Sushil Thapa, Fairfax, VA – Defying odds, overcoming mediocrity and withstanding pressure, Nepal gave their supporters plenty to cheer about, with a thrilling 19-run victory over the overwhelming favorites the Netherlands in the second match of the ICC World League Championship in the Netherlands.
Nepal made a spectacular comeback, being down in the dumps. After having watched the team surrender meekly to the Dutch in the opener, the stunning victory was unexpected and caught everyone by complete surprise, including me.
Nobody gave them a chance to win, especially after the embarrassing performance in the Sunday showdown. However, they proved everyone wrong.
Skipper Paras Khadka, the batting bone of the Nepali team, struck back with a vengeance to lead his side to an improbable win over the host nation. A brilliant all-round display (84 runs and 2 wickets) from the captain deservedly fetched him the man of the match award. Likewise, important knocks from Gyanendra Malla (39) and Sagar Pun (45) helped the team to solidify the total.
All the good work done by the batsmen did not go in vain at the end of the day. The bowlers did their part and assured the team victory. Once again, the win has underlined Nepal’s undoubted potential in cricket.
The surprise but well deserved win brought enormous relief to the team and their supporters. With the all-important victory they keep their slim qualification hopes alive.
From this point forward, Nepal find themselves in a must win situation in all their remaining matches to qualify for the final stage of the competition. A tall order, but doable, if they are able to put in a phenomenal effort of the entire team.
The team’s biggest weakness is their batting right now. Their shaky, fragile and inconsistent batting continues to let them down in a big way, and in big moments, time and time again.Their batting record speaks for itself, and they cannot keep going down the same path. Else, they will have to cope with more setbacks, disappointments and failures.
There is a general consensus that Nepal’s batting is a serious problem and needs urgent attention. They must dramatically turnaround their shallow batting to improve their standing in international cricket, plain and simple.
The current crop of batsmen are talented but have not lived up to expectations. They have been guilty of making basic errors and seem to be more vulnerable on fast pitches.
They have lacked temperament, confidence, application and technique to stay on pitch and play a long innings. It has been a struggle like never before for most. They have constantly failed to play big, crucial knocks, and their runs have come in dribs and drabs.
The over reliance on Skipper Khadkha and his deputy Gyanendra Malla becomes all too obvious. Every time they fail with the bat it spells trouble for the team.As a matter of fact, we are not producing quality batsmen and unless we do so, it will not be easy for Nepal to get back to being competitive.
In all fairness, cricketers have continued to play positively and producing results, despite the air of uncertainty and sorry state of domestic cricket.They deserve every bit of credit for their achievements (achieved on their own) under very difficult circumstances. They have been victims of a corrupt sports system all along. I have been saying this for years.
No doubt, we have powerhouse of talent with us. It is pretty ironic that the talent is being wasted because of inept, incompetent administration and management.Nepali cricket is in a shambles and stuck in a rut. The system is badly broken and in urgent need of reform. Can it be done? I will admit I am skeptical. I say this because the politicization of cricket in Nepal has plunged so deep and ugly.
The divide in the so-called Nepali cricket stakeholders continues to date. There are no indications that they are ready to bury their differences and work together for good of Nepali cricket
It is no secret that these power brokers and their cronies are responsible for the mess in Nepali cricket. They care nothing about the interest of cricket and cricketers at large. All they are after is money and power, which has resulted in the stagnation of cricket.The suspension imposed on Cricket Association of Nepal by the ICC explains the gravity of the situation.
The bottom line is that all warring parties must be on the same page and work together to resolve the crisis that is going out of hand.Otherwise, nothing will ever change and Nepal’s cricket woes will only continue to grow.