The 2-match series between Malaysia and Nepal, intended to give good preparatory base for both the countries ahead of T20 World Cup Asia regional finals, gave more of a glimpse of what is go come in the future.
While Nepal secured a 2-0 scoreline to win the series, it was not without breaking heavy sweats over both the matches to cross the finish line victorious. The first game saw a captain’s knock from Paras Khadka to guide the team home, the second game was a lot closer, with Malaysia falling short by a hit over the boundary lines, as they tested Nepal’s resolve in a pressure situation. Positive notes for both the camps.
Malaysia’s 120+ total in the first game was not enough to stop Nepal, as early wickets taken by the bowlers was met with a counter-attacking innings from Khadka. However, Nepal got a above-par score of 170+ in the second game, thanks largely to half-century by Binod Bhandari and return to form for Sharad Vesawkar and Bhandari saved the day in the penultimate over of Malaysia’s chase as he stopped a wide delivery from Karan KC going to the boundary.
Malaysia will take good confidence into the qualifiers, with good performances from Virandeep Singh, Syed Aziz Syed Mubarak, Anwar Rahman, Fitri Sham and others during the series being the highlight of their growth in the past couple of seasons.
1st T20I: Malaysia 128/9 in 20 overs (Virandeep Singh 57, Ahmad Faiz 45, Fitri Sham 12, Karan KC 3/27, Sandeep Lamichhane 2/25, Basant Regmi 2/28, Sompal Kami 1/15) lost to Nepal 129/3 in 18.3 overs (Paras Khadka 86 n.o, Sharad Vesawkar 16 n.o, Anwar Rahman 2/20, Fitri Sham 1/26) by 7 wickets
2nd T20I: Nepal 173/6 in 20 overs (Binod Bhandari 51 n.o, Sharad Vesawkar 40, Paras Khadka 23, Karan KC 16, Fitri Sham 3/26, Syed Aziz Syed Mubarak 1/24, Sharvin Muniandy 1/39) beat Malaysia 167/7 in 20 overs (Syed Aziz Syed Mubarak 50, Aminuddin Ramli 24, Virandeep Singh 23, Syahadat Ramli 21 n.o, Ahmad Faiz 17, Sompal Kami 2/25, Sandeep Lamichhane 2/38, Abinash Bohara 1/25, Karan KC 1/29) by 6 runs