Nepal will face UAE in the final of ACC Trophy Elite 2012, after a win over Malaysia by 21 runs in the semi-final on October 10. UAE also reached final with a comprehensive eight wickets win over Afghanistan. The final match will take place in Sharjah Cricket Stadium, the same venue where Nepal defeated UAE in the group stage.
Nepal’s comfortable victory against UAE in the league round match has offered another opportunity to prove that the players are capable of playing good cricket and they can claim victory in the final match. However, UAE still holds as a dangerous opponent for team Nepal as they had won matches against Nepal in 1998, 2000, twice in 2002 (league and final), 2006 and in 2008 (both semi-finals), but one thing that team Nepal has to believe is that they can hammer anyone in cricket, specially when the players are performing at their best level. The team has only code to adhere to, “Attitude determines altitude”.
The biggest Nepalese festival ‘Dashain’ is approaching nearer and Nepali cricket fans’ only wish is to get “ACC Elite Trophy” as a gift from their National team. Now, Nepal is likely to win the trophy since the team is in a good momentum after playing continuous matches in two big tournaments. Although Nepal reached final of same tournament in 2002 and 2010 as well, but it got defeated by UAE by six wickets in first and with Afghanistan by 95 runs. Now Nepal is looking for ODI status by 2015, therefore, lifting this trophy will maintain their winning trend as this is the biggest platform for the Non-test playing Asian nation.
Team Nepal just needs to ooze out with its true potential in the final clash. Yes, victory comes with a price. And it is time to exaggerate its mental, physical and emotional aptitude with no room left for errors. Players need to play as per their potential.
Let’s focus on team Nepal strength. Everyone knows Anil Mandal and Gyanendra Malla have the ability to punish opponent’s bowling while Subash Khakurel and Sharad Vesawkar can score with ease and make decent bowlers distrust. Skipper Paras Khadka, who is the leading run scorer in tournament with 260 runs, has ability to change the game with both bat and ball, which he already demonstrated in the tournament. Meanwhile, Prithu Baskota is back in shape as a key all rounder and Pradeep Airee has matured as a good cricketer. Without any doubt, Nepal can really count on its youth strength.
Similarly, left-arm-spinners Shakti Gauchan and Basanta Regmi know how to bowl, spinning good length delivery to upset the batsmen. Even part time bowlers Prithu and Pradeep are capable of concrete effort, which is becoming strong point of Nepali team. However, injury of fast bowler Amrit Bhattarai is the main concern, as he hurt himself during the match against Malaysia and is less likely to play in the final. Likewise, Binod Das has not played a single game because of his injury as well. There is chance of comeback by senior off-spinner Sanjam Regmi given that there will be immense pressure for final. After lack of pace bowler, Binod Bhandari can play as an extra batsman, which strengthens the batting line up.
“Looks like both Amrit and Binod will not be available in the final match“, Pubudu Dassanayeke, Nepali Cricket Coach said to Cricnepal. “Team is playing quality cricket and we need to continue the same form in the finals.”, he added further.
Team Gorkha is heading towards success path with both integrative and co-operative state of mind and it already yielded qualification for ACC Emerging Teams event next year when they will be up against the A-teams from the four Test-playing Asian nations along with UAE, host Singapore and winner of 3rd place play-off.
This is an excellent opportunity to prove Nepal’s executing capacity in International Cricket. Let’s show everyone that we can win. Moreover, it is time to rectify the previous miss steps and strengthen our outstanding form in this final battle for the title. If Nepal manages to win the trophy, it will be the second in foreign soil, an accomplishment that our generation can really take pride upon.
Go Big Red!
Fight Big Blue!
Go Team Nepal!