International

Semi Final Preview: Nepal Prepare for UAE Revenge

Nepal will look for inspiration from their ACC Elite Cup Victory over UAE when these teams compete in the Semi- Finals of ACC T20 Cup  to retaliate the embarrassing defeat Nepal faced in the last edition of the tournament.

Big Picture
UAE has been by far the most consistent side in the tournament winning all four of its matches in Group A pretty comprehensively. A team in spectacular form; their wins are based on team performance and not individual brilliance. So it’s not one batsmen or one bowler that Nepal has to be cautious about, Nepal has to bat and bowl well all the way.

Nepal on the other hand has set up a solid form if not spectacular in the last two matches. Nepal’s batting lineup is bolstered by captain Khadka getting his form back. Pradeep Airee, Binod Bhandari and  Sharad Veswarkar also look in good touch. Malla’s innings of 30 runs of 10 balls must have given ample confidence to him.

Prithu and Sagar Pun add depth to the batting.

Nepal will bank on Spin!
With fast bowling not as par and the pitch helping spinners, Nepal will bank on its spinners to get them wickets. Shakti Gauchan and Basanta Regmi are pivotal for tomorrow’s match. After the match against Singapore, Nepali coach Pubudu expressed that “We have brought him(Sagar) in looking at the semi final against UAE where he will be useful against UAE’s Left handed batsmen”, ensuring Sagar’s place in the playing squad.

It’s also likely that Nepal could go into the match without a fast bowler. Gauchan, Basanta, Prithu, Sagar to bowl spin and Khadka and Manjeet to complement spinners with seam. Manjeet inclusion would also strengthen the Nepalese Batting lineup giving it more depth.

Batting has always failed Nepal against UAE in the limited over’s game. In all 8 limited over matches that have been played Nepal had never scored 200+ against UAE until October.

Past Results

UAE has always been ranked higher than Nepal and they had performed according to their ranks till 2010. Since then UAE has defeated Nepal in only one T20  match while Nepal has outperformed UAE in 3 tournaments they have competed together.

Tournament

Nepal

UAE

ACC Elite Cup 2010

Runner Up

6th

ACC T20 Cup 2011

4th (Qualified for ICC World   T20 Qualifier, UAE)

5th

ACC Elite Cup 2012

Champions

Champions*

ICC World T20 Qualifier

Seventh

Did not Qualify

*Nepal however defeated UAE in the Group Stage.

Nepal always saw UAE as its better nemesis. The limited over matches before 2010 hadn’t been pretty for Nepal, facing convincing defeats in all 6 matches; 2 of them in Semi Final(2006,2008) and One in the Final (2002) of ACC Elite Cup.

In last edition of ACC T20 Cup, Nepal and UAE met in the group stage in the only T20 match these two teams have played, where UAE embarrassed Nepal first restricting Nepal to mere 95 runs and chased it down slow at will to add salt to injury. This semi Final is a chance for Nepal to get the scores level.

The last two encounters for Nepal against UAE have been memorable. Nepal first defeated UAE in the group stages of ACC Elite Cup 2012 thanks to 5 wicket haul from Shakti Gauchan, Nepal first victory over UAE in limited over’s game. Nepal then matched UAE’s batting brilliance in the final to share the ACC Elite Cup.

UAE’s side also seems slightly weaker than one Nepal faced in ACC Elite Cup missing likes of Saqib Ali and Khurram Khan in the batting line up. Saqib had scored a century in the finals of ACC Elite Cup.

UAE Squad:
Ahmed Raza(Captain), Rohan Mustafa, Wasim Bari, Bakhtiyar Hamid, Amjad Ali, Arshad Ali, Sandip Patil, Faizan Asif, Sandeep Silva, Mohammad Azam, Swapnil Patil, Amjad Javed,Adil Reyel, Abdul Shakoor, Fayyaz Ahmed.

UAE in ACC T20 2013
Form :W W W W
Most Runs: Abdul Shakoor 168 runs in 4 matches
Most Wickets: 6 each for Roshan Mustafa and Fyayaz Ahmed
Best Bowling Performance: Rohan Mustafa 3/11 against Oman
Best Batting Performance: 84 by Adbul Shakoor against Bahrain, only 50+ score by UAE batsmen
Highest Total: 226/4 against Bahrain

Nepal Squad:

Shubash Khakurel, Pradeep Airee, Binod Bhandari, Paras Khadka, Prithu Baskota, Gyanendra Malla, Sharad Veswarkar, Shakti Gauchan, Basanta Regmi, Sagar Pun, Chandra Sawad/ Manjeet Shrestha

Nepal in ACC T20 Cup 2013
Form: W L W W
Most Runs: Paras Khadka 145 runs in 4 innings
Most Wickets: Basanta Regmi with 8 wickets followed by Shakti Gauchan with 5
Best Bowling Performance: Basanta Regmi 3/17 against Singapore
Best Batting Performance: 87 Paras Khadka against Malaysia
Highest Total: 210/5 against Singapore

Watch Out for
Shakti Gauchan, he is the most experienced player in the Nepalese Squad playing since 2002. He has both scored runs and taken wickets against UAE. He took 5 wickets in the group stage match against UAE in ACC Elite Cup 2013 and followed that up by 3 more in the final. He is second leading wicket taker for Nepal in this Tournament with 5 wicekts.
Rohan Mustafa, has taken 6 wickets in the tournament and is the second leading run scorer for UAE in 104 runs in 4 matches. He received Player of the match against Oman for his excellent spell of 3/11. He has scored 35*,6*,28 and 35 in last four matches.

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