Standing at one of the most precarious position, Nepal are taking on Hong Kong in their third Group ‘A’ match of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers at the Rangiora Oval in New Zealand on Sunday.
Nepal have lost both of their first two matches to UAE and Scotland and a defeat against Hong Kong will derail all their hopes to at least achieve ODI status or a coveted World Cup spot at its best.
While UAE lead the group with four points with a healthy run rate, Hong Kong are second in the table with four points. Scotland are third with two points and Nepal are languishing at the fourth on a negative net run rate.
Canada — also winless like Nepal — are at the pit bottom. To raise hopes of reaching the Super Six, Nepal now need to come with big margin victories in their matches against Hong Kong and Canada and expect results from other matches in the group go their way.
The top three teams reach the Super Six Stage which will send two teams in the 2015 World Cup apart from giving them ODI status for the next four years along with other two teams rounding up in the top four. The bottom two teams will get to play Inter Continental Cup.Nepal are still a team to beat for Hong Kong dating their last victory against Nepal in 2000 ACC Trophy.
Nepal won all four previous encounters against Hong Kong after that match but with the uncertainty still hanging around skipper Paras Khadka and regular opener Subash Khakurel, it could be a different ball game this time around.
Paras is yet to recover from his back strain, while Subash though has recovered from the viral fever, he has so far been declared match-fit. Further details are yet to come from New Zealand.