After missing out on a chance to play in the Super Six stage, Nepal are now be playing for ODI status. Their path was made easier after by their victory over Hong Kong by five wickets in Bulawayo on Monday. That victory means that Nepal will now face Papua New Guinea (PNG), who are yet to win a match in this series.
Nepal will have to beat PNG in the first consolation bracket playoff on Thursday and may have to win the seventh place match, too, depending on outcome between the Netherlands and Hong Kong. As the Dutch have already recievd ODI status after winning the World Cricket League(WCL) last year, the fight for the last remaining ODI status will be between Nepal, Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea.
The last two matches between Nepal and PNG in the WCL were close with PNG winning both the games in the last over. If past matches are anything to go by, this one is likely to be close as well.
Here are five contests that will determine the outcome of game at Harare tomorrow:
This is a contest that might decide where the match turns. Ura is an explosive batsman who has been the only shining light in what has been a poor tournament for PNG. His 151 vs Ireland will probably be the innings of the tournament and Nepal have to be cautious against him, especially during the power play overs.
Kami bowled well against Hong Kong and was economical and he needs to be just as good to stop Ura. Kami had a good innings with the bat too as his 89 run stand with Rohit Paudel helped Nepal cross the line. That might have done his confidence a world of good which might help him get some wickets up front.
Lamichhane had the perfect game on Monday. He was tight and picked up three crucial wickets and finished with figures of 10-4-17-3. He once again needs to bowl well and not give away cheap runs.
All rounder Dai, on the other hand, has had a tournament to forget with, both with the bat and the ball. He has picked up just three wickets in four games and has failed to impress with the bat. But as we know he has proven track record against Nepal, the Rhinos need a strategy to get him out early.
Khadka has been Nepal’s best player with the bat and he has to play well against PNG’s strike bower Vanua, who has had a decent tournament with the ball. He will be tricky to face first up. Nepal’s openers haven’t had the best of series so Khadka has to play sensibly and not throw his wicket away to the pace bowler.
After playing an incredible innings On Monday, Nepali fans will be counting on the 15-year-old to produce a similar performance against PNG. In order to do so, he will have to be careful and plan his innings like he did yesterday. Nao’s line and length can be way wards at times and Paudel along with other Nepali batsmen must capitalise when he misses his length.
Vala, who captains PNG, has just picked up form as the tournament has progressed with impressive knocks against the West Indies and the Netherlands. Nepal has to contain him and not let him score freely.
Regmi was particularly good against Hong Kong–bowling 43 dot balls in his 10 overs and picking up two wickets. Regmi, hasn’t been had a good tournament so far. His wicket taking ability will be crucial for Nepal.
Published on March 14th, Wednesday, 2018 11:50 AM