Sports

Typhoon ‘Khanun’ likely to affect second encounter

  • WCLC match against Hong Kong
- BINOD PANDEY, HONG KONG

Oct 15, 2017-

Nepal’s second match of the sixth round of the ICC World Cricket League Championship (WCLC) against Hong Kong has a high possibility of being affected by typhoon in the country. 

Nepal, who had crashed to a huge 83-run defeat in the first match at the Tin Kwong Road Recreation ground on Friday, are scheduled to play the second match on Sunday but Hong Kong authorities have warned of severe tropical storm Khanun with the standby signal No 1 striking on Saturday. The weather is expected to deteriorate on Sunday.

Hong Kong authorities have warned of signal No 3 for Saturday night and it would go up to No 10 if it hits hard. Hong Kong annually sees five tropical storms every year. If the storm hits signal No 8, the Hong Kong government usually announces public holiday. The No 8 storm often sees winds up to 140mph.     

If the match is not possible, it will be pushed to the reserve day on Monday. The defeat on Friday has made Nepal’s direct chance for the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifiers even tougher. Only the top four teams of the eight-nation WCLC will make it to the Qualifiers and Nepal are currently at the sixth spot with eight points from 11 matches. 

Netherlands have all but sealed a place in the Qualifiers with 18 points after six rounds and are followed by Papua New Guinea (16), Scotland (15), Hong Kong (13) and Kenya (12). Nepal now not only need to win their remaining three matches but also hope Hong Kong lose to Papua New Guinea and Kenya go down against Scotland in both of their last round games.

National cricket team manager Raman Shiwakoti said the Hong Kong Cricket Association has not yet given any prior information about the tropical storm. Apart from the storm, Hong Kong is also expecting rain during day time on Sunday.

Nepal, who were bundled out for just 111 runs in chase of 195 runs on Friday, had focused on batting during their training on Saturday. Among the batsmen practising in the nets was Naresh Budhayer who was called up after in-form Sharad Vesawkar was ruled out from both the games due to viral fever. Vesawkar has already left for Nepal.

In absence of Vesawkar, Nepal had to play with six batsmen in the team and it took the toll in Friday’s result. Budhayer is likely to find a place to bolster the batting department. Nepal coach Jagat Tamatta has hinted to play Budhayer in the second match but has not talked openly about the Nepali team for the game. If Naresh plays he will bat at No 3 or No 4. 

“We can make few changes in the team after the first game by adding one batsman in the playing XI. But before that, we would like to assess the wicket upfront,” said Tamatta. Since spinner Sushil Kandel and seamer Lalit Singh Bhandari are both bowlers, the only batsman remaining in the side is Budhayer. A place Budhayer would mean another left spinner Sushan Bhari Shrestha would have to make way for him. 

Published: 15-10-2017 08:58

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