Kathmandu – In the grand final of the last edition Nepal took on UAE, UAE captain won the toss and opted to bat first; Nepali bowlers did a good job restricting them to 240. Nepal made a full use of the powerplay and made a solid platform early in the inning; S Khakurel and A Mandal put on an extraordinary partnership of 98 runs for the first wicket but then on Nepal kept loosing wickets at regular intervals. It was 12 required of the last over; S Gauchan on strike. Unfortunately Nepal scored 11 of it and the game was tied and the trophy was shared. But, last edition’s finalists will take on each other in first match of this edition tomorrow 7:45 am NST in Kuala Lumpur. Nepal failed to make an impression in the fifty over world cup qualifiers in this January but fought back with aggression in two months time in T20 world cup. But, UAE followed the reverse trend; an impressing tournament in January but demoralizing T20 world cup. As they say, History means simply nothing in sports; both the teams will look to make a fresh start and must be eyeing a win tomorrow.
Nepali side looks well balanced despite the star bowler of T20 world cup- J Mukhiya misses the tournament because of spinal injury. M Alam and R Pradhan make their way back to the team- Alam after T20 world cup qualifiers in 2011 and Pradhan after division 5 in 2008. Also, A sheik- a 17 years old little master after that spectacular performances with the bat and the ball not only grabbed the man of the tournament award but also lead his team from the front to win the tournament rather comprehensively, those eye catching performances caught selectors eyes and made sure of his place in national senior team. Batsman’s stylish but classy batting; bowler’s disciplined bowling and aggressive fielding under the temperamentally strong captain and a tricky coach- Certainly! Nepal is one of the favorites of the tournament.
With a top class performance in the 50 overs world cup qualifiers this January which earned them a place in the world cup, they must be high in confidence against a side like Nepal. Nepali bowlers have always found difficult to bowl against the batsman of UAE. Not only bowling, Nepali batsman has also struggled against their seamers. Their top class batting and good enough bowling with well equipped grounds and vastly experienced support staffs and an ODI status- UAE has an upper hand on Nepal tomorrow. Pitch Report:
This is the same pitch where India U19 captained by V Kholi played against South Africa U19 captained by W Parnell in the final of the U19 world cup in 2008. The pitch is flat and the outfield is quick. There might be some moisture due to sweating thus might help a fast bowler early on but as the days goes on, the moister will dry up and it will be a flat surface to bat on. The ball will probably come a bit slower and spinners will enjoy bowling here in the second half of the game.
What if you win the toss? Batting first will be the best option. In sub-continent you never know how the pitch will behave especially in the first match of the tournament. Also the pitch slower down as the game goes on.
Expected Score: Something around 250 in this pitch batting first will challenge the team batting second. Squads and Team Expected:
Binod Bhandari- the right arm no.5 batsman have had a quiet last year, he averaged 14 with a strike rate less than hundred. With Alam coming in the Nepali squad, he might be left out tomorrow.
Nepal Squad: Paras Khadka(C), Gyanendra Malla (VC), Subash Khakurel(WK), Mehboob Alam, Sharad Vesawakar, Binod Bhandari, Naresh Budhayer, Shakti Gauchan, Basant Regmi, Ramnaresh Giri, Raj Pradhan, Sompal Kami, Sagar Pun, Aarif Sheikh
Team Expected: S Khakurel (WK), S Pun, G Malla, P Khadka(C), S Vesawakar, A Sheikh, M Alam, B Regmi, S Gauchan, S Kami, R Giri
Khurram Khan (C), Amjad Ali (WK), Salman Faris , Shaiman Anwar, Swapnil Patil, Krishnachandran Karate, Muhammad Shahzad, Fayyaz Ahmed, Irfan Sajid, Ahmed Raza, Mohammad Naveed, Kamran Shazad, Noor Al Amin, Abdul Haq
Team Expected: K Khan (C), A Ali (WK), S Patil, S Anwar, S Faris, K Karate, F Ahmed, A Raza, M Naveed, K Shazad, A Haq,
Prediction: There is no much difference in experience and talent between the teams so the team which will handle the pressure will win the game.