Kathmandu – After the end of 3rd and crucial day of the ACC premier league, Nepal looks an improved side but batting is still a concern for them. Nepal lost to Oman in a nail biting thriller in their last game; bowlers almost won the match that was thrown away undone by the batsman. Khakurel returned to pavilion in the third ball of the match when the scorecard wasn’t off the mark yet; Nepal kept losing wickets at the regular intervals making tough for the batsman to follow.
Sompal Kami and Sagar Pun put on a partnership of 28 for the last wicket to draw them to some respectable score of 157, but it was never going to be enough especially against a team that has been at its prime form. Some clumsy bowling early on by Mehboob Alam and some ridiculous decisions taken by the captain in the field withdraw the match from Nepal’s control. Tomorrow’s clash against Hong Kong will decide if the defending champions will get a chance or not to defend. If Nepal wins tomorrow, the hopes will be still alive but if they lose and Afghans wins against Oman then the dream of recreating the history will be dream forever.
This tournament has been an upset as far as Hong-Kong is concerned, they have played three and are yet to get off the mark in the points table and lie at the bottom. As Nepal, batting has been the concern for the Hong Kong too, bowling has been pretty impressive throughout the tournament but batting is yet to kick off. A win or a loss won’t really affect Hong Kong as they are already out of the tournament but they will be looking to clinch out their historic rival Nepal out off the tournament too.
Bowling of both of the teams has been at their best but batting have been demoralizing, only the difference is that Nepal is yet to face the strong opponents that Hong Kong has already faced. The contest tomorrow will be a do or die type for Nepal and it is sure there will be a nail biting finish to this epic match between these rivals.
Pitch and the Toss:
Pitch has been a factor in this tournament; it has behaved differently in numerous occasions than expected. It’s an early start in the morning so there is a little for the fast bowlers of the deck and of the air too but as the day goes on there will be simply nothing for the seamers, the pitch will slow down and start gripping and turning. The pitch is not a batting friendly; batsman will find it difficult to score runs.
Something around 220 batting first will challenge the side batting second.
In this sort of pitch where there is no clue how it will play, it’s always a good decision to get runs under your belt first.
Batting has been a concern for Nepal and it’s a must win game for them, so we might see some changes in the Nepali team.
Hong Kong (probable)
I Ahmed, S Ali, JJ Atkinson (C) (wk), N Khan, B Hayat, W Barkat, A Sharma, H Amjad, T Afzal, N Ahmed, E Nawaz
Nepal has a very good chance of winning looking at the history and the forms of the players.