ICC T20 World Cup 2024 showed Nepal belong at the highest level: Captain Rohit Paudel

Nepal said they will play for their pride against Bangladesh

Nepal captain Rohit Paudel Nepal captain Rohit Paudel | Adwaith P.S.

Captain Rohit Paudel believes Nepal have done enough in the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 to show they belong at the highest level even though they have fallen out of the reckoning for the Super Eight round.

Nepal fell agonizingly short of realising their dream of beating a full-member side when they lost to South Africa by a mere run in a low-scoring thriller here.

With two runs needed off the last ball, Gulsan Jha (6) was run-out as the Proteas notched up their fourth consecutive win in the tournament.

"The way we played, it shows that we belong here. The way we bowled and the way we batted also, I think we belong here. This will give good confidence to us for the next game against Bangladesh," Paudel told the media here after Nepal's heartbreaking defeat.

"I am very proud of the unit, especially the way they played. The way we bowled in the first innings and the way we batted, especially in the last few moments where we could have capitalised on our side, but it went their way," he said.

Rohit Paudel remained nonchalant even though he watched his team coming close to a historic win but failing to get over the line.

"I didn't feel anything. I was just there in the moment," he said.

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, he added.

We missed nothing. We played good cricket but still, we went on losing side. But overall, we played very well," Paudel added

Nepal lost their opener to Netherlands before their game against Sri Lanka was washed out. They would have remained in contention for a Super Eights berth had they defeated South Africa but they will now play for pride.

"The next game, we'll play for pride. We wanted to beat a Test playing country. Eventually, it didn't happen today so we want to do that in the next game."

Paudel also thanked Nepal's plethora of fans at each game in this World Cup, which shows the rise in popularity of the game in the Himalayan nation.

"We feel very grateful to them, especially the way they come and support us. We wanted to give a gift to them today, but it didn't go our way. This exposure will help us in coming matches and if we play regularly these tournaments and these type of games, it will work for us for next games," he added. 

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