Kathmandu-Results of warm ups were not as what Nepal and Nepali fans expected but there are some positives they can take in account. Jitendra bowled beautifully in first game against quality opposition Ireland to pick up his career best figures 3-24 in T20s, also apart from 19th over which cost him for plenty Shakti bowled very economically. Sagar Pun was the next positive not with the bat but with a cherry in hand, he bowled a tight spell in critical stage of the game giving away just 18 of his 3, a very impressive figure for a bowler especially for a non regular bowler. Though the batting against UAE was demoralizing quite a bit, Nepalese would be desperate to fight back in their first ever appearance in the global level tournament.
Same applies for the HK, this is also a first ever appearance for them but they will be morally high after defeating a test nation Zimbabwe. Batting has been their main strength, they have chased down 154 runs in their first warm up against zimbabwe and limited Netherland to just hundred batting first, but the different opposition diffrerent techniques are required.
Nepal alongside HK are in Group A of the qualifying stage, Afghanistan and the host Bangladesh being the next two, the last two matches is going to be though go for both the teams so each will be looking to make a statement today at chittagoo 7:15 pm ( 7:30 NST) onwards. First impression is last impression, since 2013 Nepal and HK has clased twice and the records are 50-50,Against HK, P Khadka, the Nepali captain averages 36 in t20s, a good sign for Nepal. Also some senior players like S Gauchan and S Vesawakar has played in Bangladesh in 2000 and 2004 before for U17 and U19 respectively, experience of these senior players will surely help Nepal. “It was a tough fight against Ireland but batting failure against UAE was demoralizing quite a bit but it’s a game of uncertainty, anything can happen. Nepal must be feeling confident after a good fight against Ireland, the team is up to make a fresh start”, said Nepali Coach Dassanayake. “We know Nepali team nicely, our previous experience will play a nice hand but my team’s moral is high after a win against Zimbabwe, we will look to fight hard and give Nepal a stiff challenge,” said HK’s captain James Atkinson, HK’s Coach Charles Bruke via twitter also twitted that they will look to start the international T20s journey with a win.
Pitch Report and Weather Forecast
Pitch looks great, some dead grass as you’d see in a typical Bangladeshi pitch also rolled nicely but this is a sub-continental pitch might behave differently than it looks but for me it will be bowler friendly early on but will slower down as the game goes on. The pitch was covered throughout yesterday so there must be some unseen moisture due to sweating which will keep seamers interested in the first few overs of the game but as the moisture will fly the pitch will be flat and will be batting friendly, batsman will find no difficulty on playing across the line or past the bowlers. Odd balls might climb and some might keep low but defending a total in this pitch is like watering a flower in sand.
Weather is like wow! Simply the best for cricket. It might be cloudy during the day but towards the dusk sky will smile as if it is ready for the action. According to weather forecast it will be hotter somewhere around 26 degree toward the star but will cool down to around 20 toward the end. There will also be a bridge blowing across the 22 yards to help the seamers early on with a velocity of 4 kph, the humidity will be around 42%.
Today, as always in Bangladeshi pitch toss will play its part, ground is not quite a big and there is always a threat of dew playing on captain’s mind so the captain winning the toss will look to chase simply because it will become batting friendly in second half of the game.
Teams and Match Officials
For Nepal, from the squad that was announced for the tournament A Karn is ruled out due to knee injury, A Mandal has flown from Nepal to replace him some days earlier also P Baskota is unfit so replaced by A Bhattarai. We might see some changes not in lineup but in batting order, The Nepali team likely to play today is: S Khakurel (wk), A Mandal, G Malla, P Khadka(c), B Bhandari, S Vesawakar, S Pun, B Regmi, S Gauchan, A Bhattarai, J Mukhiya
For Hong Kong the team that has beaten Zimbabwe is likely to play but they might look to strengthen their bowling line up realizing that some Nepali batsmans are not comfortable against pace, the team that is likely to play is : I Ahmad, W Barkat, J Atkinson(c), B Hayat, N Khan,M Chapman,J Lamsam, T Afzal, A Khan, E Nawaz, N Amar
1) Onfield Umpires: Rod Tucker, Aleem Dar
2) Third umpire: Paul Reiffel
3) Fourth umpire: S Ravi
4) Match Refree : Javagal Srinath