T20 WC: Nepal satisfied after challenging Proteas

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 15, 2024 IST

Nepal Team

Kingstown (WI), June 15: The minnows challenged the mighty. That brave fight is bound to boost their morale and motivate them to replicate such performance against bigger teams in future.

Satisfied with their performance in the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 Group D match, Nepal skipper Rohit Paudel believes the side has shown through their performances against the Proteas that they belong to competing at this level.  

At the Arnos Vale Stadium, Nepal needed two runs off the last ball to chase down 116 against South Africa and secure one of their biggest wins in men’s international cricket. But young Gulsan Jha was run out on the last ball, resulting in an absolute heartbreak for Nepal and their loyal fans.

 “I feel like the way we played today; shows that we belong here. The way we bowled, I think, and the way we batted also, I think we belong here. This will give good confidence to us for the next game against Bangladesh.”

 “I am very proud of the unit, especially the way they played -– like how we bowled in the first innings and the way we batted later, especially in the last few moments where we could have capitalized, but it went their way,” said Paudel in the post-match press conference.

Asked how his emotions were during the last ball of the chase and if he felt the urge to pass a message to Jha, Paudel said, “I didn't feel anything. I was just there in the moment. Everyone was excited, two runs were needed in two balls. T20 is a fast game. The game shifts with two good balls or even a boundary. Being present is essential, especially in T20, because the momentum shifts a lot.”

 “How can I pass the message in those situations? I wanted to pass the message but I couldn't do it in the middle of the ball, when we required 2 out of 2. But still, Gulsan did a good job. He has won us matches and is a very good prospect for the Nepal team. He has been playing with us for the last 1.5 years. We need to believe in him. Some days our tactics do not work.”

Nepal’s last match of this tournament will be against Bangladesh at the same venue on June 17 and Paudel thinks they will take confidence in running South Africa close in their clash against the Najmul Hossain Shanto-led side.

 “We are aware of that situation, especially if we won today's game, it would be a very clear knockout game for Bangladesh and us. So, apart from that, I think the next game we'll play for pride.”

 “Especially, we wanted to beat a Test-playing country. But eventually, it didn't happen today. So, we want to do that in the next game. The confidence which today we got (from playing against South Africa), so we want to carry that (forward).”

Paudel signed off by expressing gratitude to Nepal’s loyal fans who attended matches of the side in the ongoing tournament in large numbers, showing that cricket is fast gaining a huge following in the country.

 “We feel very grateful to them, especially the way they come and support us. We are very grateful to them. We wanted to just give a gift to them today, but it didn't go our way. I thought the moments where we could have done better by capitalizing on those small moments, went their way. This exposure will help us in coming matches, and if we play these tournaments and these types of games regularly, it will work for us in the next matches.”

Hopefully, more smaller teams can conmen up and challenge stronger teams at least in the T20 format. That is good for the game and more popularisation of cricket. (With IANS support)

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