Cricnepal – Nepal’s disappointing loss against USA and Uganda means that Nepal will be playing the rest of the matches of Division 3 for the ‘unlikely glory’-failing to reach the finals will mean Nepal will not qualify for the 10 team WC Qualification Tournament to be held in New Zealand next year.
Nepal is in similar conditions as Hong Kong in the previous edition of Pepsi WCL Division 3, Hong Kong lost its first two matches to USA and Oman but with luck in their side went on to win the Division 3 Trophy. With two huge losses Nepal lie in the bottom of the table.
If Nepal wins all three of its remaining matches against Bermuda (today), Oman and Italy there is still an outside chance for Nepal to qualify. In the other matches played today USA will take on Oman and Italy faces mighty Uganda, a loss for either USA or Uganda will give Nepal a narrow passage to repeat ‘the Hong Kong luck.’
After the match against Uganda skipper Paras Khadka grieved on his side’s batting . “We just didn’t bat well. You can’t get away with 116, it was below par for a team of our potential. We haven’t played to our potential, which is sad for a tournament of this scale,” Khadka said.
Despite two losses in a row he was optimistic about Nepal’s chances.
“Mathematically, we still have a chance. There are three games left and we just need to win those three games, remain positive and forget these matches. The first two games are in the past and we need to look ahead. We’ve worked so hard so it is disappointing that we have not performed better, so we need to focus and win the final three,” the skipper added.
Since all three matches determine Nepal’s kismet here is a brief preview of each match
Nepal vs. Bermuda
(Lords, Saint David’s Cricket Ground)
This is the first time Nepal and Bermuda face each other in 50 over match. Bermuda had played in 2007 Cricket World Cup and since then their status has been falling-getting demoted from all WCL Tournament it played.
Regardless of their state playing on home condition team Bermuda will prove to be a threat to Nepali Cricket Team. Nepal on the other hand hasn’t been able to acclimatize to Bermuda’s playing turfs- failing in all Batting, Bowling and Fielding in the first two matches.
Nepal and Bermuda have only played each other in one T20 match, in last year’s ICC T20 WC Qualifier played in UAE. Nepal then defeated Bermuda by 24. Batting first riding on 65 runs from Skipper Paras Khadka and 44 from vice captain Gyanendra Malla Nepal posted 151 runs in 20 overs. Chasing 152 Bermuda were folded for 124 thanks to three wickets from Shakti Gauchan.
Uganda vs. Italy
(National Cricket Stadium Hamilton)
Uganda seemed much stronger team than others from start of the tournament and they have proved it so far. Italy on the other hand are in the same state as Nepal, bettering Nepal only in NRR.
Just like Nepal and Bermuda Italy has faced Uganda in only a single T20 match. The teams met in last year’s ICC T20 WC Qualifier, UAE. Then Italy had defeated Uganda by 13 runs. Batting first Italy posted significant 131 thanks to 44 of 23 balls from DG Crowley. In reply Uganda were folded for 118 as Gareth Kyle Berg picked up four wickets for Italy.
Oman vs. USA
(Somerset Cricket Club Ground)
Oman and USA played the last edition of Division 3 together, USA had defeated Oman (and the champions Hong Kong) then, however they failed to impress further and got relegated- highlighting the instability of the US team.
USA has to be considered the most volatile Cricket Team in the tournament and their history speaks the same playing in bizarre range of games-from ICC Champions Trophy in 2004 to Division V. They started the last years WCL Division 3 with a ‘BANG’ defeating Hong Kong in the opener by 7 wickets. Hong Kong then went on to win the championship while USA relegated to Division IV.
Oman (and Nepal) will be hoping that USA will quiver of form again to give Oman a victory.
Oman and USA have played in two 50 over matches-most recent being their face off at last edition of Division 3. USA had then defeated Oman by 2 wickets-thanks to a 9th wicket partnership of 71 runs. Chasing just 123 USA were once 52-8. The other match played was way back in 2005 where these teams battled it out for the 9th place in the ICC Trophy, held in Dublin. Oman then chased 346 runs target set by USA.
USA and Oman have met one other time, but in the shorter form of the game. They played each other in the ICC T20 WC Qualifier held in UAE, USA then had beat Oman convincingly by 31 runs.