Sandeep Lamichhane became the first player in the seven-team tournament to claim five wickets in a match in Nepal’s eight-wicket win over Malaysia in Klang.
Man-of-the-match Lamichhane, who claimed five wickets in Nepal’s win over Malaysia, was aided by Sompal Kami (3/16) in dismissing Malaysia for 100 with three balls remaining at the Bayuemas Oval.
Captain Paras Khadka then dominated the Malaysian bowling with an unbeaten 52 off 37 balls for the second half-century of the tournament as Nepal comfortably reached 101/2 in 12.4 overs.
The hosts threatened to make it a contest when they began the 12th over at 75/2 but Sompal made a crucial breakthrough by bowling Malaysia captain Ahmad Faiz Mohammed Noor and Syahadat Ramli with successive deliveries.
Anwar Arudin denied Sompal’s bid for a hat-trick but Faiz’s exit saw Malaysia lose eight wickets for 25 runs. Sandeep was also denied a hat-trick by Sharvin Muniandy after ending Shafiq Sharif’s brave knock of 49 and having Virandeep Singh out for a golden duck.
Paras praised the contribution of Sandeep, whose five wickets came at the cost of 20 runs in four overs.
“It was a great effort by the bowlers to come back from 75/2 and I think a couple of wickets by Sompal really changed the momentum,” said Paras. “Sandeep just came and took over and overall we’re really happy with the bowling and fielding while the batting was clinical.”
“Sandeep has been exceptional every time he has come out to bowl. People expect him to take wickets and it’s not easy coming in with that expectation. He has managed to deliver and I hope he continues to do the same. The other bowlers support him from the other end and he’s come in as one of our attacking weapons.”
Paras had five fours and two sixes in his 37-ball stay at the crease and the captain effectively killed Malaysia’s hopes by hitting Pavandeep Singh for six, four and four off successive balls in the eighth over.
Malaysia’s Faiz rued his side’s inability to build on the start made by Shafiq, who fell just short of his second successive fifty after falling to Sandeep.
“Shafiq was the only one outstanding today and after my exit, it seemed everyone just went blank,” said Faiz. “To lose so many wickets quickly had a big effect on us.”