Report Card of the Nepalese Cricket Team after the ACC T20 Cup 2013:
Paras Khadka (9/10)
Leading from the front and driving the team to their first ever tournament final is a great achievement in itself. He could not make a mark with the bat in the first two games. Nepal lost its second game against Hong Kong and was left in a must win situation against Malaysia. Captain cool stepped in that match by smashing a match winning 87 runs. Another quick fire 44 runs in the last group match ensured that Nepal booked its place in the semifinals and was qualified for the T20 world cup qualifiers. He together with Binod Bhandari stayed in the crease and guided Nepal to the finals. The duo again put on a 71 runs 4th wicket partnership to guide Nepal to a respectable total after Nepal were reduced for 23/3 in the fifth over itself. Parash finished with a run tally of 206 runs from 6 innings and picking up 4 wickets as well. He was also named as the player of the tournament.
Gyanendra Malla (7/10)
Nepali vice captain Gyanendra Malla did not have a good tournament for his standards. He finished with a mere 102 runs from 6 innings with an average of 17. He made a good 38 runs in the game against Hong Kong was left out of partners. For the last group game, he batted at number 5 which was not his usual position, but came up with a sparkling 30 runs of mere 11 deliveries including 4 sixes and 1 four.
Pradeep Airee (8/10)
Pradeep Airee announced his presence with a sparkling 50 in the first match itself. He scored a run a ball fifty in the semifinal to guide Nepal through the final. Second most successful batsman for Nepal, he gets 8 from me.
Subash Khakurel (7/10)
He looked good with the bat and scored quite a few twenties but could not convert them to big scores. But he provided support to Pradeep when needed. He would have liked to convert one of those twenties into a match winning fifty.
Sharad Veswakar (8.5/10)
I think he did his job as a finisher very well this tournament. Everyone thought that he was more a fifty over batsman but he proved them wrong. 36 of 18, 26 of 11, 20 of 11 these are really impressive figures. He made 88 runs from just 47 balls he faced at an amazing strike rate of 187 in the tournament.
Binod Bhandari (8/10)
Binod Bhandari was promoted at number 3 in the game against Singapore and he responded with scoring 54 of just 34 deliveries including 3 fours and 4 sixes. His contribution of 19 runs of 6 balls in the semifinal was also crucial. He impressed again in the finals where he and Parash Khadka put on a 71 runs partnership for the fourth wicket after Nepal were reduced for 29/3 in the fifth over itself. He scored 9 sixes in the tournament, the most by a Nepali batsman.
Manjeet Shrestha: (6/10)
While most of the fans had huge expectations from Manjeet Shrestha, he could not keep up the expectations. He played only the first two games for Nepal and replaced by Prithu Baskota for the subsequent games. He scored 20 and 7 runs in the two games he played and picked up 1 wicket but Nepal had to replace him for the balance.
Prithu Baskota: (7/10)
Prithu Baskota got chance to play for only three games. While he didn’t create much impact with the bat, he impressed everybody with his bowling. He picked up 2 wickets in his first game itself against Malaysia. But his major contribution came in the semifinal where he opened the bowling and picked up 3 wickets for 20 runs from his 4 overs. He was expensive in the finals though. 7 points from my side to our lucky player.
Basanta Regmi (9/10)
It was strange that Basanta Regmi could not pick up wickets in the final match against Afghanistan. Else he was always there picking up wickets when the captain threw the ball at him. Nepal’s most successful bowler Basanta Regmi finished up with 10 wickets from 6 matches, the second highest of the tournament.
After his brilliant performance in the UAE in the T20 qualifiers, supporters were expecting much from him and he didn’t disappoint them. In the 6 matches he played, he finished with an economy rate of under 5 in three matches. He picked up 8 wickets altogether in the tournament and gets 8 points too.
Sanjam Regmi (6.5/10)
Nepali fans were always expecting more from a spinner, Sanjam didn’t look at threatening as the other two. Most of the time, he was introduced late in the innings. He picked up 4 wickets in the 5 games he played and picked up 4 wickets from 5 matches at an economy rate of just under 7.
Amrit Bhattarai (5/10)
Nepali pacers did not have a good tournament. May be the wickets have been changed and there is no assistance for the pace bowlers or may be the opponents knew that Nepalese spinners will be a threat and attacked the pace bowlers. Nepal’s spearhead could not get a single wicket in the tournament and his worst game was the one against Hong Kong where he gave away 25 runs in his 2 overs.
Chandra Saud (6.5/10)
He replaced Amrit Bhattarai for two games but could not create an impact either. While he picked up two wickets in two matches, he was expensive. He gets 6 points from me.
Anil Mandal (NA)
Sagar Pun (7/10)
He was not picked up in the first 14 member squad but was later picked as a replacement for the injured Anil Mandal. Just a one game he played, he was not needed to bat in that match but he bowled 3 overs picking up one wicket for 20 runs.
Article by Nitesh Regmi. Regmi follows Nepali Sports regularly and writes on it. Regmi also runs panel of cricket experts in facebook.