Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Gauchan took three wickets and only gave away nine runs off his four overs
In a battle of the two World Twenty20 debutants, Hong Kong proved to be no match for a rampant Nepal as they were blown away by 80 runs in Chittagong.
Gyanendra Malla was the standout performer with the bat for Nepal as he smashed a fluent 48, while Shakti Gauchan starred with the ball as he gave away just nine runs off his four overs and took three wickets.
Hong Kong captain Jamie Atkinson would have been delighted with his decision to bowl first as Nepal opener Sagar Pun was brilliantly caught by Waqas Barkat in the cover region off the bowling of Haseeb Amjad for 13.
Subash Khakurel made 22 runs before he was caught by Aizaz Khan at mid-on off the bowling of Nadeem Ahmed.
Nepal captain Paras Khadka and Malla stabilised the innings with an 80-run partnership before Khadka was caught by Nizakat Khan at long-on off the bowling of Najeeb Amar for 39.
Binod Bhandari only made one run before he was caught by Barkat at long-on off the bowling of Ahmed.
Malla ended up making a fantastic 48, which came off 41 balls and included four boundaries and a six, before he was caught and bowled by Amjad.
Sharad Vesawkar made a quickfire 14 before he was run out by Aizaz Khan.
Naresh Budayair failed to trouble the scorers as he was clean bowled by Amjad for a golden duck.
Gauchan was also dismissed for a golden duck when he was run out by Amjad.
Nepal eventually finished on 149/8 at the end of their 20 overs.
Amjad was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Ahmed snapped up two and Amar chipped in with one.
Chasing 150 to win, Hong Kong got off to the worst possible start as Irfan Ahmed was caught behind off the very first ball of the innings.
Atkinson failed to have an impact as he was clean bowled by Sompal Kami for six runs.
Barkat managed to make 18 runs before he was caught by Jitendra Mukhiya at long-off off the bowling of Gauchan.
Mark Chapman made 13 runs before he was clean bowled by Basant Regmi.
Regmi struck again the very next ball when he uprooted Nizakat Khan’s middle stump.
Babar Hayat scored 20 runs before he was cleaned up by Gauchan.
Aizaz Khan failed to trouble the scorers as he had his leg stump knocked out by Gauchan.
Tanwir Afzal fared no better as he was caught by Khadka at point off the bowling of Regmi for a duck.
Amar only made two runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Kami.
Hong Kong were put out of their misery on 69, which is the second-lowest total in the history of the World Twenty20, when Nadeem Ahmed was clean bowled by Mukhiya for five runs.
Gauchan and Regmi picked up three wickets apiece, while Kami took two and Khadka and Mukhiya chipped in with one wicket each.
Atkinson was still in shock at what he had witnessed, and said: “I think to keep them to 149 was a decent effort. I think it was a decent bowling effort but the batting was disappointing. The pitch suited our bowling and we were happy to keep them down.”
Khadka was ecstatic to have led Nepal to victory in their maiden World Twenty20 match, and said: “We have a good team spirit and the boys were really hungry. We have a huge fan following. We hope to play good cricket and we hope to continue that way. We have to start all over again ahead of the next game and take the positives from this game.”
Gauchan was named Man of the Match for his outstanding bowling figures, and said: “Our team won and I contributed, so I am very happy. I watch a lot of football, I follow Machester United and Chelsea, but I love cricket. The ball was skidding and it helped me.”