Nepal Take on Spirited Malaysia

 Cricnepal

Nepal is set take on Malaysia Today in their third Group B match of ACC T20 Cup at Tribhuwan University Cricket Ground.

After losing the eventual semi finalist Hong Kong on Wednesday it’s a must win game for Nepal (and Malaysia as well) if they wish to peruse their T20 World Cup Dreams.

The team that wins the match is nearly ensured of semi final berth (with Mathematics giving some outside chance to the loser).

Nepal started the tournament as favorites and with UAE and Afghanistan in the other Group it was speculated that journey to semi final would be a cake walk. After losing to Hong Kong and batting and bowling not as par with other stronger teams-tables have turned and today we are likely to see a cautious Nepalese team on the field.

Malaysia however with the win against Singapore chasing a massive target will be on high spirit, especially their batsmen.

Past Results

Nepal has always been considered a better team than Malaysia and the past result does reflect the same. Senior side of Malaysia and Nepal first met in 2002 version of ACC Elite Cup, and since then in 3 first class games, 4 ODIs and 2 T20 match Malaysia have only won a single T20 game. Nepal retains two of the players form that first match-Shakti Gauchan (who scored 67 runs then and was pivotal for Nepal’s victory) and Sanjam Regmi.

Game

Matches

Nepal

Malaysia

Three Day

3

2

0*

50 Over

4

4

0

Twenty 20

2

1

1

 

Nonetheless Malaysia have always offered a spirited performance against Nepal, few of limited over matches have gone down to the wire, Nepal only just snatching victory.(Nepal only convincing victory over Malaysia came in Division-IV where Nepal humiliated Malaysia in their home by 10 wickets)

Malaysia will be confident on repeating the same. Coach Roy Dias is an added benefit to Malaysia-with his proficiency in Nepalese condition and with Nepalese players Malaysia would fancy a victory. Coach Roy Dias’ previous team Oman had defeated Nepal in the third place match of last year’s ACC T20 Cup.

Malaysia and Nepal last met in semi final of ACC Elite Cup, where Malaysia gave Nepal run for the game but eventually falling 21 run short of Nepal’s total. Paras Khadka then top socred with 89 for Nepal, but it was Prithu Baskota whose hard hitting first got Nepal to 241 and three wickets in the second inning to seal  at one moment(Malaysia 170-4 in 37 overs) an unlikely victory.

T20 Matches

Nepal and Malaysia have faced each other twice in the shortest format of the game-in first and second edition of ACC T20 Cup-in 2007 and 2009. Nepal won the first match but it took 33 runs rom crisis man Basanta Regmi after Nepal were in grave concern with 54-6 while batting. Chasing 121 then Malaysia were in comfortable position of 67-3, Regmi then struck thrice to give Nepal 21 run win.

In 2009 Malaysia gave Nepal no chance, bowling the entire side for 112 and got to the target with 6 wickets and more than 7 overs to spare.

Malaysia are definitely good T20 side, playing with likes of Rao Iftikar Anjum and other international players in their IPL like Malyasian Premiere League.

Malaysia Squad:

Suhan Kumar(captain), Shafiq Sharif(W/K), Hasan Ullan Khan, Faizal Abu Hasan, Khizar Hyat Dhurrani, Nik Afrin, Suharil Ferti, Hasan Gulan, Nazril Rahman, Sharul Nizam, Amhed Fiaz, HB Ralalage, Shahrulnizam Yusuf, Farua Hakimin

Players to Watch Out:

Captain Suhan Kumar Alagaratnum, has matured as exceptional batsmen, he scored 70 against Singapore to guide his team to Victory. He has scored 70, 0, 43 against Nepal in 3 ODI’s he has  played.

Shafiq Sharif has been  playing against Nepali team since youth level. He has always scored against Nepal when he got a chance to bat scoring 31, 22 and 42 in 3 ODIs.

Ahmed Fiaz is an experienced batsmen and had score 40 against Nepal in 2009 ACC T20 Cup when Malaysia defeated Nepal

Nazril Rahman has played plenty of matches against Nepal in youth level. He took 4 wickets againt Nepal in ACC Elite Cup.

Nepal’s Concerns: Khadka’s  Form and Spineless Fast Bowling

In a must win match against Malaysia Nepal would be counting on Paras Khadka to lead from the front with both bat and ball. He hasn’t performed well with the bat in last two matches.

Nepal’s fast bowling hasn’t impressed at all in the two matches played. Changes are likely due-Chandra Sawad might make a comeback today or Nepal could opt for batsmen instead of the front line seamer to strengthen the batting line up.

Nepal however is the stronger team and playing at home and will be supported by over 10000 spectators on a holiday.  Gyanendra Malla(49 and 37) Sharad Veswarkar(97 and 37) and Shakti Gauchan( 67 and  52 in limited overs) have always performed brilliantly against Malaysia in the most recent times. Malla and Veswarkar’s feat came in the most recent matches ACC Elite Cup 2009 and 2013.

Gauchan and Basanta have been amongst wickets all along in both T20 and  ODI’s.

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