Nepal Vs South Africa, T20 World Cup Highlights: NEP Fall One Run Short Of Historic Win In Unbelievable Finish

Utter drama ensued in the 31st match of ICC T20 World Cup 2024, as Nepal knocked on the doorstep of a historic victory over South Africa, before falling short by a solitary run in Kingstown, St Vincent on Saturday, June 15. The Nepal bowlers limited Proteas' batting to a 115-run total in the first innings. Their batters then began well and looked in control, before Tabraiz Shamsi rocked them in the middle overs. With two needed off the final ball, Gulsan Jha was run-out as Aiden Markram's men won the cliffhanger. Relive the highlights of the thrilling NEP vs RSA match at T20 WC 2024, right here

A disconsolate Gulsan Jha (right) and Sompal Kami after Nepal lose to South Africa by one run in their ICC T20 World Cup 2024 clash in Kingstown, St Vincent (West Indies) on Saturday (June 15). Photo: ICC

Nepal Vs South Africa Highlights, ICC T20 World Cup 2024, Match 31

Welcome to the highlights of our coverage of match 31 of ICC T20 World Cup 2024, played between Nepal and South Africa at the Arnos Vale Ground in Kingstown, St Vincent (West Indies) on Saturday, June 15. Utter drama ensued as Nepal knocked on the doorstep of a historic victory over South Africa, before falling short by a solitary run. The Nepal bowlers limited Proteas' batting to a 115-run total in the first innings. Their batters then began well and looked in control, before Tabraiz Shamsi rocked them in the middle overs. With two needed off the final ball, Gulsan Jha was run-out as Aiden Markram's men won the cliffhanger. Relive the highlights of the thrilling NEP vs RSA match at T20 WC 2024, right here. (Match Report | Scorecard | Full Coverage)

Toss Update

Nepal captain Rohit Paudel has won the toss and decided to bowl first against South Africa.

Playing XIs

Nepal: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Azmatullah Omarzai, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Karim Janat, Rashid Khan (c), Noor Ahmad, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazalhaq Farooqi.

South Africa: Kushal Bhurtel, Aasif Sheikh (wk), Anil Sah, Rohit Paudel (c), Kushal Malla, Dipendra Singh Airee, Gulsan Jha, Sompal Kami, Karan KC, Sandeep Lamichhane, Abinash Bohara.

What Captains Said At Toss

Rohit Paudel: "We'll chase, there will be dew in the second innings. It will be easier for our bowlers to bowl first, batting should also be easier in the second innings. We got some good time for preparation. Got some time to set up our skills and train."

Aiden Markram: "We would've probably looked to bat first so not too unhappy with it. Opportunity for our batters to get some time out in the middle and get some confidence. There's too much pride in the squad, we've seen Nepal play some really good cricket so we look forward to that challenge. One change, Keshav Maharaj is going to miss out for Tabraiz Shamsi. He hasn't had much game time so this is the last opportunity to get him some game time before the Super 8s."

Play Underway

Sompal Kami has the ball in hand for Nepal and Reeza Hendricks, Quinton de Kock at the crease for South Africa. Sompal bowls a tight first over, barring one delivery down the leg side that deflects off Hendricks' thigh pad to the boundary. South Africa are away.

Sandeep Lamichhane In Nepal XI 

The big news is that Nepal's star spinner and former skipper Sandeep Lamichhane has been included in the playing XI. The leg-break bowler was denied a visa to the United States, but landed in the Caribbean and has found his way into the side in their first outing in the West Indies.

Airee Scalps De Kock 

Nepal's six-hitting maestro does the job with the ball, first up. The spinner dismisses South Africa's dangerous opener Quinton de Kock for 10, catching him off his own bowling in the fourth over. Nepal draw first blood.

Lamichhane Starts Beautifully

Sandeep Lamichhane is showing Nepal and the rest of the cricket world exactly what they missed. The leg-spinner starts with no signs of rust, bowling with a great loop, drift and turn to keep batters on their toes.

Klaasen Gone!

Nepal's spinners continue to weave a web around South Africa's star batters. Their designated spin-hitter Heinrich Klaasen falls to Kushal Bhurtel and the Proteas are three down with the run rate still below six an over.

Miller Dismissed, RSA Five Down

Nepal are all over South Africa right now. Lamichhane and Co are keeping a tight leash and also picking up wickets at regular intervals. David Millers is the latest batter to fall as Proteas lose half their side with 97 runs on the board. Just 15 more balls to go. Things getting interesting here, with regards to a possible upset.

Bhurtel Picks Up 4 Wickets; RSA End With Just 115 Runs

Kushal Bhurtel bowls the last over for Nepal and barring a six, does really well, picking up wickets and finishing with figures of 4-19-4. South Africa only get to 115 runs for the loss of seven wickets in their 20 overs, and though it is a tricky pitch, Nepal have a real chance of creating history today. Stay tuned for their batting essay.

Nepal's Chase Begins

Marco Jansen bowls the first over in the Nepal innings. A tight over, with a streaky boundary getting Nepal off the mark. Kushal Bhurtel, who bagged a four-wicket haul minutes ago, and Aasif Sheikh at the crease for the sub-continental side.

Slow And Steady Beginning For Nepal

The scoring rate hasn't exceeded six, but Nepal haven't lost a wicket in the first five overs of their chase. Bhurtel and Aasif have been watchful, and barring a shocking drop from Kagiso Rabada off his own bowling, there haven't been any chances offered.

Spin Does The Damage Again

Tabraiz Shamsi into the attack and fires straight away, sending back Kushal Bhurtel and then Nepal captain Rohit Paudel. All nine wickets to fall in the match so far have gone to spin.

Sah, Sheikh Rebuild

Anil Sah and Aasif Sheikh are slowly looking to set the chase back on track after Tabraiz Shamsi's twin strike. Nepal now need 63 runs from 58 balls, with eight wickets in hand. Anybody's game at this stage, one would reckon.

Sah Departs, Nepal Still Ahead

Spin accounts for the 10th wicket of the day, as SA skipper Aiden Markram dislodges Anil Sah to break a superb 50-run partnership. Nepal have edged ahead, though and now need 29 from 34 balls. Can South Africa halt their march to a dramatic victory?

Shamsi Sends Back Aasif 

Tabraiz Shamsi ends his brilliant four-over stint with the prized dismissal of Aasif Shaikh. The Nepal opener was looking to steer his side home but has to walk back to the dugout, and Nepal's chase grows tenser.

Sompal Smacks Sizzling Six; 8 Needed In Final Over 

Sompal Kami walks out and smashes a resounding six off Anrich Nortje. The equation is down to eight runs off six balls, with four wickets in hand. Fasten your seatbelts...

Nepal Suffer Agonizingly Narrow Defeat In Thriller

What an unbelievable finish. It couldn't possibly get closer than that. Gulsan Jha takes Nepal to within two runs off a win. He misses the last ball, and scampers through for a bye. Quinton de Kock throws it at the non-striker's end, but the throw hits Jha on the back. The ricochet goes to Heinrich Klaasen, who throws down the stumps. Jha falls just short, and Nepal lose the match by a heart-breaking one-run margin. 

And with that, Nepal's pursuit of a Super Eight spot comes to an agonizing end.

What POTM Tabraiz Shamsi Said

Tabraiz Shamsi is the Player Of The Match for his match-winning four-wicket haul. Here's what he said after South Africa's thrilling win:

"Definitely relieved, we came in with the goal of making it four out of four in this stage. Anywhere we go in the Caribbean, I assume that there is going to be turn. Fast bowlers did a great job in New York, but slower bowlers will have to take on the mantle. [On Nepal] I think they were brilliant, they took full advantage of the conditions. Wicket got better in the second innings, but they played a beautiful game. The huge positive is that we've been put under pressure every game and we've stood up to it every time. When this team is rolling, everyone knows their roles."

What Losing Captain Rohit Paudel Said

Rohit Paudel: "I am very proud of the unit, especially the way we bowled and batted. When we saw the wicket yesterday, we thought it would be on the slower side. When we were bowling I thought the wicket was helping the spinners so we carried on with the spinners. I think we were very close but a little far. In crunch moments we did well, I thought we fought very good. If we get more exposure to games like this, we will be on the other side [of the result]. [On the fans] I want to thank the fans for the way they have been supporting us. They come a long way, in the rain and everything, they come to support us."

What Winning Captain Aiden Markram Said

Aiden Markram: "Very grateful to have got the win, we were not near our best tonight. Reflecting back on the game over the next few days, there will be a lot of learnings for us. We have a good pace attack and you want to back that. I thought if we got the ball in the right areas, it would be challenging for the batters. In hindsight, we should have picked another spinner. First and foremost, the way [Nepal] bowled made it really tough for us. They put us under a lot of pressure. And maybe there was not enough conviction in our plans. [On moving from USA to West Indies] It has been a bit different, we spent the whole day almost doing nothing and there we'd be playing first thing in the morning. Moving forward some things may change. It's one of the big challenges of cricket, being open minded and adapting."

That Will Be All

With that, we come to the end of a fascinating showdown in Kingstown, which unfolded as a World Cup classic. Nepal lost, but won hearts aplenty. We will be back with live updates from the forthcoming T20 World Cup matches. Until then, goodbye.