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Nepal get low and turning wicket against the Americans

On a low and turning wicket at the Somerset Cricket Club grounds, Nepal are facing old foes the United States of America in their ICC World Cricket League Division-III opener in Bermuda.

 

The match will begin at 10:30 AM in Bermuda when its 7:15PM in Nepal.

 

Paras Khadka-led Nepal will be itching to deliver from their first match of a tournament which could weigh Nepal in a gauge of cricketing reality. The tournament is Nepal’s gateway to fulfill their World Cup dreams. And the first hurdle in front of Nepal is going to be a team that was nailed twice by them. 

 

Nepal are going into the match following their two comprehensive triumphs in the Division-IV tournament in Malaysia last year. Nepal coach Pubudu Dassanayake was happy to get a turning wicket. 

 

“It is a wicket that has enough turn on it and even has low bounce. This is a good wicket for us,” said Dassanyake hinting at fielding an experienced spinner trio of Sanjam Regmi, Basanta Regmi and Shakti Gauchan.

 

Nepal have defeated the USA four times in their eight previous encounters. Apart from two victories in the Division-IV in Malaysia, Nepal had defeated the Americans in the 2008 Division-V in a replay after the scheduled match was washed out and 2010 Division-V in Kathmandu avenging the defeat they were inflicted in the league stage.

 

The other victory USA had registered against Nepal was during the 2010 Division-IV in Bologna – which again was a replay of their scheduled league stage match. 

 

Nepal, however, will not underestimate the American side skippered by Steve Messiah.

 

“USA is a good team. There are some players whom we should take care of. Particularly, the skipper himself, Sushil Nadkarni are good players. If we can contain them, we could get on the top,” Dassanayake had said before leaving for Bermuda.

 

Dassanayake would also like Caribbean skies stay clear for Sunday after experiencing persistent rain during their pre tournament preparations.

 

Nepal had left for Bermuda earlier than the tournament schedule to adapt to the local conditions, but after their practice match against Bermuda-XI on April 25 and few training sessions were washed out due to rain.

 

“We don’t want short games or the matches that could be decided by D/L method. We want to play a whole 50-over match,” said the coach. 

 

Nepal will be expecting their opening pair of Subash Khakurel and Anil Mandal continued to give a solid start like they did in the previous two tournaments. The duo though flopped in the Jaipur tour, their impressive performance in the Division-III and ACC Trophy Elite has garnered enough faith for the camp. 

 

While Subash had made a superb 115 against the USA in Malaysia, Anil has shaped himself as a one-day specialist after his century against Denmark in the Division-III. The duo’s 94-run against the UAE in the ACC Trophy Elite final was the cornerstone in Nepal’s triumphant campaign. 

 

The best news for the Nepali camp is the huge amount of intensity shown by the middle order that begins from No 3 Gyanendra Malla.

 

Gyanendra has been in a good touch – three back-to-back half centuries in Jaipur was a proof of it, while Sharad Vesawkar and Binod Bhandari have been consistent in their performance. 

 

Classy Sharad has been the best of all in match finishing knocks during the ACC Twenty20 Cup and Jaipur tour. Sharad had made one half century in Jaipur, while Binod has begun to settle with the role designated by the coach.

 

It will now be interesting to see how Amrit Bhattarai – who could probably be the lonely regular seamer on Sunday – fares in the match.

 

NEPAL’S PROBABLE-XI 

 

Subash Khakurel

Anil Mandal

Gyanendra Malla

Paras Khadka

Binod Bhandari

Sharad Vesawkar

Pradeep Airee

Basanta Regmi

Shakti Gauchan

Sanjam Regmi

Amrit Bhattarai

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