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The reasons why Nepal are firm favourites for Singapore Qualifiers

Jul 21, 2019 | CN Staff |

Nepal will head into the ICC Twenty20 World Cup Asia Regional Qualifier as the firm favourites when they start the tournament campaign with the match against Qatar on Tuesday. Ranked 11th in the shortest version of the game, they will be looking to win the competition and move a step forward to their second World Cup participation. Roshan Dhital here takes a look at how Nepal are the favourites.

Twenty20 International Ranking : 11
Total Apperance in T20I - 17
Number of wins - 7

The Rhinos have played five Twenty20 Internationals this year (2019), where they ended up as winning side in four occasions. They started this year with the series win against 16th ranked United Arab Emirates (UAE) with 2-1 scoreline in three-match Twenty20 series. That series win has vaulted Nepal into the 11th spot in the world rankings. With other teams right below them, the standing itself serves as a dominant factor for Nepal.

Other participating sides
Qatar - 21st
Singapore - 23rd
Kuwait - 28th
Malaysia - 35th

Ways Nepal can win it
Nepal's fluid batting line-up that has skipper Paras Khadka at the centre. Ever since the promotion of Paras as an opener in the format, Nepal has managed to win four out of five matches played. He has formed the nuclei of Nepali batting which can bat until No 9 that includes a hard-hitting wonder in Karan KC. But with KC already a middle order material in Twenty20, Nepal's batting just requires a proper lift.

Nightmare Scenario 
Nepal's Twenty20 International side reached it's nadir in 2015 after the country was stuck by destructive earthquake. The team had played outdated and ultimately poor cricket in last World Twenty20 Qualifiers in 2015. The transformation since that tournament has been stunning. Paras, Sompal Kami and Sandeep Lamichhane have collaborated to convert Nepal from one day no hopers to one of the best associate teams in the world. This time they are raring to leave that 2015 disappointment behind.

Team Professor - Paras Khadka
A free-thinking theorist whose ability to counter-attack any pressure situation has made him the best player of the Himalayan nation so far. He averages 40.75 in T20I this year with 163 runs in five matches. Paras averages 52 in one-dayers in 2019 with 156 runs in three matches.

Gulmi Express - Sompal Kami
The pace-bowling spearhead, Sompal, has completely changed the definition of pace bowling in Nepal. He has been a regular member of the side since 2014 and contributed everytime, mostly with the ball and with the bat as well. Sompal has 20 wickets in his tally in 17 Twenty20 Internationals. His batting strike rate of 114.14 in this format will come handy for Nepal.

Your Next Favourite Player - Abinash Bohora
Abinash is the latest entrant of Nepal national side's pace-bowling department. His excellent run in the domestic franchise cricket led him to the national squad. He grabbed the opportunity with both hand as he was adjudged the player-of-the-series in Nepal's first-ever Twenty20 Series win which came against the UAE earlier this year. He took six wickets in three matches. Nepal now have a proven wicket-taking death over specialist in Abinash.

Nepal's 14-man squad for ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier Asia
- Paras Khadka (c)
- Gyanendra Malla
- Sompal Kami
- Binod Bhandari (wk)
- Dipendra Airee
- Sharad Vesawkar
- Rohit Kumar Paudel
- Karan KC
- Basant Regmi
- Sandeep Lamichhane
- Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi
- Abinash Bohora
- Pawan Sarraf
- Pradeep Airee (wk)

Nepal's final training for T20 World Cup Qualifiers in Singapore


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