Fairfax – Team Nepal has got off to a dream start in the ICC Twenty20 qualifiers in the United Arab Emirates. Two successive wins make look Coach Pubudu Dassanayake boys convincing. We could not have asked for more.
This is an ideal start for Nepal, hoping to clinch a spot in the final round of the competition. At the moment, they remain well-perched and are with a chance to write themselves into the history books.
I reckon I am being overly optimistic here. There is nothing wrong with being an optimist. I would like to see my hopes translate into reality. Going by the results so far, the general consensus is that Nepal is playing to its potential. They registered contrasting wins against Denmark and Kenya.
The victory over Denmark was impressive, thanks largely to bowlers. They put in a superb performance to restrict the opposition to a paltry 79 runs. Debutant Jitendra Mukhiya with two crucial wickets and a hand in the run out justified his selection. With three wickets Sagar Pun was pick of the bowlers.
However, the batters almost made a hash of the opportunity before Paras Khadka played a captain’s knock with the help of Subash Khakurel’s handy innings to assure victory for the team.
Although the bowlers outshone the batters, skipper Khadka’s brilliant all round performance was the highlight. Prior to the match, the batting department needed to come out blazing but looked a pale shadow of their former selves.
Without a question specialist batsmen have to strike form in order to sustain success in the upcoming matches. They have to step up to take pressure off Khadka and a few others.
The match against a formidable Kenya saw Nepal put in a vastly improved batting performance on a pitch that produced tons of runs. The successful run chase revolved around captain Khadka, Khakurel, Malla and Vesawkar knocks.
Khadka and Khakurel batted diligently , scoring 54 runs a piece but it was Vesawkar”s aggressive batting that stole the thunder. Needing 20 runs off 8 balls he hammered three lofty sixes to seal an exciting victory.
Young Mukhiya continued with his tidy performance by picking up two wickets. All in all, it was the steady batting that ensured Nepal the crucial win. It has been so far so good to this point for the team.
That having been said, the fact of the matter is , it is a still a long way to go for Team Nepal before a clear picture emerges. It is imperative for them to maintain and leverage this winning momentum going into the match against Scotland. The upcoming matches are tough and decisive for the team’s qualification to the final round.
They must remain totally focused, composed , committed to excellence and gear up both mentally and physically for the challenge. Certainly, they have put themselves in the driver’s seat and all the good work should not go to waste.
Players must learn from their mistakes and rise to the occasion when it matters most. Also they have to show more maturity in the batting and bowling departments.
For Team Nepal, this is a great opportunity to corner glory like we have never seen before. Go for it. You can do it.