Kathmandu, July 13
Skipper Paras Khadka scored an unbeaten half century as Nepal defeated Malaysia by seven wickets in the first of the two-match Twenty20 International series at the Kinrara Oval in Kuala Lumpur today.
Batting first, Malaysia posted 128-9 in their allotted 20 overs before Nepal raced to 129-3 with nine balls to spare. Skipper Khadka played an aggressive knock to ease the run chase and he also became the highest scorer in T20 Internationals.
Khadka completed his maiden T20I half century off just 32 balls and went on to top score with an unbeaten 86. Khadka, who hit eight boundaries and five sixes in his 50-ball knock, emulated Subash Khakurel’s record.
Khakurel had bagged Nepal’s maiden T20I half century scoring 56 runs against Afghanistan in the World T20 in Chittagong, Bangladesh in 2014.
Chasing a modest target, Khadka promoted himself and opened the innings with Pradeep Singh Airee, who struck a six in his 17-ball eight. Khadka then added 21 runs for the second wickets with his deputy Gyanendra Malla (seven), while U-19 team skipper Rohit Kumar Paudel, who joined the senior squad after winning the ACC U-19 Eastern Region at the same venue earlier this week, fell for five runs after sharing a 18-run partnership for the third wicket.
Sharad Vesawkar joined skipper Khadka at the crease and the duo took the team home with an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 61 runs. Vesawkar, the hero of the World T20 Qualifiers when Nepal earned the berth in the 2014 World Cup, finished the job in style, hitting Virandeep Singh for a six. Vesawkar remained unbeaten on 16 off 20 balls. Anwar Rahman took 2-20 for Malaysia, while Fitri Sham grabbed one wicket.
Earlier, Sompal Kami struck in the first over, bowling out Syed Aziz for a golden duck to reduce the home side to 2-1 in the fifth ball of the match. Opener Virandeep Singh and Fitri Sham (12) then added 41 runs before Sandeep Lamichhane had the latter caught by Karan KC in seventh over.
Malaysia saw a collapse after the dismissal of Singh losing six wickets for 21 runs despite skipper Ahmed Faiz tried to hold the innings from end. Singh top scored for Malaysia with 57 off 49 balls, while Faiz struck two sixes in his 39-ball 45.
Karan KC was the pick of the Nepali bowlers taking 3-27, while star bowler Sandeep Lamichhane (2-25) and Basant Regmi (2-28) shared four wickets. Sompal Kami grabbed one wicket.
The second and final T20I match is slated for Sunday at the same venue. The two sides are preparing for the ICC T20 World Cup Asian Regional Finals Qualifier slated for July 22-28 in Singapore.
Qatar, Kuwait and Singapore are other three teams in the tournament and top side will earn berth in the 14-team ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier. Top six sides from the tournament to be held in the UAE in October-November will make it to next year’s World Cup in Australia.
Written by Sandeep Sen
This news first appeared on https://thehimalayantimes.com/sports/khadka-bats-nepal-to-easy-victory/ under the title “Khadka bats Nepal to easy victory”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.