Cup, with a team featuring Khadka, Vesawkar, Malla and spinner Basant Regmi, who claimed 1 for 14 from three tidy overs against Bangladesh. All of Nepal's players are homegrown, in contrast to many Associates, and Dassanayake praised the system that has underpinned their impressive rise through the tiers of ICC competition, culminating in what has been a hugely impressive debut World T20 appearance.

"Looking at Nepal, the national team and the youngsters, they're very sound technically," he said. "The most important part is that they train very hard and play very hard. That is what we are, our brand of cricket. If you saw the qualifiers in Dubai, we fought in every game to the last ball. Top-quality fielding, the bowlers stuck to plans, the batsmen were well aware of what was needed in a chase, how to plan an innings. Today was a bit different, because of the occasion of playing against a Full Member country."

Dassanayake stressed Nepal would not be looking beyond Afghanistan, their final opponents, but qualification for the Super 10 is still not beyond them, should Bangladesh suffer a shock against Hong Kong on Thursday. The way the hosts clinically disposed of Nepal suggests that is unlikely, with a significant swing in run rate required, and the coach was happy that his side had prevented the contest becoming a mismatch.

"Batting 20 overs comfortably against a top quality team that is also the home side is an achievement," he said. "We did have a few plans that we could not execute during the bowling part of the game but this is part of the learning process. The boys have shown that they are up to it."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Madan on March 21, 2014, 5:06 GMT

    "When Shakib hit 'Six' instead of taking single,All were hiding his 'ill attitude' by saying slap to ICC.But yesterday you see,instead of taking 'single' ,Hongkong wrap up the match by hitting 'six' ! This was reply from Associates to Mr. Hasan and a thankful reward to ICC ! We aren't hurt though that much by that,Instead support you in super 10.Just a request,Have good mentality !" WCC-NEPAL

  • Arzun on March 21, 2014, 0:38 GMT

    Nice play by Nepal. We are proud of you guys.. I think now you have got confidence to play with any test playing nations.

  • Sagar on March 20, 2014, 18:51 GMT

    @Rafelgibt - seems like Bangladesh got humbled today... and somebody got to eat his own words!!!

  • Sagar on March 19, 2014, 18:35 GMT

    ACC trophy 1996, a 50 over format tournament was one of the very few that Nepal played. There were about 10 teams - Bangladesh, Brunei, Fiji, Hong Kong, Japan, Nepal, Malaysia, Maldives, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Thailand, UAE.

    Nepal stood 6th and Bangladesh won the tournament. This was Aqram Khan's era and he was like Bangladesh's Inzamam. Sheheryar Hossain, Aminul Islam, Mohammed Raffiq were other good to watch players.

  • Miss on March 19, 2014, 18:01 GMT

    To the guy who remembers correctly, Nepal's first ever international match against any country was against Bangladesh in 96 , the senior team never played against each other.Bangladesh was promoted to test playing nation after four yrs. Not less than two-three yrs ago Nepal was playing in Division five.

  • Android on March 19, 2014, 15:07 GMT

    i wish we had some big hitters..who knows wt would have happened yesterday...have to say nepal played well against bangladesh...coming from go for jst 126-5 is grt...jst missed some big hitting at the right time...

  • KH. RAFIQUE on March 19, 2014, 11:09 GMT

    @ Sagar_Sharma on (March 19, 2014, 10:46 GMT) 'And truth be told, Nepal's top 5 are technically far superior to top 5 of other teams like Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Netherlands etc.Even though they are the hosts, Bangladesh is playing qualifiers for a reason. Also, they are playing against these team for another reason - which clearly, as observed by ICC, is that there is not a huge gap between these teams.'Oh! really?Your above comments said it all about your cricketing knowledge.Wishing you all the luck that all the ASSOCIATE countries(I meant all) are going to thrash Bangladesh regularly withing few years.

  • Sagar on March 19, 2014, 10:46 GMT

    @Rafelgibt ... If you see arrogance in my comment, then I attribute that to comprehension issue. Nowhere did I say that Bangladesh or any other team is inferior to Nepal or Afghanistan. Rather it was a praise for these teams.

    I do not belong to any of the subcontinent countries but a cricket fan who enjoys good contests. And truth be told, Nepal's top 5 are technically far superior to top 5 of other teams like Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Netherlands etc. They just lack experience. By the way, a lot of past and present cricket players have also acknowledged this fact past last evening's match.

    And please read what Wasim Akram commented about Afghan bowlers. Specially the quicks.

    If you ask me - there is not much to choose between the second rung teams.

    Even though they are the hosts, Bangladesh is playing qualifiers for a reason. Also, they are playing against these team for another reason - which clearly, as observed by ICC, is that there is not a huge gap between these teams.

  • KH. RAFIQUE on March 19, 2014, 8:30 GMT

    @Sagar_Sharma on (March 19, 2014, 7:38 GMT) Brother try to be humble if you are true Nepali.This arrogant type of comments are not going to help you and Nepal any further.Still early days for the Nepal admit that and try to get the affection from the other countries; specially- India & Bangladesh.Don't be so arrogant . Wishing Nepal's success from Bangladesh.

  • Sagar on March 19, 2014, 7:38 GMT

    If this is the way Nepal is playing now - full members like Bangladesh and Zimbabwe may soon be in trouble. For the number of years experience and dollars spent - Nepal and Afghanistan have really surprised and impressed everyone.

    It is a pity the format of this tournament may not allow some of these teams to reach the next level. When the truth is that teams like Ireland or Afghanistan can very well beat some of the full member countries.

    Both Afghanistan and Nepal have achieved so much with so little. I can only imagine what they can achieve in next few years if they have right kind of support from ICC, other members and their home governments.

    While Nepal has shown superb batting skills and maturity while building innings, Afghanistan has quick bowlers that teams like India can lease/rent for matches.

    Way to go my Nepalese and Afghan brothers. - Sagar Pun Sharma (UK)

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