When Nepal lost those two warm-up matches against Namibia and Kenya with close margins, the defeats were taken for granted. A sole reason was skipper Paras Khadka was rested.
Cricket lovers back home thought the ever-inspiring skipper was conjuring up all his energy and will be back with his plans to lead the team with the beginning of an all-important opening encounter against the UAE — a team against whom Nepal have started winning.
As Nepal now boast a spot in the World Twenty20 apart from gradually picking up their game, only positive expectations were floating around. Positivity reverberating all around.
And suddenly a frantic start has begun to haunt breaking everything around like a distinctly disturbing sound, just as an end of a floor-bound chandelier.
Nepal were hardly irked when Subash Khakurel was an absentee against UAE assuming the comeback of Paras was already gaining an edge. But the skipper’s back strain took the toll.
The entire team watched its skipper bowling his eight overs in three spells ultimately taking the toll on team and finally the result. As openers disappointed, Nepal remembered Subash who has been consistently making runs in the top order.
Subash has been returning a high-scorer for Nepal’s most of the outings off late and his absence was later dearly felt.
“We will bounce back,” as Paras said after losing the match against UAE, Nepal thought the loss was just a day to be passed in oblivion. And just when the country is few hours away from another crucial tie against Scotland, the scary times have begun.
Nepal have been struck by the loss of Subash, who has recovered from his viral fever but is declared unfit for the match. And the news of uncertainty over Paras’ inclusion for the most important match has sent a shiver down the spine.
Scotland though have lost their opening match against Hong Kong, they are playing their second consecutive match at the Queenstown Events Centre. They will be aware of the conditions. The Scots boast an eight-wicket victory over Nepal in their only previous encounter during the ICC World Twenty20.
As a game, Nepal have been left in one of the most testing points of their cricket history. The world will go wild if Nepal get through from this point of time. But they have been hit hard by back-to-back bad run-ups and for every one following the national team’s status in the World Qualifiers, the times are very scary now.