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Nepal confident of making winning start

Posted by Prabin the सोभित on आइतवार, नोभेम्बर 22, 2009

Mahesh Acharya, SHARJAH

The Himalayan Times:

Nepal are confident of maintaining the unbeaten record against Malaysia in their Group B opening match of the ACC Twenty20 Cup here at the Sharjah International Stadium on Sunday.

Nepal have never lost against Malaysia in any form of cricket with coach Roy Luke Dias and skipper Paras Khadka expressing their confidence ahead of the match. Dias said the pressure would be on Malaysia as they have never beaten Nepal, while Paras conceded both the teams would be under equal pressure as both the teams would work hard to win the first match of the tournament.

“The boys have learnt a lot from the Delhi tour, which was a fruitful outing,” said the former Sri Lankan Test international Dias. “They learnt Twenty20 concept despite losing three matches. We played against strong sides and my boys have realised their mistakes. Our batsmen know the stakes of throwing their wickets and bowlers themselves have felt that they need to work hard on every ball,” said Dias.

“We have already planned and discussed our game plan and now it’s up to them to implement those on the field,” added the coach. Dias said he would prefer to bat first and put runs on the board. Dias also hinted at Paresh Lohani and Mehboob Alam as the best choice to open the innings. “As Mehboob has been doing well against Malaysia, we are considering trying Paresh and Mehboob as openers,” he said.

In bowling, Dias said he would go with three medium pace bowlers in Binod Das, Mehboob Alam and Paras Khadka with spin attacks from Shakti Gauchan, Basanta Regmi and Sanjam Regmi. The two new faces of the squad, Binod Bhandari and Naresh Budayer along with a medium pace bowler, most probably Amrit Bhattarai are likely to be dropped in the first match.

Asked about the Paras Khadka’s first match as the senior team skipper, Dias said he has good faith on the lanky allrounder. “He is doing good. He has led the Kathmandu team at the senior level and there are so many senior players to help him on the field,” said Dias. Asked about the match turners of the team, Dias said Dipendra Chaudhary and Gyanendra Malla, at the moment, looked in shape. “But they need to cross the 30s or 40s marks,” he added.

Skipper Paras also described the Delhi tour as helpful. “We learnt a lot there and what we need to do now is to utilise the experience here in the tournament,” said Paras. But he felt the pressure would be on both the sides. “The format of the game is such that any team can win the match,” said Paras, who emphasised that the batsmen need to raise their standard and utilise the power play to score more runs.

Asked about the feeling of leading the national side in an international level, Paras levelled the match against Malaysia as just the another one. “I have been through that stage in the past so many times and it does not affect me,” he said. On Saturday, Nepal had a two-hour practice session at the Sharjah Stadium. All the players seemed fit and have no injury scare ahead of the match. The team had a routine practice although coach Dias spent much of the time in fielding drill.

Nepal are pitted in Group B along with Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain. Nepal will play four of their matches in Sharjah and one in Abu Dhabi. The Group ‘A’ consists of hosts UAE, Afghanistan, Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Saudi Arabia.


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