Nepali Cricket will face Denmark in Nepal’s first match as ICC T20 Qualifier 2013 starts tomorrow.
A decade ago Denmark was one of top Associates Teams however they have been falling back in recent years and are currently a Division 4 Team(as compared to Nepal won the WCL Division 3 and qualified for World Cup Qualifiers).
“Every dog has a day and who knows we may have 14-15 of them in UAE”; said the Danish Captain Michael Pedersen before the tournament, highlighting how desperately Danish are banking on fate knowing their slender odds of qualification.
Denmark had a slapdash warm up matches facing humiliating defeat against hands of UAE and Hong Kong. With that pre text Nepal is expected to defeat Denmark with absolute ease.
Denmark however will be hoping to cause an early upset – have nothing to lose against a side much stronger than themselves, the pressure is all on Nepal to stand up to the expectation and start the tournament with a big win
Although an easy opponent first up it will be an important match for Nepal, especially for Nepali Fast Bowlers. If they fail to perform tomorrow it’s very likely that they may not get another chance in the tournament.
Its will be also be an important match for the openers as well. Subash and Pradeed failed in both the warm up matches, an opponent like Denmark first up could help them getting into their strides.
This is only the second T20 match between the two sides; Nepal had defeated Denmark comprehensively by 9 Wickets when the two teams met in the Group stages previous edition of the tournament . Shakti Gauchan starred in that match with 4 wicket haul including a hattrick as Danish side folded for small 82. Airee scored 65 of 43 balls in that match for Nepal.
Nepal also played Denmark in WCL Dvision 4 in 2012. Riding on a brilliant century Anil Mandal Nepal won the rain affected by 31 runs(D/L Method).
Denmark is a team which has not much going on for them except Frederik Klokker! They are probably the weakest bowling unit in the tournament . In recent times Basir Shah has been impressive with spin besides that all rounders like Aftab, Pawan and Kamran have termendous responsibility to fulfill with the ball.
Michael Pedersen (captain), Aftab Ahmed, Christo Botma, Basit Javed, Carsten Pedersen, Yasir Iqbal, Frederik Klokker, Pawan Kumar, Kamran Mahmood, Rizwan Mahmood, Jakob Rubin,Kasper Rubin, Bashir Shah, Hamid Shah
ICC World T20 Qualifier 2012 – 16th (Last Position)
Qualification: Denmark finished second in ICC European Division One Championships losing to Italy by 18 runs in the final
Players to Watch Out:
Fredrik Klokker wicket-keeper batsman will have a key role to play if Denmark want to make a match out of the game. Klokker has been batting exceptionally well in international Cricket; he was adjudged the player of the tournament in ICC Division One Championships scoring 464 runs(7 matches) in the tournament. He was the highest scorer for Denmark in previous edition of the tournament with 219 runs. He is alos the leading run scorer in Danish Elite Division Cricket with 712 runs with 4 centuries.
Basir Shah who was pivotal for Denmark in ICC Divison One Championships with 13 wickets, the overall highest wicket taker in the tournament, with his off break.
All rounders Aftab Ahmed and Kamaran Mahmood will have important role.
Aftab Ahmed batted sensibly with Klokker in the ICC Division 1 Championship, scored 2 half centuries. He was the leading wicket taker in Danish Elite Division Cricket with 28 wickets. Aftab was also the highest wicket taker for Denmark in the previous edition of the tournament with 8 wickets to his name.
Kamran Mahmood was the second highest run scorer (185) as well as second highest wicket taker(9 wickets) for Denmark in Division one championships.