Hong Kong vs Nepal : Preview

Nepal takes on the high flyers Hong Kong today in the perhaps the biggest match that Nepal Cricket has seen. One win here and the  “World Cup Wish” is fulfilled.

Nepal finished third on the group with some luck and some Scottish stupidity!

Nepal have been outright better performers than Hong Kong in the last few years of International Cricket ; but this tournament Nepali team has been bit wary. They have been very inconsistent with both bat and ball.

On the other hand Hong Kong Cricket team is in a brilliant form; especially their batting.  The top three have the class to outplay any team. They even gave Ireland a scare in their previous match and when Atkinson was in the field it looked as if they would chase Ireland’s score of 200.

Hong Kong is perhaps the best fielding team in the tournament. Its one more weapon in Hong Kong’s arsenal that Nepal have to be cautious about!

So its inform Hong Kong versus  inconsistent Nepali team and if things go the same way Hong Kong will run away with the match with absolute ease.

The Spin Sketch
Hong Kong team struggles particularly with spin and slow bowling. Basanta Regmi took 3 wickets against Hong Kong when these team met 6 months back. Hong Kong after brilliant start against UAE lost its way to slow and spin attack of UAE earlier in the tournament. Willam Porterfield outclassed Hong Kong players with his off breaks and bagged 4 scalps in Hong Kong previous matches.

Nepali team is heavy on spin attack but they have not performed particularly well in the tournament. How  the spin attack presents itself today will likely determine the fate of today’s match

Likely Changes: Except for a change in batting line up and bowling strategy the changes are unlikely. The coach may add a spinner in the squad for a batsman, but it will be a headache to decide which batsman to drop!

Head To Head:
3 day – 3 total-1 Nepal – 1 Hongkong 1 Draw
One day – 7 total – 4 Nepal – 3 Hongkong
Twenty20 –  4 total – 2 Nepal – 2 Hongkong

After losing to Hong Kong in the Asian games Nepal  defeated Hong Kong by 2 wickets in the opening game of ACC T20 Cup 2011 held in Kathmandu last year. Nepal and Hong Kong met once again in the ICC World T20 Qualifier, Nepal then defeated Hong Kong by 28 runs.

But Hong Kong avenged those losses as they thrashed Nepal in the group matches of ACC T20 Cup by 6 wickets.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong has a strong batting line up. Irfan Ahmed , Babbar Hayat and Nizakat Khan have performed quite well against Nepal.  Surprisingly J Atkinson has not been that impressive against Nepal. Their team is filled with hard hitting batting all rounders like Irfan, Nizakat and Tanvir ideal for a T20 format.

James Atkinson (captain), Tanwir Afzal, Irfan Ahmed, Moner Ahmed, Nadeem Ahmed, Haseeb Amjad, Waqas Barkat, Mark Chapman, Babar Hayat, Aizaz Khan, Nizakat Khan, Roy Lamsam, Ali Skhawat, Kinchit Shah, Daljeet Singh
ICC T20 Qualifier 2012 – 11th

ICC T20 Qualifier Qualification- Finished fourth behind UAE in the 2013 ACC T20 Elite Cup

Hong Kong in ICC T20 Qualifier 2013
Form:  W W W  L W W L
Most Runs : J Atkinson with 234 runs in 7 matches
Most Wickets: Munir Dar with 14 wickets (Overall Highest)
Best Bowling Performance:  5/12 Haseeb Amjad against Italy(Overall best)
Best Batting Performance :  100 by Irfan Ahmed against Canada(One of four centuries in the tournaments)
Highest Total :  169/4 vs USA
Most Sixes :  JJ Atkinson 12

Last Match : Lost to Ireland by 85 runs

Nepal Squad:

Paras Khadka (captain), Pradeep Airee, Binod Bhandari, Amrit Bhattarai, MaheshChhetri, Shakti Gauchan, Subash Khakurel, Avinash Karn, Gyanendra Malla, Anil Mandal, Jitendra Mukhiya, Sagar Pun, Basant Regmi, Sharad Vesawkar, Rahul Vishwakarma

Nepal in ICC T20 Qualifier 2013
Form: W W L W L L W
Most Runs: Subash Khakurel 177 runs in 7 innings Century
Most Wickets: Basanta Regmi  and Paras Khadka with 8 wickets each
Best Bowling Performance: Basanta Regmi 3/12 against The Netherlands
Best Batting Performance: 54* Paras Khadka against Kenya
Highest Total: 186/4 in 19.4 overs against Kenya
Most Sixes: Paras Khadka, 11 sixes
last Match: Defeated Bermuda by 21 runs

Players to Watch Out

Brothers Irfan and Nadeem Ahmed- The two matches Nepal lost to Hong Kong Irfan and Nadeem were the main culprits. In the last two edition of ACC T20 Cup Irfan has scored 25 of11 and 30 of 16 against Nepal giving Hong Kong an ideal start. A start like that in the biggest match Nepal has ever played and panic could easily set in and take the game away from Hong Kong.  Irfan already has a hundered in the tournament

Hong has defeated Nepal twice in T20 Cricket and both times Nadeem Ahmed was the player of the match.

Subash Khakurel the highest run scorer for Nepal in the tournament hasn’t performed that well against HK and has been out in single digits 0, 6! Irfan, Nizakat, Tanvir and Haseeb will not make things easy with their medium pace.