Rayone Gautam, Cricket Himalaya
Nepal’s future is to be decided by tomorrow when they face Canada in a must-win encounter given that they have a below par net run rate comparing with the likes of UAE and Namibia.
It has not been a week for the start of the World Cricket League Division 2 tournament but it holds a very important journey deciding the 6 teams future in 4 years time.
Nepal and Canada have already met each other twice in list A cricket. In the 2014 World Cup Qualifier, Nepal suffered a narrow defeat of 12 runs against Canada but went on a thumping victory just after a year on World Cricket League Division 2 in Namibia.
When we look back in 2014, Malla smashed 9 fours to score 86 against Canada in 97 deliveries but could not help his team go past 256 target. Raza-ur-Rehman earlier had top scored for Canada with 89. That playing XI consists of 5 players from Canada and 6 players from Nepal in the current squad.
Similarly, in 2015, Karan KC after a brilliant spell of 10-2-26-5 helped him team restrict Canada to 114 which was chased down quite easily by Nepal in 23.1 overs. Captain Khadka was in his peak hitting 11 fours and 3 sixes to score 77 which was not easy when both Khakurel and Budayair went down without troubling the scores. Malla kept himself calm to stand with Khadka in a 114 runs partnership. From that playing XI, 8 players from Canada and 7 players from Nepal are in the current squad.
Nepal will face Canada after three years but the two sides are not completely changed. They will be looking familiar to each other. The Canadian side has performed better in this tournament so far with the likes of Gunasekera and captain Kumar contributing in all the matches they have played.
Whereas, Nepal’s over dependency on Khadka must be a concern and look to score more on Wanderer’s batting pitch. Malla vs Canada has scored as the stats say; 32 and 86 in previous encounters which must be continued for a out-of-form Malla in this tournament. In form Bhairawaha Gladiator’s duo Poudel and Sheikh will look to remain consistent in the final stage of the tournament. With the ball, Lamichhane and Kami are enjoying picking wickets so far and should continue against Canada.
The bowling performance has kept Nepal’s hope alive to beat Canada and qualify to the World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe.