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Match Facts: Afghanistan v Nepal

Both teams face off at Sylhet tomorrow seeking a second win
Nepal and Afghanistan will both have a point to prove in what promises to be an enthralling encounter between familiar opponents. Both teams are looking for a second win in the first round of the ICC World Twenty20 2014, and both have succumbed to losses against Bangladesh. Nepal will have to adapt quickly to conditions that could favour Afghanistan’s formidable pace attack, while Afghanistan has won the previous encounter between the two sides – a dominance it will be keen to continue. Here is a look at some key facts heading into the clash.


Afghanistan v Nepal 

 - Against Hong Kong, Mohammad Shahzad hit the second highest score by an Afghanistan player in T20Is (68). The opener has recorded five of the six highest T20I scores by his team. 

- Afghanistan has won all three previous T20 meetings with Hong Kong. This is their first T20I clash. 

- Paras Khadka has been dismissed for 41 in both innings in this tournament. His career T20 average is 37.8. 

- Eight of the last 10 T20 matches involving Afghanistan have been won by the team batting second. 

- Afghanistan won the last T20 meeting against Hong Kong, a rain-affected match at the qualifying event for this tournament in November, by nine wickets. This was one of two T20 matches it won by this margin.

Approaching milestones:

- Samiullah Shenwari needs one wicket to go clear of Hamid Hassan as Afghanistan’s outright leading T20I wicket-taker; both players have 22 wickets. 

- Shahzad, Shenwari and Mohammad Nabi are in line to become the first players to represent Afghanistan 25 times in T20Is. 

- Basant Regmi needs one wicket to become the first player to take 30 T20 wickets for Nepal. 

- Khadka needs one wicket to become the third player to take 20 T20 wickets for Nepal.

Key Battles

Shapoor Zadran v Basant Regmi

Spin is playing an important part in this tournament, but Afghanistan’s left-arm paceman Shapoor Zadran still has a crucial role for his team. He took a wicket with the first ball of the match against Hong Kong and returned to take another in the final over of the innings. Shapoor took 11 wickets in eight innings at the 2013 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier, at a handy economy rate of 7.1.

Regmi’s statistics were even better in that tournament – 14 wickets and an economy rate of 6.1 – and Nepal’s leading T20 wicket-taker has already proved his worth in this event. The slow left-armer has maintained an economy rate of 4 in taking four wickets in two matches and is the key bowler for Nepal in its quest to keep the Afghanistan stoke-makers quiet.

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