MATCH 4: Nepal vs Namibia , the Five key notes:

MATCH 4: Nepal vs Namibia , the Five key notes:

Namibia defeated Nepal for the 2nd time in the ongoing ICC World Cricket League 2. Nepal failed to negotiate the bowling conditions yet again and suffered the second defeat of the tri-series. Here are the five keynotes from Nepal vs Namibia, Match 4 of WCL 2 :

 

  • Win the toss, win the game?

It is no more a surprise that the captain winning the toss in TU heavily prefers chasing the target. To exploit the favorable bowling conditions in the morning, the captains who have won the toss have always chosen to bowl first in this tri-series. So far, that decision has proven to be accurate for all the games have been low-scoring and won by the chasing side.

In both games against Namibia, Nepal batted first and struggled to negotiate with the Namibian bowlers. Losing batters quickly and failing to weave any substantial partnership meant Nepal put a paltry total on the board. 

The Netherlands suffered a similar fate against Nepal. Asked to bat first, the Netherlands found surviving Nepal’s spin attack very tough. The Dutch batting order folded tamely once the floodgates started. 

In other games, Namibia was given a similar treatment by the Netherlands. Dutch Right Arm off-spinner Aryan Dutta registered his career-best 6-34 on his way to completely dismantle Namibia.

So far, no team has been able to put up a fighting total on the board after batting first. The task of negotiating the favorable bowling conditions in the morning is proving a challenging task for all the teams. 

  • Bernard Scholtz: The Difference 

Left-arm spinner Bernard Scholtz was the difference in the Nepal vs Namibia match. He was economical throughout and picked up key wickets. His dismissal of well-set Aasif Sheikh opened the floodgates for Nepal. The figures of 10-2-31-4 meant that the visitors kept the host in check throughout the innings.

All three top-order wickets fell to Scholtz as Nepal’s inform trio of Kushal, Aasif, and Anil were clueless to Scholtz. In addition to halting the brewing opening partnerships, Scholtz destroyed the host’s attempt to rebuild innings with the impactful wicket of Aasif Sheikh. Scholtz proved to be the difference between the teams and collected a deserved ‘ Player of the Match‘ award.

  • Namibia batters vs Lalit Rajbanshi

Lalit Rajbanshi has emerged as Nepal’s premier spinner in recent matches. Always economical and ever-accurate, Lalit picks up wickets at key moments of the games and is reliable at every stage of the match with the ball, be it the powerplay or middle order.

However, Namibian batters took an aggressive approach to negotiate the threat of Nepal’s primary spin weapon.

His first two overs yielded 14 runs each as Gerhard Erasmus and Michael Van Lingen put pressure on Rajbanshi. The aggressive approach helped Namibia immensely as the duo of Erasmus and Van Lingen never let the pressure accumulate from both ends. Nepal’s captain was forced to withdraw Rajbanshi until the duo were at the crease. He did return in later overs and picked up a wicket but it proved no more than a consolation one.

  • Nepal’s middle-order

Just days ago, the Netherlands was blown away by Nepal’s chase. The addition of Anil Sah, Bhim Sharki, and Dev Khanal strengthened the batting line-up, as evident in the Canada series.

This series has been a kind of hit-or-miss regarding Nepal’s batting. Nepal’s approach was better in the 2nd match against Namibia than in the initial encounter but still not enough to post a competitive total. The morning bowling condition seemed negotiated during the Bhurtel-Aasif partnership and the Aasif-Kushal partnership looked to be dragging the home team towards a very competitive total. For a team that plays so many matches at TU ground, from domestic to international, it is disheartening to see Nepal fold comfortably against Namibia for consecutive matches. Nepal looked in control of the match in patches but not for a substantial overs to race ahead of Namibia.

  • The Netherlands game 

Nepal’s captain Rohit Paudel was vocal about Nepal’s aspiration for the ongoing cycle of the World Cricket League 2. The current cycle is vital for any associate’s dream of being a test-playing nation and Rohit stated that Nepal wanted to emerge as ‘the Best among the associates’ at the end of the cycle.

Namibia and the Netherlands are two of the best associate nations. Namibia will co-host the next edition of the ODI World Cup and after a period of T20I focus, Namibia converges its attention to the longer formats. The Dutch team is the ever-lying powerhouse in the associate world and there is no other associate closer to the full-membership than the Netherlands. The tri-series was Nepal’s chance to measure itself against the two of the best.

Many Nepali supporters were optimistic that the Nepali team would prove unbeatable at home in the WCL 2 cycle. There were bases for that optimism as Nepal had not been beaten at home for a long time. Add to that, Nepal’s easy dismantling of Canada and recent global exposure (the Asia Cup) meant that the Nepali team was on an upward trajectory.

While the tournament is more of a marathon than a sprint, the two defeats at the hands of Namibia leave Nepal in a precarious position. Anything other than a win vs the Dutch and Nepal will conclude a home tri-series with just a win off four ODI matches.

 

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