Kathmandu – Nepal opened their Asian Games Cricket campaign with a bang, recording their highest ever win in T20 cricket against low ranked team – Kuwait. Nepal completely out classed Kuwait packing them up for just 20 runs in 13.2 overs. They chased that minor target playing 17 balls and losing a wicket.
Nepal’s seamer were brilliant with the ball in the first six overs, their spinners did their job as always and they were spectacular in the field as well. Nepal fielded a full squad against Kuwait. But, since a spot in the next round is almost sure for Nepal, they will be looking to build their bench strength and give some chance for youngster like Bhuwan Karki, Pradeep Airee and Ram Naresh Giri for exposure against Maldives tomorrow. It is unlikely that Nepal will play a full squad tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Maldives will put their full squad against Nepal in the field tomorrow to win the game to progress further. Their match against Nepal will be their first game in the competition. They will take Kuwait on 29th September, 2014.
Maldives Squad has blend of youth and experience. Afzal Fiaz who played the first ever Nepal vs Maldives match in 2000 will lead the team against Nepal.
Nepal vs Maldives Face to Face( Nepal 2 Maldives 0)
This is the third T20 match between these two sides; Nepal had defeated Maldives comprehensively by 75 runs when the two teams met in the Group stages of Asian Games 2010 held in Guangzhou, China 4 years back. Team Nepal has improved a lot in these 4 years while 2010 was probably the best year for Maldives Cricket as they won ACC Challenge Trophy, their biggest achievement in international Cricket.
Nepal again thrashed the Maldives team by 76 runs in the ACC T20 cup, 2013. Riding on Pradeep Airee’s blistering knock of 59 runs off just 26 balls Nepal posted 171 runs in 20 overs. Maldives were restricted to 95 for 7 in 20 overs giving Nepal a 76 runs win.
Nepal has also won all the 5 ODI games played against Maldives, all of them pretty comprehensively. Cricket team of Maldives and Nepal first met in 2000 in the group stages of ACC Trophy where Nepal defeated Maldives by 5 wickets. Other four ODI’s were played as part of Emerging Nation’s Cup between 2002-2004, Nepal comprehensively victorious in all four.
Players to watch out for:
Mohamed Riswan(Maldives): The wicketkeeper batsman will have a key role to play if Maldives want to make a match out of the game. Riswan has been batting exceptionally well in international Cricket. His 45 against Afghanistan shows the maturity in his batting. This also reflects that he can bat against good teams like Afghanistan and Nepal.
Pradeep Airee( Nepal): The attacking right handed batsman scored a dashing knock of 59 runs off just 26 balls for Nepal when these two team last met. He has lost his place for quite some time now for Nepal. He will be hoping to make a sizzling comeback against Maldives if the coach trust him to open the inning in tomorrows game.
Maldives Squad: Ahmed Faiz ( c), Ismail Ali, Mohamed Azzam, Abdul Ghanee, Mihusan Hamid, Ahmed Hassan, Hassan Ibrahim, Shafraz Jaleel ( wk), Ibrahim Nashath, Adam Nasif, Neesham Nasir, Mohamed Rishwan ( wk), Mohamed Saafee, Leem Shafeeg, Abdulla Shahid.
Nepal Squad: (Pradeep Airee, Mehaboob Alam, Binod Bhandari, Naresh Budayair, Shakti Gauchan, Ram Naresh Giri, Bhuwan Karki, Parash Khadka(c), Subash Khakurel(wk), Gyanendra Malla(vc), Jitendra Mukhiya, Basanta Regmi, Sagar Pun, Sompal Kami, Sharad Vesawkar