Nepal would like to end their fairy ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers tour on a winning note when they take on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the third place playoff match in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
The match at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium is going to be the third encounter in the Twenty20 between the two side with the honours at even. Nepal were beaten by the UAE by six wickets in the 2011 ACC Twenty20 at their own backyard before delighting the local crows crushing the same opponent by six wickets in the 2013 edition early this year.UAE had been a time that Nepal used to frequently lost unless a victory in the 2012 ACC Trophy Elite reversed the condition.
UAE have never managed to win against losing the 2012 ACC Trophy Elite group stage match. Nepal went on to share the trophy with UAE when a thrilling final encounter between the two teams had ended on a draw. Nepal then went on to beat UAE in the 2013 ACC Twenty20 Cup in April.
Nepal were also the victors when a solid 85 not out from captain Paras Khadka helped then defeat UAE in the practice match of the current World Twenty20 Qualifiers.The semi-final results from both teams, however, have left them on equal terms after being crushed by their respective opponents on Friday.
Afghanistan had humbled Nepal by seven wickets in the first semi-final before UAE lost to Ireland by 62 runs in the second. While Nepal will head into the match with the pscyhological edge on the back of their fine run of form against their semi-final opponents, UAE will be boosted by their 10-run victory over the Netherlands — an opponent against whom Nepal were outplayed.
Coach Pubudu Dassanayake might give Mahesh Chhetri a chance in the third place playoff replacing unimpressive Pradeep Airee, while Rahul Kumar BK could also be an entrant for the match replacing Shakti Gauchan.
Mahesh and Rahul have not been included Dassanayake’s first choice in the run up to the semi-final, while another batsman Anil Mandal was included against Scotland. Shakti, meanwhile, though returned with disciplined figures was unable to pick wickets at his will.