In Focus, Nepal Men

Preview: Nepal vs Scotland

If the rumors are true and Vesawkar really doesn’t give up memories easily, today’s match against Scotland could reignite his rivalry with Moneeb Mohammed Iqbal. During 2004 U19 World Cup Vesawkar top scored for Nepal with 51 runs and it was Iqbal who got rid of him. Although not much of a bowler Vesawkar returned the favor in the same match getting Iqbal ,(who coincidentally was the top scorer for Scotland with 67) run out! Iqbal was not part of the 2 matches Scots lost, a change is likely.

During the match, Nepali Team will seek inspiration from Bermuda’s victory over Scotland as they on the gaunt looking Scots in the third match of ICC T20 Qualifiers. Beating Kenya in the previous match Nepali team (or at least the batsmen) will play with lot more belief on themselves. Victory against Scotland today would mean Nepal will maintain their overnight top of the table position and ensured entry to play offs.

Scotland which finished 5th in the last edition of the qualifier are having a horrible start- losing both their games they are second last on the table, only above Denmark. With the defeat against “minnows” Bermuda, Scotland team will be cautious when they take on Nepal.  A loss to Nepal could mean end of World Cup hopes for Scotland.

Likely Changes- With opening failing once again, it likely that Nepal will go in with different opening pair but Pradeep Airee could still maintain his position! Scotland batting was troubled by Bermudan medium fast bowlers. With that pretext Nepal could go into this match with 2 front line seamers- Jitendra and Avinash(or Bhattarai), in that case either Binod Bhandari who hasn’t had a good record in the tournament so far could be dropped.

Previous  Records

Although this is the first time Nepal is taking on Scotland at senior level,  Nepal has played the Scotland U19 team as many as four time (winning twice and losing twice), thrice in U19 World Cup and once in U19 World Cup Qualifiers. Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer (2002, 2004), the leading run scorer Berrington(2006), experienced campaigners like Goudie(2004, 2006), MacLeod(2006) and Iqbal(2004) have played against Nepal U19, which included players of now Nepal senior team Gauchan(2002, 2004), Paras Khakda (2004, 2006), Basata (2004-2006), Vesawkar(2004,2006) during the U19 World Cups.

Subash Khakurel, Sagar Pun and Pradeep Airee were part of Nepal squad which took on Scotland in 2011 U19 World Cup Qualifier. MH Cross is the lone representative from then U19 Scotland side for  Scotland.

ICC T20 Qualifier 2012 – Finished 5th

Qualification for T20 Qualifiers– Automatic Entry as they finished on top six of previous edition of tournament.

Scotland Squad

Although an experienced Squad they will rely heavily on players like Kyle Coetzer, Richie Berrington, Calum Macleod and Majid Haq! They have plenty of all rounders in their squad which suits the T20 kind of play

Kyle Coetzer (captain), Richie Berrington, Neil Carter, Matty Cross, Gordon Goudie, Majid Haq, Moneeb Iqbal, Michael Leask, Matt Machan, Calum MacLeod, David Murphy, Safyaan Sharif, Rob Taylor, Craig Wallace, Iain Wardlaw

Players to Watch Out

Calum MacLeod and Richie Berrington will be key to Scotland batting. MacLeod(46,62,0,56) has been amongst runs in this tournament. Until he was at the crease it looked as if it was a easy win for Scotland against the mighty Afghan side.Berrington who is the leading run scorer for Scotland in T20 has not performed as per his standard but a good performance is due.  MacLeod and Berrington  are very also very useful with their medim pace. Berrington who has 17 wickets to his name is the second highest wicket taker in their side.

Majid Haq  has been the premiere bowler for Scotland for long. Afghan side scored 171 against Scotland side but Haq gave away on 24 runs from his off spin. He is also a decent batsman and has a first class century to his name. Haq has 40 wickets to his name in Twenty20.

Vesawkar would be high on confidence with the match 23 of 6 ball blitz against Kenya, Vesawkar also has very good record against Scotland in U19 level scoring half centuries(52, 77) in the two matches he played.

Scotland side is full of fast bowling all rounders. Ian Wardlaw, Neil Carter  and Gourdon Goudei are premiere fast bowlers. Berrgton, MacLeod, Kyel Coetzer, Sharif, Rob Taylor are pretty decent with their seam bowling. Subash Khakurel is often found at ease with the fast bowlers, he will have a crucial role for Nepal in today’s match.