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All eyes on Nepal's batting

Feb 08, 2018 | Cricketingnepal |
Nepal boast a successful records against Namibia in their recent meetings having beaten the south African country thrice -- once at their home -- in the last three years. The team has once again landed in Windhoek, the Namibian capital city, and with a lot of opportunities at stake, its all square one. 
Namibia might not have won against Nepal since the two sides met in the 2015 ICC World Cricket League Division 2 at their home. But Nepal haven't won a match either since they beat Kenya in the World Cricket League Championship on the back of favourable home conditions almost 11 months ago.

Considering their build up to the tournament that saw them undergo a week long tour of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and miss out on an extended adaptation of the Namibian conditions, it is going to be a nervy start for Nepal. 

With a majority of youngsters in the team, Paras Khadka-led Nepal can currently be called as a team in transition. They were beaten comprehensively by Hong Kong and UAE in the WCLC matches struggling to find a proper combination in a batting order that is yet to take shape.

Nepal might be on edge in terms of their head-to-head results but not in terms of how they have fared in the 11 months. The last they had won the match was against Hong Kong in the Emerging Teams Cup in March 30 last year in Bangladesh. But an impending stiff competition that unfavourable conditions in Namibia offer, Nepal must make sure they give their best -- most importantly with the bat.

Nepal had surrendered meekly against Hong Kong in their WCLC game chasing a below 200-run target and their batting didn't work either in both the matches against UAE. Under an experienced batting consultant Sulakshan Kulkarni, even a little bit of difference could do the job for them. A modest bowling attack and a sharp fielding can have everything fall at their place provided batting clicks.

With Sagar Pun excluded and a new opening pair in tandem, newcomer Dilip Nath and his opening pair Gyanendra Malla must find ways to give a start that would lay the foundation for them. Gyanendra has the ability to accelerate his innings but if the new pair get extra circumspect, the desire of sticking to the crease might backfire for Nepal. 

Keeping expectations low, Nepal's batting will once again revolve around Gyanendra, skipper Paras Khadka, Sharad Vesawkar and now the new man in charge -- Dipendra Singh Airee. Paras wants all of his batsmen to execute the job given to them. 

"Batting has to click. Everyone (from the batting order) must take responsibilities and perform. At this level we have to push ourselves to do better. As a team everyone is hungry to perform so I hope we can deliver when it matters," said Paras on the eve of the match from Windhoek. 

In a competition between the Associates that is open for everyone most of the times, Nepal must make a positive start to their tournament campaign as there are other teams like UAE, Kenya, Oman and Canada who all have ability to beat anyone.


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