Match Preview: Nep U19 VS Ire U19: Nepal eager to set a foot in super league

Nepal U19 wins against NZ U19

Nepal U19 will face Ireland U19 in the second match of  ICC U-19 World Cup 2016 at Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium, Fatullah, Bangladesh tomorrow, January 30, 2016. The match starts at 8:45 NST.

Big Picture
Nepal’s morale boosting 32 runs victory over New Zealand U19 in the first match and Nepal’s comprehensive wins over Ireland U19 in the ICC U19 Qualifiers puts Nepal in as favorites for tomorrow. Nepal are riding high with confidence after their seventh win over a youth side of a test playing nation, whereas, India U19 severely dented the confidence of Irish contingent thrashing them by 79 runs.

However, tomorrow’s match is different ball game – the winner takes all while the loser gets nothing. The pressure of this occasion will be tough for both sides.

Nepal will try to put in another all-round performance. Nothing went wrong for Nepal against the Kiwis; batsman piled up a good total, bowlers took up their responsibility and the fielding was exceptional. The team work was fantastic but top orders batsman such as Sandeep Sunar, Sunil Dhamala and Raju Rijal should play long innings and try to score big runs once they get settled.

Sunar got out when he was on 39, Rijal was two short runs of a half century and Aarif Sheikh too made just 39 runs. Had any of the top order batsman played a long innings, Nepal could have posted 20-30 runs more.

Ireland, however, will try to learn their mistakes from the match against India. They had India struggling at 55 for 4 in the seventh over. Later in the innings, they couldn’t contain India in taking up ones and twos, as Sarfaraz and Washington put on 110 runs in 104 balls to swing the momentum back in India’s favour.

Ireland’s pacers Joshua Little, Rory Anders did a fine, picking 3 wickets each against India. One can certainly expect them to trouble Nepal batsman with their pace. In the batting, they should work out on playing less dot balls.

Nepal will be eager to set a foot in the super leagues with a win tomorrow, while Ireland will look for their first victory of the tournament.

Nepal U-19 vs Ireland U19: Head to Head (4-1)

Prior to this tournament the youth side of Nepal and Ireland have faced each other five times – Nepal winning four of those meeting. In the 2004 U-19 World Cup Nepal defeated Ireland by 60 runs. Ireland U19 was then led by current England ODI Captain Eion Morgan. Morgan scored 86 runs in that match. Nepal also defeated them by 14 runs in the ICC U-19 World Cup Qualifier, 2011.

In the ICC U19 WCQ 2015, Nepal thrashed Ireland by 8 wickets in the group match and 3 wickets in the final.

Ireland’s only win came in the ICC U19 World Cup 2012. Nepal then lost by 14 runs.

Players to Watch

Raju Rijal (Nepal): Touted by many as the successor of Paras Khadka, his 48 runs against New Zealand earned him the Man of the Match award. He possess the quality to score big runs. His 101 runs against Uganda in the U19 WCQ 2015 is an example. Rijal seems to be in fine touch and can perform exceptionally against Ireland tomorrow.

William McClintock: In the match against India U19, McClintok scored 58 runs under immense pressure. The second highest scorer in the European Championship with 137 runs, he can be dangerous against Nepal.