Nepal to fine tune for PNG clash

  • Nepal - Hong Kong 2-day Game
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Nov 5, 2015-

Nepal look to fine tune their batting abilities for the ICC World Cricket League Championship (WCLC) clash against Papua New Guinea (PNG) when they meet Hong Kong in two-day match at the Abu Dhabi Oval 1 on Thursday.

Nepal will play PNG in a crucial second round of their WCLC on November 16 and 18 in Abu Dhabi where victory in both of the games will put them on course for the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers. The top six finishers from the WCLC after the completion of seven rounds will make it to the Qualifiers where they will join bottom four teams from the ICC ODI rankings.

Coach Pubudu Dassanayake, who is looking after the team for one last time in the current tour, believed that the games preceding the PNG clash came at a right time. In a tour itinerary set by the International Cricket Council, Nepal will also play a 50-over games against Pakistan on Nov 8, the UAE local team Danube CC on Nov 11 and Oman on Nov 14. 

“The matches ahead of PNG games have come at a right time for us as we didn’t have long preparation time with only Super League cricket back home keeping our guys in touch,” Dassanayake told The Kathmandu Post from Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. “Longer version always helps improve the skills of the game. The two-day game (against Hong Kong) will be key to get our batting order in shape,” added the coach saying that he will try both newcomers for the game. 

Spinner Irshad Ahmed and fast bowler Bikram Sob are the two new faces in the national team and although the match against Hong Kong will be an unofficial one, the duo will get a golden opportunity to prove themselves. Basanta Regmi and Sompal Kami will make way for the newcomers. While Naresh will open the innings for Nepal, the selection headache for Dassanayake would be to choose between Subash Khakurel and Mahesh Chhetri.

Allrounder Prithu Baskota will have to fight for his place with veteran allrounder Mehboob Alam. Skipper Paras Khadka, Gyanendra Malla, Sharad Vesawkar, Sagar Pun, Karan KC and Shakti Gauchan will be the unanimous pick for the coach. While spin will be the key for Nepal, familiar foes Hong Kong will pin their hopes on fast bowling. The two teams have not met in longer version for a long time having regularly played in Twenty20 and 50 overs recently. 

“They are pretty organised team and to beat them we have to match them well. I want our boys get used to the conditions and build confidence in all departments and make the most out of the two-day of cricket,” the coach added.

Published: 05-11-2015 08:53

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