Match Preview: Nepal vs Ireland – Prequel to Final

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Kathmandu – Nepal Under-19s will face Ireland U-19 in the ongoing ICC U-19 World Cup Qualifier at Kinnara Oval Cricket Ground, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia tomorrow, October 21st 2015. The match starts at 7:15 NST.

Big Picture
Nepal and Ireland have already qualified for the final of the tournament so tomorrow’s match is basically a prequel to the final. Regardless of the results of the match, the two teams will take each other in the final of the tournament on 22nd October at the same venue.

Nepal and Ireland both dominated the tournament and matched each other’s performance with bat and ball while thrashing other opponents. Both teams registered three very easy wins against Uganda, PNG, and the USA.  Tomorrow’s match will be the first real test for both sides. It will basically be an opportunity for both sides to look into the strengths and weaknesses of each other and plan for the final on the 22nd of October.

Both teams have little to worry about – batsmen and bowlers in both teams have been exceptional in the matches.  Nepal has a lot of quality spinners – and playing on a ground that has served 5 matches in the last 6 days – spinners could be particularly lethal giving Nepal an edge over Ireland.

Ireland finished second in the 4-team European U-19 Championship. They were unlucky to have not qualified for the U-19 World Cup directly.  They were on equal points with Scotland but Scots qualified on a better Net Run Rate – courtesy of Ireland’s unfortunate loss to Scotland on the last day of the tournament.  Prior to that Ireland had won all 5 matches including a comfortable 5-wicket win over Scotland.

Nepal U-19 vs Ireland U19 : Head to Head
The young side of Nepal and Ireland have faced each other thrice – Nepal winning two of those meetings. In the 2004 U-19 World Cup Nepal defeated Ireland by 60 runs. Ireland U19 was led by current England ODI Captain Eion Morgan. Morgan scored 86 runs in that match. The other two matches have been fairly even; Nepal winning one by 14 runs(ICC U-19 World Cup Qualifier, 2011) and Ireland winning the other by 14 runs(ICC U-19 World Cup 2012)

Tournament Records
Leading Run Scorer – Lorchan Tucker(Ireland) – 131 runs;  Followed by Sagar Patel(USA) -119 runs
Leading Wicket Taker – Rory Anders(Ireland) -10 wickets; followed by Aarif Seikh(Nepal) – 7 wickets

Players to Watch

Gary and William McClintock are the only twins playing in the tournament. Gary with 13 wickets was the highest wicket-taker in European Championship for Ireland. William scored 137 runs in the same event 8 runs behind Ireland’s leading run-getter skipper Jack Trector.

Aarif Seikh vice-captain of Nepal U19 side is the leading wicket-taker for Nepal in this tournament. His 7 wickets came at an average of 2.42 and an incredible economy of 0.71 runs.  Of his 23.4 overs in the tournament 12 have been maidens. He scored 54 runs in the only innings he got to bat. His performance will be important against a tough Irish side.

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