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Nepal in need of perfect game

Jul 19, 2017 | Eddie Van Brooks |

Nepal have won their first two matches of the ICC U-19 World Cup Division 1 Asia Qualifier on the back of fine bowling performance and with Thursday’s big game against Afghanistan looming, the team is looking for a perfect game.

Nepal has begun the tournament by registering scratchy wins over hosts Singapore and Malaysia where the team struggled in chase despite bundling out the opponents below 100 runs. Singapore were 73 all out in the first game and Malaysians were shut down for just 58 but Nepal reached their targets losing six and five wickets respectively.


The Afghanistan clash at the Singapore Cricket Club in Padang will all but sum up Nepal’s performance as the tournament enters the second leg. A victory on Thursday will give Nepal an edge before meeting their arch rivals in the second leg.


Nepal coach Binod Das knows what his side is in need of. “We got to play our best game tomorrow (on Thursday). Doing well in one department will not win us the game against Afghanistan. We need a perfect game against them,” said Binod who wants his batsmen to deliver at the right time of the tournament.


“I want the batsmen to bat with more responsibility. Our first two games were a low-scoring affair so we tried to play too many shots in order to finish the game quickly. But tomorrow will be a different affair,” added Binod.


While Nepal have struggled in their chase, Afghanistan has had an easy ride sweeping aside Malaysia (by eight wickets) and Singapore (by seven wickets). Their big victories have seen them top the table on net run rate after being tied with Nepal on points.


Although Nepal’s spinners have delivered against relatively weaker opponents with utter domination, Afghanistan’s nature of their chase has suggested its not going to be a casual walk in the park for Nepali bowlers. But the coach has backed his bowlers. “We have a good bowling attack and I am sure we will test them a lot more than the other two teams,” he said.

However, the Thursday’s biggest test will be of Nepali batsmen who are yet to deliver after putting in some consistent performance in the friendly matches during their India tour. Pranit Thapa Magar is so far Nepal’s highest scorer in Singapore having made scores of 23 and 18 not out. But others have not yet put runs on the board.

Nepal batsmen will have a lot to do when the Afghan pace duo of Naveen-UL-Haq and Yousuf Zazai take to the field. The biggest pressure will be on Nepal’s opening pair of Sandeep Sunar and Aasif Sheikh as the two have failed to put on big partnerships.


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