Though this tournament is based on Round-Robin league format, the final league match between Nepal and Malaysia tomorrow will be a virtual final as both these team stand 1st and 2nd respectively in the points table. However, in case the match is called off due to rain or in case its a draw Nepal will win the tournament on the basis of net run rate. Last edition of ACC U-16 Elite Cup,2012 final was also played between these team at the same venue(Kinrara Oval) with Malaysia handing Nepal a painful one wicket loss. This tournament has truly been a two horse race for Nepal and Malaysia with both recording convincing wins.
Nepal are on top of their game with four convincing wins out of four games played. Nepal thrashed Thailand by 10 wickets in the first game, mauled Singapore by 49 runs in the second game, thumped Oman by 94 runs in the third game and outplayed Bahrain completely by beating them by massive 186 runs in the fourth game and are at the top of the table with 3.155 run rate.
More importantly, it has been a complete team effort from Nepal in winning all four games with four different Man of the Match winners. Their batting has kept improving and bowling has been outstanding as ever. Two of Nepal’s spin bowler stand at the top two position in the wicket taker list; Jitendra Singh Thakuri(13) and Anil Kharel(12). Nepal is the only team in the tournament to have played every 40 overs batting first in the tournament. Therefore, batting shouldn’t be a concern for Nepal and the team looks well balanced.
Nepal’s Coach Basanta Sahi agrees that spin has been the major weapon for Nepal in the tournament. ” Our chance of winning the tournament will depend on how our spinners perform”, said Sahi. Though, he is hopeful of winning the tournament as everyone has clicked in the right time for Nepal when it mattered the most.
Recent Matches: WWWW
Malaysia’s story in the tournament has been same as of Nepal, though different in numbers with three wins in four game and one game being washed out.
Their Captain Vrandeep Singh has been the stand out performer playing a huge role in all three game and grabbing all three Man of the Match awards. He has been brilliant with both bat and bowl with 164 runs and 8 wickets in the tournament so far. He is the same man who stood against Nepal’s bowling two years ago with a match winning 54 not out in ACC U-16 Elite Cup 2012 final.
They have batted first in only one game in the tournament so far and that was against Bahrain which was called off. So, if Nepal invites them to bat first winning the toss, it would be a problem for them. They looked rusty against Singapore in the third game chasing 127 runs. Otherwise their run in the tournament has been comprehensively easy.
Recent Matches: DWWW
Malaysia v Nepal at Kinrara Oval
MALAYSIA WON BY ONE WICKET
Nepal won the toss and chose to bat
Nepal: 117 all out off 33 overs (A.Bista 35; S.Goonasagaran 3-27)
Malaysia: 120 for 9 off 39.1 overs (V. Singh 54*)
Man of the Match: Virandeep Singh (Malaysia)
But, whatever be the stats, tomorrow’s contest between Nepal and Malaysia is going to be a interesting and a tough one as it was two years before between these two teams. It is really hard to predict the game but i think Nepal has a edge over Malaysia as they are the team in form. The team that plays a good game of cricket will win the match and the tournament for sure.