Kathmandu- This U-19 World Cup has been nothing less than a dream come true for Nepal. Albeit they lost ludicrously to India in the last group stage match, the two wins against New Zealand and Ireland was enough for a quarter final spot.
Tomorrow, Nepal are all set to script history as they take on Bangladesh in their first ever Quarter Final match at U19 World Cup. After losing almost embarrassingly against India, taking on the home side may seem a tall climb. However here are 5 reasons to feel positive about Nepal’s chances against the test squad.
International Cricket Council (ICC) has ended the controversy over Raju Rijal’s age through a press release yesterday. The captain thus will have one less thing to worry about and can focus on the game. Rijal is undoubtedly one of Nepal’s most prolific players and end of debacle over his age warrants a top performance tomorrow against Bangladesh.
4. Batting: fearless and fathomless
Despite losing to India Nepal’s fearless (often senseless) batting against India, gained Nepal lot of praises from everyone (Except certain someone e in the commentary box). Nepal fearlessness is fueled partly by the depth in the batting line up. Prem Tamang, who once opened the innings bats at number nine warrants top order players to play their shots.
3. The magic Spin Trio
Nepal has only one trick up its sleeve – spin. The trick has however proved very effective till now. The variation in spin bowling is the biggest strength of the side. Nepal’s three front line spinners Sushil Kandel, Sandeep Lamichhane, and Prem Tamang offer left arm, leg spin and off spin option enough to unsettle any team. The trio has picked of 12 of the 19 wickets taken by Nepalese bowlers in the tournament. Kandel’s discipline, Lamichhane’s hat-trick is enough to play demons on batsman’s mind.
The spin friendly pitches of Bangladesh will play in Nepal’s favor.
In the only previous encounter between Nepal and Bangladesh in the U19 World Cup, Nepal had defeated them by 23 runs. Nepalese players will enter the field tomorrow with every lessons and awe-inspiring moments of that match because Nepal’s captain then Binod Das, is currently the bowling coach of this squad.
Das was pivotal in Nepal’s win against Bangladesh – getting 17 runs with the bat first and then picking up 2 top order wicket with the ball. Das will have plenty of fond memories of that match to serve in the dressing room – knocking over once Bangladesh most coveted player, Ashraful, for a duck should be on top of the list.
1. Bangladesh under pressure
Nepal go into this match as minnows and win play the bold brand of cricket that associate are often credited for. Bangladesh on the other hand has a lot to lose. Being a test playing nation a loss to Nepal that too in their own home will raise a lot of question about their youth cricket. Playing this match wary of Nepal’s giant killing abilities with pressure of performance & fear of failure under home condition could be too much to handle for the youth side.