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Onus on openers against the UAE

Opening department would be the biggest concern when Nepal meet the UAE for the second time in a week during their second and final warm-up game of the ICC World Twenty20 in Fatullah on Friday. 

 

Nepal had headed into Bangladesh after defeating the UAE in a practice match during their seven-day UAE stay for preparation. The match will give both sides to give a final touch to their World Twenty20 preparation but the biggest onus would now be on openers who have failed to deliver in almost all of the matches since the World Twenty20 Qualifiers held in UAE in November.

 

The World Twenty20 kicks off on Sunday with Nepal set to meet Hong Kong in their first match. on March 16. 

 

Coach Pubudu Dassanayake would want his seam bowlers primarily to get into shape along with their key man Basanta Regmi who was wicketless against Ireland in his four-over spell on Wednesday. 

 

But the entire team would give a close look to how openers Subash Khakurel and Sagar Pun shape up in the UAE game. After the failures of Pradip Airee, Dassanayake had put faith on Sagar but the new opening pair as well has not been giving desired start to the team.

 

Dassanayake has already hinted of sticking with the opening duo throughout the World Twenty20 which means their performance on Friday could also signal the kind of start Nepal could get against Hong Kong, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. 

While the openers failed against the Netherlands and the UAE in the Emirates, they lasted for just 16 runs against Ireland in the official warm-up tie. The failure of openers, however, could mean more game for skipper Paras Khadka and Gyanendra Malla to gain more confidence. Gyanendra has been impressive in Nepal’s outing making 39 (against the Netherlands), 52 (against the UAE) and 47 (against Ireland) in the last three matches.

 

With the middle order always delivering, Dassanayake would be a relieved man if his openers deliver on Friday.

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