Sports

High-scoring game on cards

  • WCLC: Hong Kong vs Nepal
- BINOD PANDEY, HONG KONG

Oct 12, 2017-The ICC World Cricket League Championship (WCLC) sixth round matches between Nepal and Hong Kong on Friday and Sunday is expected to be a high-scoring affair as suggested by recent games.

The small Tin Kwong Road Recreation grounds in Mong Kok last hosted the Hong Kong-Netherlands tie of the WCLC and saw scores above 300 in the four innings from two matches. In the matches in February, Netherlands had made 330 runs before Hong Kong fell five runs short, while the hosts were stopped on 301 in chase of 315 runs in the second game.

The ground has seen run-glut owing to its straight boundaries which is pretty small in terms of length. Irrespective of the ground conditions, national team skipper Paras Khadka believes his side can win the game on the back of good bowling display from his side.

“We have come up with some plans after learning about the ground. We are well equipped with even number of seamers and spinners. I don’t want to say that we are strong in terms of this bowling attack but if we execute our plans well, the nature of the ground and pitch will not stop us from getting the desired result in the two matches,” said Khadka.

But the ground has seen one low scoring game as well. In the opening stages of the WCLC in January last year, Hong Kong had squeezed out Scotland for just 150 runs after putting 259 runs in the board. Barring a rain affected game, the team batting first in three of the last four games has won the match, a fact that has made Nepali coach Jagat Tamatta aware.

“I believe that if we bat first and score 280 runs, we can have the game in our hand,” said Tamatta. His skipper Khadka added a team has to come up good in all three departments to return victors. “We are well aware that the recent matches here had been high scoring ones. But it also depends on the bowling attack the previous teams possessed. I think the team that bowls well in this small ground will win the game. But its cricket and to win the match, we have to do well in all three departments,” the skipper said.

“The advantage that a small ground can give is a miss-hit can sail into the boundary or over the rope. But there is a high risk of playing straight to the fielder if the bowling is underestimated. So need to get our focus out of the ground and play better cricket,” added the Nepal skipper.

Nepal are currently at the sixth spot of the eight-team WCLC with eight points from 10 matches and now must win all their remaining four matches to make it to the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifiers. The top four teams automatically go into the 10-team World Cup Qualifiers to be held in Zimbabwe next year, while the bottom four have to come through another competition in the World Cricket League Division 2. The Division 2 sends the top two teams into the Qualifiers.

Netherlands currently lead the table with 18 points and almost have their one foot in the Qualifiers. Behind them are Papua New Guinea (16 points), Scotland (15 points), Kenya (12 points) and Hong Kong (11 points). Namibia and United Arab Emirates have six points each and are out of the contest.

Published: 12-10-2017 08:19

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