World Twenty20: Nepal beat Afghanistan by nine-runs in Chittagong
Nepal claimed their second victory at the World Twenty20 with a thrilling nine-run win over Afghanistan in Chittagong.
Last Updated: 20/03/14 3:50pm
Khakurel struck 56 off 53 balls as Nepal scored 141-5, recovering from a relatively sluggish start and their bowlers, complimented by solid fielding, left Afghanistan scampering at the outset and eventually restricted them to 132-8 in Chittagong.
Afghanistan raised hopes of a victory in the last over when they required 24 with three wickets in hand.
Asghar Stanikzai hit a series of boundaries off Sompal Kami to bring down the equation to 10 off two balls.
However, the desperate attempt of hitting another six went in vain with Gyanendra Malla taking a simple catch at long-on to dismiss him.
Nepal posted 141-5 after being put into bat, opener Khakurel batting through to the penultimate over for his 56 and enjoying fruitful partnerships with Gyanendra Malla (22) and Sharad Vesawkar (37).
Shapoor Zadran took both of those key scalps and Mirwais Ashraf returned fine figures of 1-14 from his four overs.
The Afghanistan innings faltered badly at the top, with five of the top six falling for single-figure scores as Nepal exerted pressure in the field.
At 50-5 the chase looked like it would fall well short, but there was a strong counter-attack led by Shafiqullah's 36 and Ashgar Stanikzai's bold 49.
Stanikzai was on strike when left with a target of 24 to win from the final over and hit 14 from the first four balls before Kami dismissed him with the fifth to seal victory.
Mukhiya finished with three wickets while Kami and Shakti Gauchan took two each.
Having crushed Hong Kong in their opening fixture before losing to the hosts Bangladesh, victory confirmed Nepal as a coming force on the associate scene.