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Its time to deliver boys

The national cricket team has been proud for the last one year.

Breaking its losing streak at the foreign soil, it brought a huge cricketing wave in the country winning two consecutive international titles overseas under coach Pubudu Dassanayake.

The men in blue and red brought home ICC World Cricket League Division-IV title from Malaysia in September and followed it with the ACC Trophy Elite title which came after a thrilling encounter against hosts UAE ended on a dramatic tie in an October 12 final. 

Both title triumphs were Dassaayake’s first two 50-over assignments. The coach along with the team has returned with 100 per cent record in the format.And now the team is heading towards a tournament which will place them at the threshold of the World Cup – a dream it seems. 

The World Cup is still a distant dream but what matters the most for skipper Paras Khadka and the team is to prove themselves.”It’s time to deliver,” Paras said just ahead of the team’s departure to Bermuda for the ICC World Cricket League Division-III.

“We have worked very hard for the last one year. Our tour to India has helped us a lot in all possible aspects. We now have to go there and prove ourselves,” added Paras who has perfectly led from the front for the last one year. 

Paras himself has been declared the man-of-the-series in the last two tournaments after giving an all round display in the ACC Trophy Elite and ACC Twenty20. Since he was also among the top performers in the ICC World Twenty20 both with the bat and the ball, his form will mean a lot in Nepal’s bid of winning the title.

Nepali batting has been in a perfect shape after centuries from openers Subash Khakurel and Anil Mandal a single tournament (Division-IV in Malaysia) gave the biggest confidence. The same duo then cemented their position up front after giving Nepal a superb 94-run opening stand in the ACC Trophy Elite final against Dubai.

Coach Dassanayake and Paras might have been concerned with the duo’s performance during the Jaipur Tour last week but both were equally confident.

“Subash and Anil’s pair have been very crucial for us because it has helped us win two titles. We have complete trust on them and I am sure they will come hard in Bermuda,” a confident Paras added.

Though Subash and Anil couldn’t do much in Jaipur, Dassanayake is very happy with the kind of form his middle order batsmen are carrying. After playing their assigned roles in the ACC Twent20 Cup, middle order batsmen Gyanendra Malla, Binod Bhandari and Sharad Vesawkar played some handy knocks in Nepal’s friendly matches in the Jaipur tour. 

Gyanendra and Sharad were the best of all, making runs when Nepal needed them the most. Gyanendra had struck three half centuries in Jaipur and Sharad played a perfect role of a finisher apart from contributing in team’s victory with a fifty. Both Gyanendra and Sharad are a delight to watch when they are at their best and to see them being in touch is a great asset for Nepal. 

And Binod is the man who keeps going once he gets going. Who would forget that essential knock against UAE in the ACC Twenty20 Cup semi-final.

Bowling has never let Nepal down and with the batsmen delivering consistently, Dassanayake thinks they deserve to return home with the trophy. 

“Our spin attack has always been the best for us. And now the batting is also doing the job for us. I believe that we will go into the World Cup Qualifier and return home with the title,” said Dassanayake. 

The Division-III tournament, after it begins on April 28, sends the top two teams into the 2014 ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier – a tournament which sends the finalists in the 2015 World Cup – a dream Nepal are in the chase of.

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