With one win and one loss, Nepal is in a precarious position in the ICC World League championship Division 2 qualifiers in Namibia.
Despite a promising start and a big opportunity, Nepal badly stumbled and failed to consolidate their position in the competition going down meekly in the second match.
The six-wicket defeat at the hands of Oman was unexpected and a huge disappointment. The setback has considerably reduced Nepal’s chances to make it to the final qualifier round in Zimbabwe.
When all said and done, this defeat could prove to be a turning point in the fortunes of Team Nepal at the end of the day.
Of course, they are not yet out of the race but have brought upon themselves big time pressure. Now that the odds are heavily stacked against them, they are under intense pressure and must find a way to turn things around.
The fact of the matter is that Nepal must win all their remaining matches convincingly.We all can agree that it is a tall order for a team that is mightily struggling in the batting department.
In other words, they cannot afford another defeat, otherwise, they exit the competition. It is a make or break situation.
That said, there is still some dim hope that they can bounce back in contention for the competition. I am not sure if that is possible unless they make things happen.
Nepal barely squeaked through against Namibia in the opener. Never mind how they brushed off the home side challenge, a win is a win regardless. Nonetheless, it was a perfect start to the competition.
The key was they got the momentum they needed, and, more importantly, they had to ride on it. They had an excellent chance to make it two wins in a row and keep their hopes alive.
Contrary to expectations, they let this opportunity slip away and dug themselves into a hole. For the second successive match, Nepal’s batting woes were exposed, which largely contributed to their latest defeat.
So far it has been a disastrous batting performance, to say the least. None of the batsmen has been able to push on and make a big score. They have gone down like ninepins.
Evidently, the frontline batsmen skipper Paras Khadka, Gyanendra Malla, Aarif Sheikh, Sharad Vesawkar and Dilip Nath have flopped miserably.
Expectations were high on dashing youngster Dipendra Singh Airee, but he has not performed to his potential. Apparently, Nepal’s failure with the bat is taking them nowhere and making them less competitive also.
Nepal’s bowling has been their one saving grace. The bowlers have been outstanding despite increasing pressure. The one wicket win over Namibia was possible solely because of their effort and brilliance.
Man of the match Sandeep Lamichhane, Sompal Kami and Basanta Regmi paved the way for victory. Against Oman, they were in a similar situation having to defend a paltry total but it was a different story as they faced a defiant batting.
Nepal’s remaining three matches are against formidable opponents in the likes of Canada, Kenya and the United Arab Emirates.
If there is no batting improvement, without a doubt, the going would definitely get tougher for them, and they stand no possible chance to upset the applecart.
At the end the logical conclusion would be, another batting debacle ends Nepal’s challenge in the competition. There is no quick fix to the batting shortcomings, and we can only hope that they bat well. To be blunt, I don’t fancy their chances at all.