The winning formula by Prof. Paras Khadka

The winning formula by Prof. Paras Khadka

Our glorious Consistent Inconsistency

Cricket is unpredictable and we love it. Well, It gets crazier when you’re a Nepali cricket fan. Take for example, Nepal’s recent matches in Netherlands. It is as if we have two Nepal cricket teams. One that played the first game (Full Scorecard) and another that turned up for the second (Full Scorecard). As we surely wish Nepal to always perform like they did against the Netherlands in the second match, there is every possibility we’ll see our team falter again. Such was the contrast between the performances on those two occassions. Whatever may be the reasons, our consistent inconsistency has cost us important progresses in the past.
During last year’s Division Two tournament in Namibia,  after winning back to back matches against Netherlands and Namibia (the host nation) in league phase, we lost to Uganda (first game) and Kenya (when a spot in final was on stake). Namibia and Netherlands went on to play the finals and we again lost to Kenya in third place playoff match. From almost becoming another glorious story of cricket, we revert back to irritating mediocrity again (poor maybe, but hey! we won against the mighty Dutch and Namibia). Click here for scorecards ICC World Cricket League Division 2. The inconsistent form was in display against Netherlands in their own backyard (though I have read popular Netherlands fan claiming how good their own team are in bottling comfortable matches). And not only against Netherlands. We won both games against Namibia (in Nepal), lost both games against PNG (in UAE) and almost won one game against Scotland (in Scotland).
However, our glorious consistent inconsistency doesn’t count against Afghanistan for unknown reasons. We almost always loose every important (knock out) game to them. We’re pretty consistent in that.

The winning formula by Prof. Paras Khadka

Paras Khadka  Quite frankly, and being blatantly honest, a huge credit for Nepal’s iconic  victories in last decade or so goes to Skipper Paras Khadka. No questions  asked. Being captain of an associate nation doesn’t help either. You don’t get  enough consistent players to build team with. Domestic cricket is near to null.  Administration doesn’t exist (maybe Cricket Players Association of Nepal can  play it’s role on that front). What would you do? You generate & stick to a  formula. What then is our formula to success? It is pretty simple in one way:  Paras performs, Nepal performs. However, it gets quite intriguing the other  way.
1. A top order cameo (sometimes innings)
2. The heroic Paras Khadka blitz
3. A batsman in a supporting role (mostly involved with a partnership with  Khadka)
4. Batting collapse with or around the wicket of Khadka
5. Quick cameo by a lower order batsman (as low as number nine or ten, yes  batsman)
6. Below par total
Break. The time which is mostly used to criticize the first innings.
7. Early wicket for Skipper Khadka (be it spin or seam)
8. Other seam bowler chipping in with early wicket/s
9. Excitement. ‘We’re winning this.’
10. A good partnership or an opposition batsman holding the fort (mostly outscoring our top run scorer i.e. Khadka)
11. ‘We’re bottling it aren’t we..’ type feelings.
12. Skipper delaying the strike bowlers, agonizingly, frustratingly
13. Then arrives Regmi. Our Paras Khadka of Bowling. Breakthrough.
14. Roars back into the match with crucial wickets by flurry of bowling changes. Mostly spinners.
15. A nail-biting match.
16. A win. At last.
With few tweaks here and there, the same goes with our chasing too. In recent times, we have the only won matches by very few wickets or with very few deliveries left. Most times than not, this formula has worked. But we hardly witness a commanding victory by Nepal (not since we qualified for Division 2 and 1). Unless we don’t formulate new ideas to win or get right players for right roles in the playing XI any success like that of Afghanistan cricket is far from reality.

Nepal vs Netherlands: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Anil Mandal
Anil Mandal (PIC: ICC)
It was almost like we played with two different teams in the two games against Netherlands. Two points from two matches is not a bad result either against the in-form & unbeaten Dutch side. However, the huge loss in our first game dented our net run rate pretty bad which might effect in long term given the low margins of our victories. What were some good and bad (and some ugly) stuffs from our tour to Netherlands?
The Good:
– What a comeback! Hell yeah!
– Paras Khadka does a Paras Khadka
– Sandeep Lamichhane’s dismissing Roelof van der Merwe
– Sagar Jack Pun (Jack of all trades, master of none)
– Binod Bhandari scoring total of 26 runs (including two sixes in second game)
– Unbeatable Basant ‘the crisis man’ Regmi
The Bad:
– Sharad Vesawkar’s struggle in quick wickets continues
– Gyanendra Malla’s struggle to break the glass continues
– Are we finally done with searching openers?
– No Aarif Sheikh in, sort of, ideal conditions
– Raju Rijal (But encouraging wicket-keeping)
The Ugly:
– No regular pace bowler to accompany Kami, even in pace bowling conditions
– Batsmen struggling to build/pace any sort of decent innings (except PK)
– Relying heavily (or our only option) on the trio of aging stalwarts: Khadka, Regmi and Gauchan

Article of the Week

A masterpiece by the author of ‘Second XI‘ Tim Wigmore. Featured in Espncricinfo, the article is all about the sports to be build on merit based evaluations. Read more to find out more. It’s worth.
“That can be seen in how each of the ten Test nations retains permanent votes in the ICC board (while the three votes shared by the 95 Associates and Affiliates are effectively worthless).”

“As sad as the decline of West Indies is, is it any sadder than the best players from Afghanistan being denied the opportunity to play Test cricket?”

Read full article here: Why is cricket so reluctant to embrace meritocracy?

Story of the Week

Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc completed his 100 one-day international wickets tally in record time. In just 52 matches, Starc beat the likes of Brett Lee (55), Shane Bond (54) & Saqlain Mushtaq (53) on his way to breaking the record. This reminded me of ODI’s golden age of fast bowling or at least the era I enjoyed watching. Lee, Bond, Vaas, Wasim, Waqar, Akhtar, Zaheer, Pollock, Ntini, Flintoff, Gough, etc. It used to be a spectacle when Bond used to run havoc through two best batting lineups of his era, Australia & India. Australia lined up with Gilchrist, Ponting, Hayden, Waugh, Martyn, etc similarly, India blessed with Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid, Sehwag, etc. Even Pakistan had Saeed Anwar, Inzamam, Mohammad Yousuf, etc. To name more: Gibbs, Kirsten, Smith, Jayasuriya, Jayawardena, Aravinda, Fleming, Astle, Trescothick, even Bashar, there were tonnes of absolute legends of the game respect to their countries. And how many can we say same for today’s teams?
You wonder how much the record matters today. Record made against mostly transitional teams all around the world in the era of home dominance and ridiculously tailored home pitches leave no doubt in Starc’s talent. Easily and by far the best fast bowler today in ODI cricket. Just not the best time to be one. Even if you sit back with few of cricket geeks and try to list a sure-shot legend bowler of the game and future hall of fame, only one name will make the list: Dale Steyn.

Quote of the Week

28 Day's Data
28 Day’s Data
New definition of cricket coined by Wales based cricket writer and podcaster Peter Miller after continuous rain in West Indies washing out the 4th test against India.
Cricket – a sport that generates billions in TV revenues split so unevenly between ten teams that the infrastructure can’t deal with rain
Author of “28 Days’ Data” Peter Miller tweets here:@thecricketgeek
So, that’s it. This is my first Weekly for Wicketnepal with a promise to continue in coming weeks. Leave your comments. It always helps to improve. I’ll be in continuous quest to make it better by each week.
And follow me on twitter for more: @momocricket. Nepal cricket needs you.


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