After a convincing win over Bhutan in the previous match, Nepal will face China tomorrow, Sunday, in what is expected to be a play-off for the second position on the points table.
With Thailand absolutely dominating so far the winner between China and Nepal will surely finish second in the table.The top two teams in the league are supposed compete in the final and the winner gets a place in World Cup Qualifiers. So it will a very crucial fixture especially for Nepal-having already lost to Thailand earlier a loss against China will close every doors for top 2 finishes.
Previous Encounters (Nepal 2: China 1)
China and Nepal were part of the first ever ACC Women’s Tournament in 2007. Matches were 30 overs each then and Nepal dominated the tournament all the way up to the final where they lost embarrassingly to Bangladesh. China also impressed in that tournament reaching the semi-finals where they faced a humiliating defeat at hands of Nepal. Nepal had chased the 41 runs target set by China losing just 1 wicket and more than half of the overs to spare.
Nepal and China then met at 2009 ACC T20 where there was more humiliation in store for China. Chasing 104 China was all out for mere 30 runs-none of their batters even got to double digits.
China has improved a great deal since 2009. They finished fourth at Asian Games 2010 finishing above every team in this ACC Premier Tournament. The improved china avenged the previous losses in 2012 edition of ACC Women’s Asia Cup T20 where they defeated Nepal by 45 runs. Chasing 93 as none of the Nepal batters except Sarita Magar(10) crossed the double digit mark.
China has finished above Nepal in every tournament since 2010 but just like Nepal they are yet to win a single ACC Title. China is two time finalist at ACC Women’s Tournaments (ACC T20 in 2011 and ACC Women’s Championship in 2013 losing to Hong Kong and Thailand respectively. In 2013 Women’s Championship China had defeated Thailand in the group stage before losing in the final)
The Chinese are considered exceptional batting unit-especially the top order. In ACC Women’s Championship 2013 China crossed 200 twice in the 25 over tournament. However they haven’t had a good tournament so far with unconvincing wins against Hong Kong in the first match and today even minnows Bhutan gave them a run for their money.
China at ACC Premier Trophy 2014
Form: W W W
Highest Total: 227/9 vs Iran
Most Runs: Zang Mei, 98 runs 3 innings
Highest Individual: Sun Huan 69 runs vs Iran
Most Wickets: Han Lili-8 Wickets
Best Bowling Performance: 5/8 Zhou Haijie vs. Hong Kong
Nepal in ACC Premier Trophy 2014
Form: W L W
Highest Total: 284/6 vs Iran
Most Runs: Sarita Magar-75 runs 3 innings
Highest Individual Score: Sarita Magar 72 vs Iran
Most Wickets: Sita Magar-6 Wickets
Best Bowling Performance: Sita Magar 4/4 vs Iran
Players to Watch Out
Zhang Mei has one of the most consistent batters in this tournament with scores of 39, 31 and 38 in last 3 matches. She had 44* against Nepal when these teams met in Women’s Asia Cup T20 in 2012. Zhang Mei along with Sun Men Yao form one of the most formidable opening pair in the Asian Associate Women’s Cricket. The pair had added two identical scores of 141 for the first wicket in the last year’s ACC Women’s Championship.