Nepal eye positive start against B’desh

  • acc u-19 asia cup
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Nov 11, 2017-

Nepal would want to give their ACC U-19 Asia Cup campaign a positive start when they meet Test side Bangladesh in the first Group ‘A’ game at the Kinrara Oval in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Saturday.

In the three previous editions, Nepal’s U-19 Asia Cup participation had confined into group stages and to make history, they must get a sound beginning against the junior Tigers. Coach Binod Das terms the opener an important one. “We have taken this match as an opportunity to showcase our cricketing talents. If we get a good start tomorrow (Saturday), we can return with the desired result,” said Das. 

Nepal head into the game following a morale-boosting victory against Bangladesh in their third of the three-match practice series which the latter had won 2-1. But Das believes his side cannot get buoyed by the win and take the game lightly. “Its wrong to think that our last victory would make the game easier for us. We have to implement our plans the right way and challenge them (Bangladesh),” added the coach.

With only the top two teams making it to the semi-finals and having another Test giants India in the pool, Nepal must win the game against Bangladesh to open the doors for semi-finals. India, who have never lost the past three finals, gave an emphatic start to their campaign crushing hosts Malaysia by 202 runs on a back of a century from skipper Himanshu Rana. 

Nepal’s performance against Bangladesh will depend a lot on how their openers fare on Saturday. Regular opener Aasif Sheikh looks in good touch and it remains a suspense whom Das is going send to pair with him. Sheikh had forged a century stand with Jitendra Singh Thakuri in the third practice game against Bangladesh. 

As the another opener Sandeep Sunar unable to give the best out of him in the last few tournaments, former U-16 allrounder Thakuri is likely to get his first game for the Nepali youth team. And to assure that he continues to find his place, Thakuri must perform from the other end.

After the 2018 U-19 World Cup Qualifiers debacle where Nepal failed with the bat even against lowly ranked teams like Malaysia and Singapore, Nepal have roped in Indian talent scout Monty Desai as batting consultant. Desai thinks that Nepali batting is gradually improving.

“I never saw any problem with the technique in Nepali batsmen. The only change that we have managed to bring is the approach in them. We have managed to instill the confidence in batsmen to change the approach in their batting according to the match situation. The boys are doing pretty good at it,” said Desai.

Nepal are certain to face acid test in Malaysia and Desai believed that the team will definitely show an improved performance with the bat. “Our batting was a 

bit weak in the recent past but I am sure they will not 

repeat the same mistakes again. The approach of our batsmen in the second and third practice match against Bangladesh makes it quite evident,” said Desai.

Nepal were bundled out for just 104 runs in their second practice match against Bangladesh while chasing 228 runs but the team made a solid comeback winning the final game by six wickets chasing a target of 226 runs with 21 balls to spare.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan have posed themselves as the surprise title contenders for the Asia Cup after crushing Pakistan by seven wickets. They bundled out Pakistan for just 57 runs in 20 overs before reaching 62-3 in 9.1 overs. In another match, Sri Lanka hammered United Arab Emirates by seven wickets.

Lamichhane in PSL draft 

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s leg spinning sensation Sandeep Lamichhane has been picked up for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) Twenty20 Player Draft. Lamichhane, who has been a global hit ever since stepping into world cricket with the 2016 ICC U-19 World Cup in Dhaka, is among the 298 players in the silver category of the draft. Each of the six teams in the PSL can pick up two players from the silver category. Lamichhane was also added to the Bangladesh Premier LeagueTwenty20 but had gone unsold. The PSL Player Draft is scheduled for November 12. (PR)

Published: 11-11-2017 08:04

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