Kathmandu – ICC World Cricket League Division 3 which paves the pathway to ICC’s high level programs including four-day first class competition for Associate and Affiliate Members, the ICC Intercontinental Cup, and the 50-over Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Championship is all set to start from October 23 (tomorrow).
Six teams are participating in the tournaments; Nepal as defending champions, Uganda as runner ups, USA and Bermuda as the 3rd and 4th team from Division 3, 2013, and Malaysia and Singapore were newly promoted as top two teams from Division 4.
Tomorrow’s match between defending champions (Nepal) and runner ups (Uganda) will be a interesting one.
Being the defending champion is never easy. There is a big pressure to perform well for Nepal as people back home have more expectations on them than other teams. Nepal team has a decent line up being led by one of the most successful captains in Associates, Paras Khadka. Unlike the World Cup Qualifiers there are no worries about injury as every players in the squad are fit and fine.
In the previous Division 3 tournament, Nepal had a disastrous start to the tournament losing their first two matches, they were almost out of the contest. But they bounced back heavily and clinched the title.
However, this time, we can expect a good start form the Nepal team. The team has had a good year, Nepal highlighted ICC World T20 recording two win out of three matches. Though they didn’t get more practice matches ahead of the tournament, they are a confident side and this level of competition shouldn’t bother them much.
As always, they have a very good bowling and fielding unit. The addition of two young players Sompal Kami and Aarif Sheikh ( both of them playing World Cricket league for the first time) is a boost to the team. But Nepal has problem with their batting, but the recent performance of players suggest that their batsman are ready to play some big innings.
Gyanendra Malla played an innings of 167 runs against Ragama Cricket Club in Sir Lanka, Paras Khadka has always been contributing, Subash Khakurel has a few time played some majestic innings. Apart from the opening instability, batting also looks good for Nepal. If Nepal finds a good opening pair this time, no teams in this competition can trouble Nepal. Nepal has a recorded big wins against Uganda, apart from the first loss. Therefore, Uganda won’t be a tall climb for Nepal in tomorrow’s encounter.n
Uganda were the Runner Ups of the previous edition of Division 3. They were strong at the beginning of the tournament last year but lost their way at the end only to loose to Nepal in the final. Uganda are a balanced side. They have players like Frank Nsubuga (Captain if the team and player of the tournament of previous Div-3) and Roger Mukasa who has got the experience of playing first-class matches.
They are a strong batting side having explosive batters like Arthur Kyobe & Brian Masaba at the beginning, Roger Mukasa and Lawrence Sematimba at the steady the middle order, and Deusdedit Muhumuza-Frank Nsubuga are capable of scoring lower down the order. Henry Ssenyondo leads the bowling attack along with captain Frank Nsubuga. They are comfortable defending totals. Their weak point is their inability to play spinners. They have a poor record against spinners accounting 441 runs in 134.5 overs at 3.27 runs per over with 19 wickets given.
Uganda have to do some hard work against Nepal if they are to win tomorrow. Uganda haven’t play spinners well and Nepalese spinners are perhaps the best among Associates. It will be interesting to see who wins the battle tomorrow.
Uganda vs Nepal : ( Nepal 2, Uganda 1)
Nepal and Uganda has faced each other three times, all of which were part of ICC World Cricket League matches. Nepal lost to Uganda in the first match these two teams faced each other. It was in the second match of previous edition of ICC WCL Division 3. Nepal then played them in the final of that tournament which Nepal won by 5 wickets. In ICC World Cup 2015 qualifiers, these two teams met again in the 9th place play-off which Nepal won comprehensively by 160 runs.
Recent form in ICC WCL
“This tournament is a massive opportunity that we want to grasp with both hands. We were obviously disappointed not to win the tournament last time round after a consistent run of wins so we will be looking to do one better,” Uganda Captain Frank Nsubuga.
“We are hungry to do well in the tournament and we will do whatever it takes again to lift the trophy again. We want to get to the ICC Intercontinental Cup” Nepal Captain Paras Khadka.
Nepal should with no troubles at all.