T20 World Cup: Bangladesh survive Nepal scare to seal Super 8 berth

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Kingstown (St Vincent), June 17 (IANS) Bangladesh successfully defended 106, the lowest total ever defended in the men's T20 World Cup, to beat Nepal by 21 runs on Monday (as per IST) at the Arnos Vale Ground, sealing progression to the Super Eight stage of the tournament.

Putting into bat first, Bangladesh were bundled for 106. But, Tanzim Hasan Sakib scythed through Nepal's top order and Mustafizur Rahman's death bowling masterclass helped Bangladesh pull off the lowest successful defence in a men's T20 World Cup.

Bowling first, Nepal could not have started any better as Sompal Kami dismissed Tanzid Hasan caught and bowled with the first delivery of the match. Captain Najmul Hossain Shanto was castled in the second over, causing even more despair for Bangladesh.

The Nepalese then picked up wickets in the fifth and sixth over to cap off a dominant Powerplay, having Bangladesh 31/4 at the six over mark.

Bangladesh attempted to rebuild their innings and slowly making their way past 50 runs. However, the crucial dismissal of Mahmudullah (13 off 13) put Bangladesh in a tough position after a miscommunication led to a frustrating run out.

Bangladesh were 57/5 at drinks, needing a huge few overs to work back into the contest. Post drinks, off-spinner Rohit Paudel produced a sharp-turning ball to trap the other danger man, Shakib Al Hasan (17 off 22), out lbw.

Things went from bad to worse for Bangladesh, as Sandeep Lamichhane stepped into prominence with two huge wickets that also gave the 23-year-old a memorable slice of history.

Lamichhane’s second dismissal, removing Jaker Ali, was his 100th T20 International wicket, in his 54th cap. The final blow came in the 20th over, with Paudel executing a run out to have Bangladesh all out for 106.

Nepal’s run chase had a bumpy start. A double-wicket maiden in the third over caused a spicy exchange involving bowler Tanzim. Nepal stumbled to 24/4 through the Powerplay.

Sundeep Jora then got out the next over, as Nepal were reduced to 26/5. But Kushal Malla and Dipendra Singh Airee steadied the ship and keep the run chase within the realms of achievability with their 52-run partnership, before Malla was removed in the 17th over.

But a perfectly-timed maximum from Airee kept Nepal still feeling optimistic with a couple of overs to go, needing 22 off the final 12 balls.

And then up stepped match-winner Mustafizur Rahman produced a clutch, perfectly-timed wicket-maiden. It proved to be a match-sealing and stage-qualifying sequence for Bangladesh, who edged out Nepal by 21 runs - the lowest total ever successfully defended in a T20 World Cup match, ICC reports.

Brief scores: Bangladesh 106 all-out in 19.3 overs (Shakib al Hasan 17; Sompal Kami 2-10, Sandeep Lamichhane 2-17) beat Nepal 85 in 19.2 overs (Kushal Malla 27; Tanzim Hasan Shakib 4-7) by 21 runs