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Three things to take from Nepal's loss to Zimbabwe

Sep 27, 2019 | CN Staff |

Nepal lost to Zimbabwe by five wickets in their opening match of the Singapore Twenty20 International Tri-Series in what eventually turned out to be a casual walk in the park for the African country, although they were in a spot of bother.

Electing to bat first at the Indian Association ground, Nepal rode on a gritty 33-ball 40 from Dipendra Singh Airee and Sompal Kami's 14-ball cameo producing 25 runs to reach a respectable 132-6 in 20 overs. Zimbabwe had heart in their mouth when they were reduced to 64-5 in 10 overs before Ryan Burl and Richmond Mutumbami forged a 69-run partnership leading Zimbabwe to 133-5 in 18.1 overs.

The match which initially gave the impression that it was hanging in balance, shifted towards Zimbabwe courtesy the patience shown by Burl and aggression needed from Mutumbami. For Nepal, who were playing a Test side in a long time, will have the positives to take before going into Saturday's match against Singapore. Here are few:

Sandeep Lamichhane

The new poster boy of Nepali cricket had a tough time in social media recently once he joined the team directly in Singapore from the Caribbean Premier League. Irrespective of whatever Sandeep does or happens with him off the field, he is the one who really bowls for Nepal. After Sompal was struck for three boundaries in the first over by Bryan Chari, Sandeep took the ball in the second and took no time removing Regis Chakabva.

In chase of a modest total, it was Sandeep who pegged back Zimbabwe removing Tinotenda Mutombodzi and skipper Sean Williams for ducks. The fact that Burl and Mutumbami let Sandeep go in his final over taking just two singles, shows how impotant the leggie is for Nepali bowling attack.

Nepal's total

After missing out to seal first place in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup Qualifier Asia in July this year, Nepal were returning to the venue where they had looked mediocre with the bat. On Friday, they were taking on a decent Zimbabwean side against whom they notched up a modest 133-4, not a bad total if its about improving every match. Nepal were shut down for just 109 against Singapore while they were chasing 192 in the must-win crucial last league game.

Dipendra and Sompal's batting

Middle order batsman Dipendra has been considered the future of Nepali batting. Since now he is in the present, he will be expected to make runs all the time he steps in. Against Zimbabwe, he struck. Although Zimbabwean bowlers were hard to be dealt with, his shuffling in the crease should be appreciated because he is now showing the intent. The two switch hits against the spin of Burl were the two shots of the day for Nepal.

Sompal has always been considered a genuine allrounder and although there was nothing for the fast bowlers in the Indian Association ground wicket, he was there to make the impact with the bat. He accounted for all the three sixes Nepal hit in the game and all of them were clean hits. He has to hang on there for the good of Nepali batting.


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