Bangladesh, unbeaten in the group stage and expected to romp past winless Hong Kong, were dismissed for 108 in 16.3 overs. Hong Kong then had to reach the winning target within 14 overs to ruin the party for the tournament host and help Nepal advance instead.
But Hong Kong also struggled to score and didn’t earn its maiden World T20 victory until the last over, with two wickets and two balls left, Haseeb Amazad hitting the historic winning runs with a six over extra cover off Abdur Razzak. Bangladesh moved into Group 2 of the Super 10 with India, Pakistan, Australia and the West Indies. The host’s first match is against the West Indies on Tuesday.
For Hong Kong, spinner Nadeem Ahmed claimed 4-21, legspinner Nizakat Khan had figures of 3-19, and medium pacer Tanwir Afzal took 2-24, starting the rout of Bangladesh with both wickets in the first over. Shakib Al Hasan top-scored with 34, his dismissal sparking Bangladesh’s collapse from 85-3.
Shakib then boosted his side with his left-arm spin, taking 3-9 in four overs to slow down Hong Kong and dash Nepal’s hopes. Opener Irfan Ahmed put Bangladesh’s aspirations in jeopardy with three sixes and three boundaries but Shakib produce a gem that spun viciously to trap Ahmed lbw, out for 34 off 28 balls.
Mahmudullah joined Shakib in frustrating Hong Kong further but Munir Dar rose to the occasion. He ripped 36 off 28, including three fours and one six, although Bangladesh had already qualified by then.
Bangladesh 108 all out in 16.3 overs (Shakib Al Hasan 34, Anamul Haque 26; Nadeem Ahmed 4/21, Nizakat Khan 3/19) lost to Hong Kong 114/8 in 19.4 overs (Munir Dar 36, Irfan Ahmed 34; Shakib Al Hasan 3/9, Mahmudullah 2/13) by two wickets.
All important Mukhiya
Meanwhile, Subash Khakurel smashed a fine half-century to help underdogs Nepal beat Afghanistan by nine runs in their final Group A qualifying match and register their second win in the ICC World T20.
The win kept Nepal’s slim hopes of qualifying for the Super-10. Nepal, who have two wins from three matches, are second in the table behind Bangladesh, who take on Hong Kong in their last qualification-round fixture later in the day. Put into bat, Nepal posted a challenging 141 for five in 20 overs before their bowlers rattled the Afghan top-order to restrict them to 132 for nine.
Opener Khakurel made 56 off 53 balls and shared a 76-run stand in 9.1 overs with Sharad Vesawkar (37) for the fourth-wicket to put up a fighting total. Medium-pacer Jitendra Mukhiya (3/18) was pick of the bowlers for Nepal as he bowled four economical overs that included three wickets.
Sompal Kami (2/32) and Shakti Gauchan (2/25) were also instrumental in pegging back the Afghans. Afghanistan were tottering at 50 for five in nine overs before Shafiqullah (36 off 32) and Asghar Stanikzai (49 off 36) raised hopes of overhauling the target.
But regular strikes from bowlers never allowed the game to slip away from Nepal. Stanikzai smashed four boundaries and a six in a late blitz, including three fours in the final over, but the effort wasn’t enough to take Afghanistan home.
Nepal had earlier defeated Hong Kong and now have one more important scalp in their emerging international career.
Nepal 141/5 in 20 overs (S Khakurel 56, S Vesawkar 37; S Zadran 2-19, M Ashraf 1-14) bt Afghanistan 132/8 (A Stanikzai 49, Shafiqullah 36; J Mukhiya 3-18, S Gauchan 2-25) by nine runs.