T20I : MATCH 1 OFF 7 : Nepal vs Namibia : Three Keynotes

T20I : MATCH 1 OFF 7 : Nepal vs Namibia : Three Keynotes

Nepal and Namibia started their preparations for the T20 World Cup, facing each other in the first match of the T20I series, also involving the Netherlands. Namibia defeated Nepal by 20 runs and has defeated Nepal in each of the last three matches ( 2 ODIs and a T20I). Here are the three keynotes from the match:

 

  • Jan Nicole Loftie-Eaton : 

Loftie-Eaton put on a show, characterized by the execution of tremendous cricketing shots and match awareness. He arrived at the crease when Namibia was at 62-3 and his team looked to be heading towards a par total. He spoiled Nepal’s bowling plan with the proper execution of unconventional cricketing shots. On his way to becoming the fastest T20I centurion, Lofite-Eaton smashed 11 fours and 8 sixes. 

Loftie-Eaton’s utilization of unconventional cricketing shots against the fuller-length deliveries unsettled Nepal’s medium-pacers. Any full-length deliveries other than pinpoint yorkers were either reverse-swept or guided through the third-man region and anything fraction shorter was deposited over midwicket. 

The bowlers were forced to drag their lengths and Eaton outthought Nepali bowlers throughout his innings. Eaton displayed outstanding match awareness with his shot placements and manipulation of field placements. 

 

  • Namibia: Nepal’s kryptonite?

Namibia defeated Nepal yet again in a cricket match. Nepal’s inform and high-flying ODI team was defeated by Namibia twice in consecutive matches in WCL 2. In doing that, Namibia ended Nepal’s 15 ODI match unbeaten streak at home. While Nepal looked short of the challenge in ODI encounters, the T20I faceoff was closely fought. 

Namibia posted a mammoth 206-4 and Nepal looked in control of the chase up until the penultimate over. Despite Nepal staying ahead of the required run rate, Namibia continued to take timely wickets and barred Nepal from stitching any match-winning partnerships.

Namibia looks to be a very well-settled side in both ODI and T20 formats. The players have clarity about their role and each position in the playing XI seems locked in. The team looks strong in every department and is certainly on upward trajectory heading into the T20I World Cup in June. 

 

  • Nepal’s death over bowling and the run chase

Nepal conceded a whopping 106 runs in the last 10 overs and 73 in the last five overs. Teams do tend to go hard in the death overs and even more so in the T20 format. However, Nepal looks short of ideas when the bowlers have to face a well-set opponent in the final overs. Nepal failed to curb the run flow in the final of the ACC Premier Cup against UAE and the trend repeated in the ODI World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe, specifically against the West Indies. Namibia’s destruction of the home side at the death overs ultimately proved to be the difference in the match.

Nepal started the run chase poorly as the opener Kushal Bhurtel was removed by Ruben Trumpelmann in the first ball of the innings. Nepal kept the asking rate in check but lost both of the openers within the powerplay. A brief stand between Rohit Paudel and Kushal Malla had Namibia worried. The visitors managed to get rid of both with Nepal still 100 runs away from the target. Cameos from Dipendra Singh Airee, Gulshan Jha, and Sompal Kami dragged Nepal closer to the target but the wickets kept on falling at regular intervals. Karan KC was left stranded at the other end with Namibia mopping up Nepal’s tail with 7 balls left to be bowled and Nepal 20 runs away from the target. 

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