Paras Khadka is nothing short of being Nepal's Kapil Dev. He has regularly done a brilliant job with bat and ball, and soon got the chance to take a defining catch for his country, much like Kapil's in the 1983 World Cup final. In the ninth over of the Afghanistan innings, Mangal top-edged a sweep off Shakti Gauchan and the ball spiraled high in the air. Khadka ran hard and back from short fine-leg, called loud enough to shoo away the square-leg fielder and then with his eyes firmly on the swirling ball, he dived flat out. Kapil didn't quite get the dive out because that was not what you did in 1983, but this needed the dive and Khadka went for it to great effect.
The catch II
As another skier went up near mid-on, the bowler Jitendra Mukhiya ran in that direction but when he saw the captain blasting in from mid-off, he just smiled. Khadka dove full length and took another stunning catch.
In the final over, it was between deep midwicket and long-on that Asghar Stanikzai kept hitting, successfully. He struck Sompal Kami for two fours off the first two balls, but Gyanendra Malla could have stopped both with a slap on the ball. But he failed both times. Sadly for Stanikzai, the fourth one he tried went to hand, Malla completing the catch.
In the third over of the Nepal innings, Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi backed out of a chance at mid-off. Subash Khakurel had mistimed one from Shapoor Zadran uppishly between extra cover and mid-off but Nabi, running in hard at first, suddenly decided it was not worth going for the catch. Nawroz Mangal at slip was quite peeved by Nabi's decision, and so was Shapoor who looked despondent.
Basant Regmi has been using excellent flight throughout the tournament and on this occasion, at the end of the seventh over against Afghanistan, he induced Nawroz Mangal out from his crease and beat him comprehensively. The only problem was, wicketkeeper Khakurel was also beaten by the flight and let the ball between his legs. Although a decent man behind the stumps, this was an easy chance that went away.