Nepal’s team captain Paras Khadka has said that Nepal's 80 runs win over Hong Kong in their debut ICC T20 World Cup match was "a perfect game" for his team, adding that there was an “amazing team effort” in clinching that marvelous victory. He, however, said the journey had just begun and much work remained, especially in the upcoming game against Bangladesh on Tuesday (March 18).
“I think it was an amazing team effort, the batsmen came to the party, there was a lot of criticism regarding the openers but we had the belief they would come good when it mattered,” Paras Khadka said after the match while praising the manner in which his team played against Hong Kong.
Khadka was further quoted as saying by the ICC T20 World Cup’s official site,“Once we got a good start we just capitalised. I think all of the top order batted pretty well. The way Shakti Gauchan and Basant Regmi bowled was fantastic, bringing the ball back in, skidding off the surface, backed up by very good fielding. It was almost like a perfect game for us.”
Nepal managed to not only clinch a resounding win over Hong Kong on Sunday, but bowled out the opposition for the second-lowest score in the history of the competition.
Khadka, who played a captain’s innings in the match with his 41 runs knock, said of his vital 80-run partnership with Gyanendra Malla, ““That’s something we are used to, both of us, we have been doing it for a very long time so nothing new for us.”
But he felt Nepal should have got at least 10-15 runs more than they did.
“Fortunately today Hong Kong didn’t have a very good day with the bat but then if you want to do well in the tournament, I’d say we were short. But as batsmen we try to build it up, for the latter stages, the finishing wasn’t as good as we wanted but as long as we win we’ll take it.”
The Nepali captain further said, “We have done most things right today but there are still a lot of things we need to do, especially against Bangladesh. They had a very good day as well so it’s a matter of starting all over again.”
He said that as his team don’t get too many opportunities to play against Test teams like Bangladesh, “so we need to make the most of it. With the T20 format you have to play all 40 overs pretty good or you might end up losing.”
Khadka further said he encouraged his team not to be overawed by the big stage, but rather to embrace it. “That’s what we play for, as cricketers, the fan following and the amount of love and support that everybody gives us. I think it is one of the biggest motivational factors for us to do well. Everywhere we go, all over the world, we get massive support and we want to do it for our people back home,” Khadka was quoted as saying by the ICC T20 World Cup’s official site. “We want to do well for ourselves, for our people. For a country cricket has brought a lot of happiness to a lot of people. Cricket has become a factor. As long as we try and do well and win matches for our country and make our people happy, things will be well. We’ll do that any given day and put in our best throughout.”
Speaking at the press conference organised after the match, Jamie Atkinson, Hong Kong's captain, praised the Nepali team for its performance in their first encounter in the T20 World Cup.
“Nepal are an ever improving team.They have worked their way up the rankings like we have,” said Atkinson. “With that good support they seem to have whenever we play them, they really played off that today. They did the basics well, got the runs on the board, exerted some good pressure with the ball, got the early wickets and didn’t let us get back into the game.”