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Nepal in need of perfect game

Nepal have won their first two
matches of the ICC U-19 World Cup Division 1 Asia Qualifier on the back of fine
bowling performance and with Thursday’s big game against Afghanistan
looming, the team is looking for a perfect game.

Nepal has begun the tournament
by registering scratchy wins over hosts Singapore and Malaysia where the team
struggled in chase despite bundling out the opponents below 100 runs. Singapore
were 73 all out in the first game and Malaysians were shut down for just 58 but
Nepal reached their targets losing six and five wickets respectively.


The Afghanistan clash at the
Singapore Cricket Club in Padang will all but sum up Nepal’s performance as the
tournament enters the second leg. A victory on Thursday will give
Nepal an edge before meeting their arch rivals in the second leg.


Nepal coach Binod Das knows what
his side is in need of. “We got to play our best game tomorrow (on
Thursday). Doing well in one department will not win us the game against
Afghanistan. We need a perfect game against them,” said Binod who wants his
batsmen to deliver at the right time of the tournament.


“I want the batsmen to bat with
more responsibility. Our first two games were a low-scoring affair so we tried
to play too many shots in order to finish the game quickly. But tomorrow will
be a different affair,” added Binod.


While Nepal have struggled in
their chase, Afghanistan has had an easy ride sweeping aside Malaysia (by eight
wickets) and Singapore (by seven wickets). Their big victories have seen them
top the table on net run rate after being tied with Nepal on points.


Although Nepal’s spinners have
delivered against relatively weaker opponents with utter domination,
Afghanistan’s nature of their chase has suggested its not going to be a casual
walk in the park for Nepali bowlers. But the coach has backed his bowlers. “We
have a good bowling attack and I am sure we will test them a lot more than the
other two teams,” he said.

However, the Thursday’s biggest
test will be of Nepali batsmen who are yet to deliver after putting in some
consistent performance in the friendly matches during their India tour. Pranit
Thapa Magar is so far Nepal’s highest scorer in Singapore having made scores of
23 and 18 not out. But others have not yet put runs on the board.

Nepal batsmen will have a lot to do when the Afghan pace duo
of Naveen-UL-Haq and Yousuf Zazai take to the field. The biggest pressure will
be on Nepal’s opening pair of Sandeep Sunar and Aasif Sheikh as the two have
failed to put on big partnerships.

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