Team Nepal look to give coach a winning send off

  • ICC world cricket league championship
- Adarsha Dhakal, Kathmandu
Nepal are yet to record victory in the tournament that sends top six teams to the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers in Bangladesh

Nov 18, 2015-After a narrow two-wicket loss in the first game, Nepal will be looking to give coach Pubudu Dassanayake a winning farewell when they clash against Papua New Guinea in their second match of the ICC World Cricket League Championship on Wednesday.

The match at the Abu Dhabi Oval will carry an emotional significance to coach Pubudu Dassanayake, who will be in charge of the team for one last time. Dassanayake has already tendered his resignation to the cricket governing body saying the PNG matches will be his last assignment as Nepal coach. Dassanayake wants to leave on a high note. “I want to leave Nepal on a winning note,” said  the coach before his three-year stint ends. “I was blessed to be associated with such an energetic and hard working playing group. Hopefully, we will have a good game tomorrow.”

Nepal are the only team not to have won a single match in the WCLC that sends top six teams to the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers in Bangladesh. Nepal are currently at the bottom of the eight-team standings, while PNG just ahead of them in seventh. With an improved Hong Kong side awaiting them for the third round, Nepal need to win at least three round matches including Wednesday’s game to remain in hunt. 

But after gifting away the first game to PNG despite reducing the opponents to 138-6 in a defence of 232-8, Nepal will have to come up with better game. Nepal wasted several chances at the closing stages of the game and this is where skipper Paras Khadka wants his team to remain circumspect. “The missed chances cost us in the first game and now we need to make sure that we finish the match better. We must play the full game with same intensity until we get to the finishing line. We cannot afford to repeat mistakes,” said Khadka.

Nepal had high hopes from their in-form batsman Anil Mandal but after the opener was out for a golden duck on Monday, their hope of amassing runs failed despite a patient 63 from another opener Subash Khakurel and Sharad Vesawkar’s gritty 78. 

Khadka, however, backed the opening combination. “We have full faith in them. If they were not capable to start Nepali innings, they wouldn’t have been there,” said Khadka. Dassanayake said he will go with the same opening pair combination with Mandal and Khakurel followed by Sagar Pun at No 3. Gyanendra Malla, Khadka, Vesawkar and Mehboob Alam will lead in the middle order. 

In the bowling department, debutant Irshad Ahmed is tipped to get another chance despite returning wicket less on Monday. “Most probably we will go with the same squad. Since they have three left handers in their team, we will keep both off spinners,” added the coach. Seamer Sompal Kami along with spin duo of Basant Regmi and Shakti Gauchan will be his unanimous pick.

Published: 18-11-2015 09:26

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