A five wicket loss to USA in the second warm up match must have shaken things a bit in Nepali Camp. Nepalese hopes were flying high after Nepal had defeated UAE, one of the top runners for qualification just the earlier day. However the lessons learnt from yesterday’s match will be vital for Nepal when the real tournament starts this Friday.
The middle order will get a lot of confidence after their show against USA. Gyanendra Malla, Binod and Vesawkar all scored, Anil Mandal scored some quick runs late. Paras Khadka will be relived about the way batting went yesterday. Vesawkar, who gets more than half of his runs in boundaries, showed once again that number 6 is the perfect spot for him, at least in the shorter format of the game.
The opening pair hasn’t been at all impressive. The opener’s mistake was quite well covered in both the matches but it’s not guaranteed that it will be the same story in the main draw. Anil Mandal and Mahesh Chhetri could have a big role this tournament.
Nepal fast bowling was put to test yesterday and like it has been doing all year long it failed once again. A poor show in the field helped USA equally.
Left arm spinners Basanta(37 of 7 overs) and Shakti(38 in 8 overs), and Off spinner Sagar Pun(47 runs in 8 overs) have found it quite conformable bowling in these conditions. Only Sagar has given more than 5 runs an over (but he has also taken very important wickets.)
On the other hand the fast bowlers-Jitendra Mukhiya(52 runs of 6 over) and Amrit Bhattarai(68 of 7 overs) have been hammered at over 8 runs an over. They have been vulnerable especially in the final overs. Amrit and Mukhiya were given the given the ball in the end overs of the both matches and they went for plenty of runs.
Nepal had played the ACC Elite Cup with only one fast bowler in the team! Bhattarai and Sawad were used intermittently but never together in a match. With the current form of the fast bowlers in a tournament of such high value fast if fast bowlers do not step up Nepal could go with all spin attack like it did in Bermuda.
It’s clear that Nepal will rely heavily on spin once again. It’s important for coach and captain to find a way to rotate his the spin unit with other bowlers to limit conceding runs.
How spinners perform in the tournament will translate into where Nepal ends up in the Qualifiers!