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Nepal's reality check with recent stats

Jul 09, 2015 | Kaushal Adhikari |

Ambitions are high with adrenaline rush as Nepal target their second consecutive spot in the ICC World Twenty20 as the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers began from Thursday. Nepal will play their first match against the USA on Friday but in a topsy-turvy road, they have a harder nut to crack.  Out of the seven teams in Group 'A', Nepal need to finish at least second or third after the league stage matches  and following a victory in the cross-over playoffs, a second appearance in the World Twenty20 is guaranteed.


 

But in the build-up to the Qualifiers, Nepal have suggested that the team needs to particularly get rid of the batting woes -- a problem that has haunted Nepal for a long, long time. The decent bowling and fielding attack seems to be no match for a mediocre batting display.

 

We have often heard of experts who visit Nepal that the cricketers here are born with skill but batting has never been easy in an international level. If we look at recent bilateral series against Netherlands where they played four T20 International matches, Nepal’s batting frailties were seriously expose that resulted in a 3-1 loss.

 

Apart from skipper Paras Khadka and few gritty knock from his deputy Gyanendra Malla and Sharad Vesawkar, none of the Nepali batsmen have performed well. Gyanendra and Sharad both look in a good touch but they were not able to convert their scores. Paras starred in the series against the Dutch making 137 runs, while Gyanendra scored 71 and Sharad accumulated 64. But the case is not same with other batsmen. The stats:

 

Name

Innings

Runs

Highest

Paras Khadka

4

137

54

Gyanendra Malla

4

71

24

Sharad Vesawkar

4

64

24

Pradeep Airee

4

30

18

Subash Khakurel

3

22

14

Binod Bhandari

4

21

13

Rajesh Pulami Magar

2

13

13

Sagar Pun

2

9

5

 

Paras had three highest scores in an innings -- 54, 45* and 36. While three batsmen were out for ducks, there were 20 instances when our batsmen failed to touch the double digit. Only 11 batsmen scored in between 10-19 runs while two scored 20 plus runs in four matches. Let’s look at the table below:-

Runs range

Players

0

3

1-9

20

10-19

11

20-29

2

30-49

2

50+

1

 

 Partnership, no doubt, is the foundation for big total and that was not the case in Netherlands. Nepal have only two 50 plus partnerships (for second and fourth wicket) in four innings and one 100 plus (for fifth wicket) partnership in their overall Twenty20 Internationals. Sharad and Paras have the best Twenty20 International partnership of 111 runs for the fifth wicket during the ICC World Twenty20 against Bangladesh.

 

In Netherlands, the problem was deeper. Nepal’s top partnership was for 48-run stand between Sharad and Paras for the fifth wicket in the fourth match. Both also notched up 44-run partnership in the third game.

 

 

1st T20

2nd T20

3rd T20

4th T20

Total

Wicket

Runs

Balls

Runs

Balls

Runs

Balls

Runs

Balls

Runs

Balls

1st

12

15

12

6

10

12

4

2

38

35

2nd

13

17

5

5

32

38

25

32

75

92

3rd

9

9

2

7

12

10

20

15

43

41

4th

31

31

10

20

5

11

27

24

73

86

5th

19

23

0

1

48

33

44

33

111

90

6th

23

17

0

6

11

7

10

7

44

37

7th

5

5

0

1

9

4

4

2

18

12

8th

4*

3

20

26

1

1

7*

3

32

33

9th

-

-

6

13

4

4

-

-

10

17

10th

-

-

14

21

-

-

-

-

14

21

 

The biggest problem in Nepali batting during the Twenty20s is their inability to rotate the strike. In a batsman's game, Nepal can set a record of playing maximum dot balls in a single innings. The series against the Dutch is just an example of how they have been doing in the shorter version of the game.

 

In the four Twenty20 internationals, Nepal had 213 dot balls out of the 464 deliveries they faced that aggregates to 45.9 per cent of their entire series. Gyanendra, who hit 13 boundaries, maximum for Nepal in the series, played 38 dot balls. Sharad had 35 and opener Subash Khakurel, who didn't have the best of the series, had 27 dot balls to his name.

 

Where are the big shots either? It’s not that Nepal are playing dot balls and they are hitting boundaries in big numbers. Nepal hit just four sixes in four matches in Netherlands and clobbered 33 boundaries. They had 182 singles, 44 doubles and three 3s.


Player

0s

1s

2s

3s

4s

6s

Paras Khadka

26

66

13

1

9

1

Gyanendra Malla

38

17

1

0

13

0

Subash Khakurel

27

16

13

0

0

0

Sharad Vesawkar

35

33

4

1

2

2

Binod Bhandari

19

11

3

0

1

0

Rajesh Pulami Magar

7

7

0

0

0

1

Sagar Pun

6

3

1

0

1

0

Pradeep Airee

8

8

3

0

4

0

Som Pal Kami

10

4

3

1

3

0

Anil Mandal

7

9

0

0

0

0

Bashant Regmi

12

3

1

0

0

0

Karan KC

10

3

1

0

0

0

Avinash Karn

8

2

1

0

0

0

Total

213

182

44

3

33

4

 

The European conditions for a sub-continent team is not easy to cope with and the team management has strongly believed that their poor performance in Netherlands is the contrasting conditions there. However, they now have live, practiced, played and trained in those conditions for more than 15 days.

 

Its time now for Nepal to prove the doubters wrong and perform beyond these numbers. Batting will be the key for Nepal, if they want to qualify for another World Twenty20.

 

We hope we are proved wrong either 



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