Nepal target Malaysian scalp

  • Acc U-19 Asia Cup
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Nov 14, 2017-

Still alive in the hunt for the semi-finals, Nepal are taking on hosts Malaysia in their final Group ‘A’ match of the ACC U-19 Asia Cup at the Bayuemas Oval in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.

Nepal, who registered their first ever win over Test giants India in any format or age-group event, are currently on the third place on net run-rate after being tied with their South Asian neighbours on two points. Bangladesh have four points from two matches with a healthy run-rate and they meet India in their final group game.

To qualify for the semi-finals, Nepal not only need to beat Malaysia but also wait for the result of Tuesday’s another game between India and Bangladesh. Nepal can make it through without much fuss if they beat Malaysia and Bangladesh overcome India. But if India beat Bangladesh and Nepal see off Malaysia, the three teams will be tied on points and run-rate will come into play to decider the top two.

To make sure that Nepal take care of the run-rate, they must first beat Malaysia with a huge margin to have an edge over their opponents. Such has been the equation that even a big win over Malaysia can make them Group ‘A’ winners. Nepal coach Binod Das was well aware of the gravity of the clash against the hosts.

“This will be like a qualifier for us. The main target tomorrow (Tuesday) is to be at our best and win as handsomely as we can. The equation depends on other match too. We have to wait for the end of the first innings before making any plan,” said Das adding their final standings in the points table will be a good message to others.

“Its not a bad place to be (in the tournament situation after the victory against India) after the result of first match. But still our primary target will be to win big. We need to finish the league round strongly so that we can send message that we are a strong side,” added the former senior team and U-19 skipper. Dipendra Singh Airee had led from the front when his 88 runs and four wickets was the key in Sunday’s victory over India and the Nepali skipper admits there is no other option left for his side.

“We don’t have any other option except winning (against Malaysia). Bangladesh’s heavy win over Malaysia means the road is tough for us. Our target will be to bundle out Malaysia to a low score if we bowl first or post a huge total if we bat,” said Airee. With the best spin attack, Nepal have all the ability of bundling out Malaysia to a low total but to counter with the bat, Nepal’s opening combination will once again be the key.

The new opening pair of Jitendra Singh Thakuri and Aasif Sheikh are yet to give a desired start after their 139-run opening wicket partnership against Bangladesh during their preparation tour in Dhaka. While the middle order has been doing much of the scoring for Nepal, Thakuri and Sheikh must pull up their socks to hand Nepal a victory as desired by the situation.

On Monday, Bangladesh piled up a tournament-high 325 against Malaysia and restricted them to 73-8 in 50 overs. In Group ‘B’, Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by three wickets in final league game to all but seal their place in the semis. Pakistan, who had lost to Afghanistan in the tournament opener, have four points with a healthy run rate.

Afghanistan (two points) can leapfrog Sri Lanka for a place in the semi-finals if they win their final game against a lowly ranked United Arab Emirates. Sri Lanka, who don’t have a good run rate, are in the danger of elimination from group stage.

Published: 14-11-2017 08:40

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