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Bhurtel’s half-ton guides Nepal to second win



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By A Staff Reporter , Kathmandu, Apr. 20 : The second consecutive fifty from Kushal Bhurtel and three-wicket haul from Karan KC helped Nepal notch up a nine-wicket victory over Malaysia in the Tri-Nation T20 International Series on Monday.

Pacer KC led the bowling onslaught to bundle out the visitors for 109 in 20 overs after putting Malaysia to bat first. Opener Bhurtel and Aasif Sheikh, who made a history for the highest run first wicket partnership against the Netherlands, continued with their fine show as they again stitched a century-run opening stand to guide Nepal to victory in 12.1 overs with 113 for 1 in the scoreboard.

Hundreds of fans flocked to the stadium to enjoy the show despite Government prohibition. Government on Monday decided to prohibit the sporting events with fans. Cricket Association of Nepal said they were unable to stop the fans as the ticket had been already sold and the decision came late. However, CAN, said the remaining matches of the series will be played without fans. They also apologized to the fans for the decision.

Fearless Bhurtel played with caution and aggression to contribute with a not out 61 off 41 balls. His swashbuckling batting included three boundaries and five maximums. He smashed three balls to the rope and five balls over the fence to claim his second consecutive half century off 26 balls.

Bhurtel added 102 runs for the first wicket before Sheikh was out in the 11. 1 over. Sheikh satisfied being a second fiddle with a quick fire of 29-ball 42. He pummeled 1 six and 4 boundaries before being out in the first ball of the Virandeep Singh. He was caught at the cover by Anwar Rahman.

Dipendra Singh Airee, who made a comeback in the national jersey, hit Rahman for a boundary to inflict Malaysia second defeat in a row. Visitors Malaysia lost their first match against the Netherlands by 14 runs on Sunday.
Earlier, Nepali bowlers were in total control as Malaysian batsmen found difficult to settle with their batting and lost wickets in regular interval.

Karan KC led the bowling attack from onset as he finished with a figure of 3-17 that took his T20I wickets tally to 40. He holed out opener Anwar Arudin (8) to wicketkeeper Binod Bhandari in the 1.4 overs. He also ran out Captain Ahmad Faiz (3) in 3.2 overs. Virandeep Singh(6), who starred against the Dutch side with 87, was played-on by Som Pal Kami in the 6.6 overs.

KC made Alam pick Syazrul Idrus (8) for his wicket in the 15.1 over. Idrus in his attempt for big shot was caught by Alam in the mid-off. He then scalped Sharvin Muniandy for his third in 15.3 overs. Muniandy tried his luck for big hit to KC but he was caught by Bhurtel on long on.

Syed Aziz was leading the charge of Malaysia from the start until Airee made him catch out by Aasif in the 7.5 overs. Aziz top scored for the Visitors with 24-ball 27 that included 1 six and 4 fours.

Nepal’s global star Sandeep Lamichhane, playing his second T20I at home soil, bowled out Shafiq Sharif (13-ball 15) for his first wicket. For his second wicket, Lamichhane trapped Rahman (1) to lbw, which also ended the Malaysia innings.

Sahab Alam took his second T20I wicket by making Aminuddin Ramly (5) caught by Abinash Bohara in 11.6 overs. Debutant Kushal Malla scalped his first T20I wicket as Wicketkeeper Bhandari stumped Khizar Hayat in 14.2 overs.

Nepal will take on the Netherlands in their third match on Tuesday.