Nepal In ICC T20 Qualifier

Subash Gautam

The ICC T20 qualifiers 2014 is all set to start on 15th of this month with 16 associates and affiliates teams vying for the top 6 spot. These top six teams will be representing themselves in the 5th edition of the ICC T20 world cup in Bangladesh next year.
Nepal,playing the qualifiers for the 2nd time are yet to make it to the top six and would hope to grab a position this time. Last time they were ranked 16th before the tournament and came up 7th after the tournament. This time they would hope for a change in fortune and qualify for the world cup.

As always,Nepal are boomed with a lot of talent and ability. The players have worked very hard to get into this position.Prior to this qualification,they have also reached division 2  and are in a great form. In the last two years they have reached the finals of every competition they have played. They recently toured Delhi where they won 6 out of seven matches played.

It is Nepal’s batting that has always let them down. Apart from Captain Paras Khadka,who has an average of over 50,others haven’t done well. The opening pair of Subash and Pradeep have not clicked well. Anil and Mahesh will provide options for the coach if Subash and Airee don’t perform. Gyanendra Malla has got starts but he has not been able to capitalize it yet in this format. Binod Bhandari is new in the tournament and Sharad Veswakar hasn’t contributed much. In the lower order,Nepal has Sagar Pun and Basanta Regmi who can hit the ball hard.

In the bowling department,spin is excellent with three left arm spinner Basanta Regmi,Shakti Gauchan and Rahul BK and one offspinner, Sagar Pun. Basanta and Shakti,as always,have taken wickets and added pressure to the batsman. Shakti has also a hattrick to his name. Sagar Pun is a  newbie but did well in the practice matches. With the current form of Nepali fast bowlers Nepal could easily opt for all three Left arm spinners.

The pace attack has been boosted by the presence of Jitendra mukhiya,a right arm pacer.He took 4 wickets in the  two warm up matches but has been expensive. Nepal has two other left arm pacer,Amrit Bhattari and Avinash Karn. Amrit is undoubtedly Nepal best fast bowler but he hasn’t impressed a lot in last year. Fast bowling could be a head ache once again for Nepal.

The way I see it  with this team Nepal will any matches if they score a score past 150 and they will any score between 130-140 against any teams.

Player To Watch For
He smashed 254 runs last time in this competition with an astounding average of 50.80 in 8 innings.He also scored 85* off just 62 balls in the warm match against UAE to guide his team a win. His form will be crucial for Nepal.

•Last time Nepal won three matches and lost 4 matches in the group stage.Overall they won 5 and lost 4.
•Since 2007 Nepal have never won against Afghanistan in any formats.

“The boys have been working hard for the last two months.We have been focusing on our fitness and skill levels with everyone pretty geared up and looking forward to the event”,Nepal skipper Paras Khadka.

Parash khadka(c),Subash Khakurel(wk),Pradeep Airee,Gyanendra Malla,Binod Bhandari,Sharad Veswakar,Sagar Pun,Basanta Regmi,Shakti Gauchan,Jitendra Mukhiya,Amrit Bhattarai,Avinash Karn,Mahesh Chettri,Anil Mandal.

Gautam is a student and regular reader of Cricnepal. He has worked with cricnepal in several of its initiations!