3 Things Nepal Must Do To Win Against UAE In Their Second League Match
Nepal began their Asia Cup Qualifiers journey in a rather unpleasing fashion. Oman registered their first win in the tournament by overpowering the much-more fancied Nepalese squad by 7 wickets. Oman, led by Khawar Ali's unbeaten 84, chased the target of 222 set by Nepalese batting line-up with 7 wickets in hand & 2 overs to spare.
Nepal's defeat was quite underwhelming for the team & whole cricket-crazy nation. But they won't have time to mourn about this loss as an even bigger threat (presumably) lies in front of them tommorrow in the form of UAE.
UAE, contrarily, had a delightful opening day of the tourney as they thumped the Singapore team by an enormous margin of 215 runs.
Hence, the United Arab Emirates has both momentum & form in their side ahead of the much anticipated game which in fact will be recognized as an ODI. Nepalese players have a tough task on their hand but they are known for making impressive comebacks in the tournament after being completely down & out at the start. They would be eyeing a similar fate this time too & for that they must improve the mistakes they commited in the first match. These are the 3 things that they must do better than today to topple the Arabian side:-
* BETTER STRIKE ROTATION
Batting has never been Nepal's main asset & today was no different. Nepal had lost 4 wickets at the score of 80 before Sagar Pun & Aarif Sheikh resurrected the innings and took them to a decent total of 221. The problem which was observed in Nepal's innings today was the lack of frequent strike rotation. 16 fours & 6 maximums were hit in Nepal's innings which meant that 100 out of 221 runs came in boundaries whereas a run was scored off a wide. But Nepalese batsmen could only score 120 runs in other 278 balls. They played 183 dot balls in the process. This is a serious issue that the team must discuss about during the preparation of the next game.
*IMPACTFUL BOWLING BY THE SPINNERS
While batting has always been Nepal's weakness, they are a great bowling side traditionally. More specifically, spinners are the biggest strength of squad but they couldn't create much impact in the game against Oman. Despite being the most economical bowler of the match, Sandeep Lamichhane underperformed as per his own standards whereas the veteran spinner Basant Regmi had an awful day in the field conceding runs at more than 6 in his spell of 9 overs while being wicketless. The spin duo must bounce back strongly in order to avoid a similar result in the second match.
*HIGHER STANDARD OF FIELDING & WICKET-KEEPING
Fielding is an area that Nepal pride themselves on. Their fielding is reckoned to be one of the best in the Associate circuit. While the ground fielding was good today accounting in for 2 run outs, catching let the team down. Captain Khadka dropped one off Lamichhane's bowling at the slips. Wicket-keeper Subash Khakurel had a horrible day both ahead & behind of the wickets. He made a few catching fumbles & misses adding to his 4(14) earlier in the match. This might call for a change in the playing XI since Nepal have two more wicket keeping options in the squad namely Binod Bhandari & Anil Kumar Sah. Whoever plays has to perform better with both bat & gloves while the other fielders must grab the given chances to ensure a win for Nepal against their arch-nemesis UAE.