Kathamndu- Nepal takes Papua New Guinea (PNG) tomorrow in the second round of ICC World Cricket League Championship at Sheikh Zyed Stadium, Abu Dhabi. The match starts at 11:15 NPT.
Both Nepal and Papua New Guinea (PNG) are without wins in the ICC WCL Championship so far, after playing two games in the first round of the championship. Netherlands comprehensively defeated PNG in first round matches, while, Nepal’s first game against Scotland went down to wire, with the home team getting better of Nepal just by three runs and Nepal losing the second match by 9 wickets according to DL Method.
So, Nepal and PNG, who stand at the second last and last place respectively, will battle for their first point in the championship table.
Preparation ahead of the game-
Thanks to ICC, Nepal played three fifty over games and a two day game in the UAE as a part of their preparation. Nepal lost to Pakistan and Oman in the 50 over games while they defeated Danube Lions (local team) by 14 runs (DL Method). They drew the two day game against Hong Kong. Nepal’s 205/5 against Pakistan’s received lots of praise from the fans despite losing the match by a huge margin of 121 runs- which the fans cited as positive batting approach.
Meanwhile, PNG played two fifty over games against Oman and Danbue Lions as a part of their preparation. PNG’s match against Oman went close, winning just by 2 wickets with one ball remaining, but, they thrashed Danube Lions comprehensively by 141 runs in their next match.
Head to Head- (Nepal 1 PNG 3)
The senior side of Nepal and PNG has meet four times; once in 2004 in ICC World Cup Qualifying series (50 over match) and thrice in the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifiers. In 2004 PNG which was considered very strong then, comprehensively defeated Nepal by 70 runs.
In the ICC T20 WCQ, Nepal first lost to PNG by 35 runs in the group stages (2013) but then avenged that loss in the 7th place play offs winning by 6 wickets. Paras Khadka scored a match winning 65 of 43 balls to take the team to victory. PNG then in ICC T20 WCQ 2015, got better of Nepal, defeating them by 8 wickets.
Players to watch-
Anil Mandal (Nepal)- Three centuries in the domestic tournament, century against Scotland and half centuries against Hong Kong and Pakistan- the right handed batsman from Janakpur is in form of his life. His current form and quality to play long innings can benefit Nepal in tomorrow’s match.
Mahuru Dai (PNG)- Dai has been representing PNG for a decade now. He scored a brisk 47 runs from 41 balls against Oman to led his team to victory. Two days later, against Danube Lions, he blasted 66 ball 81 runs with 11 fours and 2 sixes. This experienced can come handy against Nepal both with his bowling and batting.
Nepal- Paras Khadka (C), Gyanendra Malla (VC), Subash Khakurel(WK), Basant Regmi, Shakti Prasad Gauchan, Sagar Pun, Anil Kumar Mandal, Sompal Kami, Karan KC, Mahesh Kumar Chhetri, Mahaboob Alam, Sharad Vesawkar, Prithu Baskota, Irshad Ahmed, Naresh Bahadur Budhayer and Bikram Sob.
PNG- Jack Kevere, Assadollah Vala, Lega Siaka, Sese Bau, Vani Morea, Mahuru Dai, Charles Amini, Norman Vanua, Chad Soper, John Reva, Tony Ura, Loa Nau, Hiri Hiri and Nosaina Pokana
Note- The match will be live streamed on Cricnepal.com and icc-cricket.com.