Nepal lost their first practice match against a strong looking Sri Lankan Under-23 side by seven wickets but that seems a perfect result for the team to begin their grueling international schedule through a tough warm-up tie.
If the words from the cricketing governing body, skipper and the coach are to be appropriately dictated, the Sri Lankan tour of Nepal is actually more aimed at shaping the boys against tough teams ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers and 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers.
The ACC Emerging Teams Cup has to be called a stopping point for Nepal just before making their trip to the United Arab Emirates – for Twenty20 Qualifiers – in November and New Zealand – for 50-over WC Qualifier – in January next year.
There have often been complains of getting weaker teams whenever national team sets off for a practice tour abroad. Nepal’s win-loss ratio used to weigh heavier on their side but here they are now facing a complete turnover of those situations.
The Sri Lankan U-23 team consisting of the same players who are due to play the ACC Emerging Teams Cup took no time to bundle out Nepal for 127 and raced to the victory target in no time.
NO MORE COMPLAINS.
“The Sri Lankan U-23 side is going to be very tough to play against. Its good to have a breather ahead of the Emerging Teams Cup,” Dassanayake had told cricketingnepal.com before leaving for Sri Lanka.
With three more matches yet to be played against the same side, Nepal have a breather that is surely going to rip them out throughout this tour. And the team will head to Singapore with happy faces.
Is Prithu silencing critics?
In a sorry looking Nepali scorecard, former U-19 skipper Prithu Baskota struck 44 not out a little less than half of the team’s total. Prithu considers himself a batting all rounder but his ball has done most of the talkings for the last one year with the national team.
He earned a lot of praise when his three quick wickets handed Nepal a historic Twenty20 victory over UAE in the semi-finals of the ACC Twenty20 Cup but a chubby Prithu was questioned over his batting abilities.
Nevertheless, he has reasons to make his point after playing two unbeaten innings. In his last 50-over game, Prithu shared a 40-run partnership with Sharad Vesawkar in the final of the ICC World Cricket League Division-III against Uganda on May 5. Prithu had gone on to make 19 not out from 24 balls.
And now the 2012 ICC U-19 World Cup skipper actually stands tall among other batsmen with a 44 against the mighty Sri Lankan team. Prithu is good with his rational thinking and with the desire to prove everyone wrong, this might be his answer from the first lesson. Expect more from him.