China crash to 26 all out — again

Gulf Times Sport - - CRICKET -

China may have the world’s big­gest pop­u­la­tion and the sec­ond largest econ­omy, but they are yet to im­press in one area: the cricket field, where they have been hum­bled by min­nows Nepal.

China’s lat­est foray on the in­ter­na­tional stage ended in a huge de­feat on Wed­nes­day as they scored only 26 all out in a World Twenty20 qual­i­fier, a to­tal which Nepal sur­passed in just 11 balls.

It wasn’t even their worst in­nings of the tour­na­ment: China were 26 all out in their loss to Sin­ga­pore, and they had scores of 35 for nine, 45, and 48 in de­feats to Thai­land, Bhutan and Myan­mar.

Given that the high­est score in top-tier T20 in­ter­na­tion­als is Aus­tralia’s 263 for three against Sri Lanka in 2016, China still have some way to go.

Against Nepal, open­ing bats­man Yan Hongjiang top-scored for China with 11 runs. The next big­gest con­tri­bu­tion was the nine ex­tras, and IPL bowler Sandeep Lamich­hane picked up three wick­ets for four runs.

Qun Tiansen, one of eight Chi­nese play­ers out for a duck, then went for 21 runs in his first and only over as Binod Bhandari smashed 24 in Nepal’s quick­fire re­ply of 29-0.

Cricket in China has a short his­tory with its na­tional team mak­ing its first in­ter­na­tional ap­pear­ance at the 2010 Asian Games.

The gi­ant na­tion is known for plough­ing huge sums into sports, es­pe­cially foot­ball and the Olympic dis­ci­plines. But cricket does not en­joy a sim­i­lar sta­tus in China.

“The size of coun­try and its power do not mat­ter (in cricket),” for­mer Nepal cap­tain Binod Das told AFP in Kath­mandu.

“We shouldn’t un­der­mine them be­cause they may takeover in fu­ture as they have ca­pac­ity to in­vest in in­fra­struc­ture and skill de­vel­op­ment.”

Nepal, mean­while, gained ODI sta­tus in March and have now set their sights on join­ing the world’s elite by achiev­ing Test sta­tus.

A for­mer of­fi­cial with Nepal’s cricket as­so­ci­a­tion, Ch­humbi Lama, said the vic­tory over China was al­ways a for­mal­ity for the small, Hi­malayan na­tion.

“China might be stronger in terms of power and econ­omy than Nepal, but Nepal is stronger than China when it comes to cricket. Beat­ing China is not a big achieve­ment for Nepal,” he told AFP.

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