Cricket

NEP Vs SA, T20 World Cup: 'We Belong Here,' Declares Nepal Captain Rohit Paudel After 1-Run Loss

Nepal were able to restrict the power-packed Proteas batting line-up to just 115 and were looking set to pull off a massive upset when they needed 25 runs from the last 30 deliveries with seven wickets remaining

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Nepal cricket team. Photo: X/@cricketnep
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Nepal captain Rohit Paudel said that he was very proud of his team after their heartbreaking one-run loss to South Africa on Friday (Saturday IST) at the T20 World Cup. The loss ended Nepal's hopes of advancing to the Super 8 stage. (Highlights | Scorecard | Full Coverage)

Putting behind the heartbreak, the Nepal skipper praised the performance of his team which had qualified for a T20 World Cup for the first time since 2014. Paudel also said that the result showed that Nepal belonged at the big stage.

"I am very proud of the unit, especially the way they played today. The way we bowled in the first inning and the way we batted. I think we missed nothing. We played good cricket but still we went on [the] losing side. But overall, I think we played very well," said Paudel.

Nepal were able to restrict the power-packed Proteas batting line-up to just 115 and were looking set to pull off a massive upset when they needed 25 runs from the last 30 deliveries with seven wickets remaining.

Some quick wickets and disciplined bowling from South Africa left Nepal needing two runs from the final delivery. Gulshan Jha could not lay his bat on a short Ottniel Baartman delivery and was run out at the non-striker's end trying to still a run. Nepal thus lost the match that they bossed for the entirety except the last few overs.

Paudel also said that Nepal will play for pride in their last game against Bangladesh.

"If we had won today's game, it would have been a very clear knockout game for Bangladesh and us. So, apart from that, I think the next game we'll play for pride."

"We want to beat a Test playing country," Paudel vowed.

"The way we played today shows that we belong here," said Paudel later at a press conference.

Thousands of Nepal fans came to the Arnos Vale Stadium in Kingstown to cheer their team and Paudel said he wanted to gift them a victory today.

"We feel very grateful to them, the way they come and support us," Paudel told a press conference. "We wanted to give them a gift today but it didn't go our way."

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