ACC T20 Cup and Team Nepal’s Chances

Arun Upreti/Cricnepal:  The fourth edition of the ACC T20 Cup will start tomorrow as Nepal take on Maldives in the opening game to be played TU International Cricket Ground.

With standards rising across the region, and recent results in both ICC (Division 4 Champions) and ACC (ACC Elite Cup Champions) events cite Nepal as strong contenders for a qualifying spot if not the champions spot itself.

As UAE and Afghanistan are already in the World Cup Qualifiers and have not sent their absolute best XI to the tournament Nepal would fancy its chances to win the cup.

While Nepal is playing with a experienced side composed of quality batting line up and proven spin attack the ACC tournament shall be proving grounds for Nepali pace attack and players like Sharad Veswarkar , Prithu Baskota and Pradeep Airee have a chance to prove their worth in the short form of the game.

The tournament is especially important to one player in particular Manjeet Shrestha who is making a comeback into the squad after 2 years and pitching with the National Jersey for the first time in a T20 tournament.

Nepali Squad:

Paras Khadka(Captain), Gyanendra Malla(vice captain), Sharad Vesawkar, Amrit Bhattarai, Shakti Gauchan, Basanta Regmi, Sanjam Regmi, Binod Bhandari, Pradeep Airee, Anil Mandal, Prithu Baskota, Chandra Sawad, Manjeet Shrestha and Subash Khakurel.

Batting

Nepali batsmen have been batting really well for the past year and age world batting woes of the National squad seems to be fading away.

Mehboob Alam’s (not in the squad)88 is the highest score for any nepali bastman in internaltional  twenty20 which was scored against Saudi Arabia in a vital match during ACC T20 2011 in Kathmandu itself. His half century was also the first by any nepali batsman in international t20. Paras Khadka has 68 against Hong Kong during ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers, 2011/12, He also has 65 not out against Bermuda in same tournament. Anil Mandal scored a 50 against Afghanistan in the same qualifiers.

Subash Khakurel and Anil Mandal(Pradeep may replace Anil/Subash in the opening) can be trusted for providing the team with stable opening while captain Paras Khadka and vice captain Gyanendra Malla, undoubtedly  two of the best batsmen in the squad, steady the Nepalese middle order and when required are capable of big shots. Basanta Regmi can always be trusted for his mighty blows at the end.

Statistics – ICC World T20 Qualifiers 2011/12

Mat

Inns

NO

Runs

HS

Ave

BF

SR

50

4s

6s

 
Paras Khadka

9

8

3

254

68

50.8

215

118.13

3

24

3

 

Sharad Veswarkar is a experienced batsmen and gives Nepal stability in the longer form of the game however he hasn’t performed that well in recent International Matches except the last two games of ACC Elite Cup when he scored in mid thirthes.

Veswakar has never been considered a T20 player averaging 18 in T20 with unacceptably low strike rate of mere 75. This tournament shall be a proving ground for Veswarkar.

Youngsters Pradeep and Prithu should be considered lucky to have been picked into the side despite their poor form recently. Their performance in this tournament will hugely determine their future in Nepalese Cricket Team.

One question that this tournament might not answer is how strong this batting lineup is against fast bowling.

 

Bowling

Nepal will rely hugely on its strong spin attack lead by Shakti Gauchan and Basanta Regmi. Shakti and Basanta are two trump cards for Paras and Nepal will rely hugely in their performance. Nepal’s impressive bowling was the main reason for Nepal’s imposing show in the ICC World T20 Qualifier finishing seventh.

Shakti Gauchan wasn’t picked in the National Squad for the last year’s tournament however got picked for the World Cup Qualifiers in UAE. He grabbed 16 wickets in the tournament including  a hattrick  and remained the top wicket taker of the tournament. Basanta has been quite successful with his spin in T20’s as well,

Nepal fast bowling lead by Amrit Bhattarai and Chandra Saud, who is making a comeback into the National Squad, after Maheboob Alam Nepali fast bowling hasn’t grabbed much lime light.

Chandra Sawad hasn’t played international Cricket since last year’s ICC T20 Qualifier when he rose to fame with 11 wickets in nine matches.

 

Nepal recently organized a fast bowling camp lead by Sri Lankan fast bowling legend Rumesh Ratnanayeke.

 

Statistics – ICC World T20 Qualifiers 2011/12

Mat

Inns

Balls

Runs

Wkts

Ave

Econ

SR

4w

 
Shakti Gauchan

9

9

216

179

16

11.18

4.97

13.5

1

Basanta

9

9

216

227

11

20.63

6.3

19.6

0

Chandra Sawad

9

9

174

211

11

19.18

7.27

15.8

1

 

 

 

 

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