Cricnepal –Nepal will face Hong Kong today in their second match of the ACC T20 Cup at the Tribhuwan International Cricket Ground.
The clash of the two is an important set up in the tournament as the winner of this match will not only have a huge morale boost but also most probably go into semis as Group winner
According to ICC rankings Hong Kong(20) is ranked higher than Nepal(25), however Nepal has been constantly defeating Hong Kong in all forms of the game. Since 2006 out of 4 ODI 3 Twenty20 and one first Class match Nepal has witnessed victory in every match except when Hong Kong defeated Nepal in the Group stages of Asian Games in the year 2010, however Hong has out performed Nepal in several of the tournaments in which Nepal had defeated Hong Kong.
3 day – 3 total-1 Nepal – 1 Hongkong 1 Draw
One day – 7 total – 4 Nepal – 3 Hongkong
Nepal had defeated Hong Kong by 2 wickets in the opening game of ACC T20 Cup 2011 held in Kathmandu last year. Hong Kong would love to avenge that defeat today with a win. Nepal and Hong Kong met once again in the ICC World T20 Qualifier, Nepal then defeated Hong Kong by 28 runs.
Though Hong Kong has not defeated Nepal in recent times it has however outperformed Nepal lot of the tournaments. In 2011 ACC T20 Cup itself Nepal ended fourth while Hong Kong stood second. In 2008 Hong Kong was defeated in the group stages by Nepal, but later on went on to lift the ACC trophy beating UAE in the final.
Hong Kong has a strong batting line up. Irfan Ahmed , Babbar Hayat and Nizakat Khan have performed quite well against Nepal. James Atkinson, Waqus Barkat and Courtney Kruger all have performed for Hong Kong at various stages.
Hong Kong’s Squad:
James Atkinson (Captain), Waqas Barkat (Vice Captain), Tanwir Afzaal, Irfan Ahmed, Nadeem Ahmed, Babar Hayat, Mudassar Hussain, Aizaz Khan, Nizakat Khan, Courtney Kruger, Anshuman Rath, Karan Shah, Daljeet Singh, Manjinder Singh
Players to Watch:
Brother Irfan Ahmed and Nadeem Ahmedhave played plenty of matches with Nepal. Irfan has been in the National Squad since 2005. Irfan top scored for Hong Kong against Nepal in last edition of the tournament scoring 25 of 11 balls and also bagged 2 wickets. However in the last two matches Irfan has scored 0 and 4 against Nepal.
Nadeem and Irfan both have been amongst the wickets. In 2010 when Nepal lost to Hong Kong Nadeem bagged 3 wickets
Paras Khadka vs Hong Kong
What has primarily determined Nepal’s performance in T20 against Hong Kong is Paras Khadka’s performance especially with the bat. Paras Khadka averages over 41 against Hong Kong in Twenty20 scoring 125 runs in 2 T20 matches played.
Khadka scored 44 and 68 against Hong Kong in last years ACC T20 Cup and ICC World Cup Qualifier respectively to guide Nepal to victory and received the player of the match in both the matches!
In 2010 Asian games, Nepal only loss to Hong Kong in over 7 years Khadka had made just 13.
Khadka also has 2 half centuries against Hong Kong in One day matches both coming in the ACC Elite Trophy, 81 in 2008 and 61 in 2012. Khadka scored 87 against Hong Kong in the
Nepalese Fast Bowlers:
Nepalese Fast bowling has peaked in matches against Hong Kong but on foreign turfs. In the ICC World T20 Qualifier Chandra Sawad got four wickets, while Amrit Bhattarai bagged 3 wickets each in first ICC World T20 Qualifier in UAE last year and ACC Elite Cup in UAE this year.