With on foot in elimination, Nepal will expect to overcome their batting woes after leaving Belfas as they take on Papua New Guinea in their do-or-die clash of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers against Papua New Guinea at The Village grounds in Malahide, Dublin on Friday.
Nepal are in a precarious position having pushed to fifth spot in Group ‘A’ standings with just three points. A defeat to PNG will mean Nepal staring elimination playoffs and most importantly deprived of a spot in the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 to be held in India. Only a miraculous turn of events can save Nepal if they are to qualify for the global showpiece.
To remain in hunt for the playoffs, Nepal must win both of their remaining matches with Jersey coming up next after PNG. But their win alone will not be sufficient as they also need other results in group fixtures go their way. With Hong Kong and Namibia also in the hunt, Nepal must finish at least fourth to qualify for the playoffs.
Ireland lead the points table with six points from four games and PNG are up next with five points from three. They had their match against Hong Kong washed out after defeating Jersey in the opener but bounced back strongly with a stunning two-wicket victory over defending champions Ireland on Wednesday.
Nepal have defeated PNG twice in their previous three encounters in the World Twenty20 Qualifiers but their sensational victory over Ireland will make them clear favorites heading into Friday’s match.
Nepal have their own problems with the entire team failing as a batting unit. PNG are facing a team that was bundled out for tournament’s low 53 against Ireland, 109 against Hong Kong and a struggling six-wicket victory over USA where they took 19.4 overs to chase a 122-run target.
Coach Pubudu Dassanayake knows the importance of victory. “We just need to win. We have our last opportunity to stay in the tournament. We, as a team, are not going to give up. Our hopes will stay alive till the last ball,” Dassanayake told cricketingnepal.com
from Dublin before the match.
To come with a much-needed victory against PNG, Nepali batsmen must click and the bowlers must contain an attacking batting unit which has done exceptionally well in the past two years.
Nepal’s opening woes has continued and the team camp can only expect the openers to put some runs on the board. After failures of Subash Khakurel and Anil Mandal, Dassanayake doesn’t have a batsman he could rely on. But Subash and Sagar Pun could once again be expected to open the innings on Friday.
Binod Bhandari’s inclusion will remain in doubt after his back-to-back failures. Bhandari, one of the best hitters of the Nepali team, has completely flopped in the ongoing tournament. Bhandari had slammed 51 off 25 against PNG in Nepal’s victory against them in last year’s Qualifiers.
Since, Rajesh Pulami Magar spared Nepal’s blushes in the match against Hong Kong, Dassanayake is likely to continue him. Jitendra Mukhiya, Sompal Kami, Basanta Regmi, Shakti Gauchan will be the key in the bowling department.