With 17th Asian Games spot at stake, Nepal are beginning their ACC Women’s Premier Cricket Tournament campaign with the match against minnows Iran on Tuesday.
The match at the Chiang Mai Gymkhana will be expected to be a one-sided affair owing to Nepal’s supremacy in the age group and the Iran’s status as a struggling team in the ACC tournaments.
Nepal will head into the match as the proud winner over Iran whom they defeated by 62 runs in the only meeting between the two sides at the 2009 ACC Women’s Twenty20 Championship in Malaysia.
Nepal, however, will not take their opponents lightly as they need to get their campaign on a right track with a victory in their opener.
As an important first match, Nepal will go with all their guns blazing with the best possible squad for the game.
Though Nepal has been hit hard by the absence of influential all rounder Nary Thapa, the team is confident to do well without their former skipper.
Nary – who is the first Nepali woman to hit a century in the domestic cricket – was ruled out after suffering injury in her left leg bone during the Women’s National Tournament last month.
Nepal will expect much from Sita Rana Magar, Sarita Thapa Magar, Rubina Chhetri and former skipper Neera Rajopadhyaya, while Rekha Rawal will also be one of the figures to watch out for the Iranians.
After taking on Iran, Nepal will meet hosts Thailand, China, Bhutan and Hong Kong.