Nepal thumped Malaysia in the first of the 2-match T20I series ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup Asian Regional Finals qualifier. Nepal chased down the target of 129 with nine balls and seven wickets to spare. The chase was made easier by their skipper with a record unbeaten 50-ball 86. Paras Khadka hit eight fours and five maximums on his way to record the highest individual T20I score for Nepal.
The previous highest T20I score for Nepal was 56 by Subhash Khakurel in the 2014 World T20. No player crossed 70 in an official Twenty20 game for Nepal before Khadka as the previous highest T20 score for them was only 68 also recorded by Paras way back in 2012. Earlier in the first innings, the Nepal bowlers’ collective effort restricted Malaysia to 128/9. The total wasn’t possible without contributions from Virandeep Singh (57) and Ahmad Faiz (45).
The 2nd and final game of the two-match T20I series between Malaysia and Nepal will be hosted by the Kinrara Academy Oval in Kuala Lumpur.
The match starts at 10:00 AM local time (7:30 AM IST) (2:00 AM GMT).
The game will be streamed live on Malaysia Cricket Website and their Social media accounts.
Last five completed Twenty20 matches (including unofficial ones):
Malaysia: L, W, W, W, W.
Nepal: W, W, W, L, W.
The Kinrara Academy Oval is usually a decent track for Twenty20 matches. However, on Saturday, Malaysia batsmen were undone against the quality bowling of the visiting team. If Nepal bats first, we might see a total over 150 which won’t happen if the hosts bat first once again.
Average first innings score: 140 (Six T20I matches)
Record of chasing teams: Won – 5, Lost – 1
Probable Playing XIs:
Syed Aziz Syed Mubarak, Virandeep Singh, Fitri Sham, Ahmad Faiz Mohammad Noor (C), Shafiq Sharif (WK), Aminuddin Ramli, Sharvin Muniandy, Syahadat Ramli, Neville Liyanage, Anwar Rahman, Pavandeep Singh.
Bench: Anwar Arudin, Pasha Syafiq Ali, Nazril Abd Rahman.
Paras Khadka (C), Pradeep Airee, Gyanendra Malla, Rohit Kumar Paudel, Sharad Vesawkar, Binod Bhandari (WK), Karan KC, Sompal Kami, Sandeep Lamichhane, Basant Regmi, Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi.
Bench: Dipendra Singh Airee, Abhinash Bohara, Pawan Sarraf.
Injury and Availability News:
(Will be added when there is an update)
Sompal Kami has a good record in the T20 format with the ball and also has the ability to score a few runs down the order. Kami has 18 wickets to his name across 16 T20Is he played thus far and also scored 112 runs from 10 innings he batted at an average of 16. In the first T20I, Sompal recorded figures of 1/15 from three overs that included 15 dot balls.
Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:
Among the players who featured in the first T20I, the likes of Paras Khadka and Sandeep Lamichhane will be crucial as captain or vice-captain. Shafiq Sharif is among the ones who didn’t perform to the mark in the first game but can give good returns if made as vice-captain. Karan KC, Ahmad Faiz and Sharvin Muniandy also can be considered as multipliers.
Suggested Playing XI for Head to Head/Small Leagues:
Keeper – Binod Bhandari
Batsmen – Paras Khadka (C), Virandeep Singh, Ahmad Faiz, Sharad Vesawkar
All-Rounders – Karan KC (VC), Syahadat Ramli
Bowlers – Sandeep Lamichhane, Fitri Sham, Anwar Rahman, Basant Regmi
Suggested Playing XI for Grand Leagues/Mega Leagues:
Keeper – Shafiq Sharif, Pradeep Airee
Batsmen – Paras Khadka, Virandeep Singh, Rohit Kumar Paudel, Ahmad Faiz (VC)
All-Rounders – Karan KC
Bowlers – Sandeep Lamichhane (C), Anwar Rahman, Pavandeep Singh, Sompal Kami
Since this T20I series is more of warm-up games prior to the Regional Finals Qualifier, both the teams could be seen making quite a few changes. It has to be marked that both the sides didn’t field their best XIs in the first T20I.
Nepal is expected to clinch the T20I series with yet another comfortable win against Malaysia.
*Disclaimer: This team is based on the understanding, analysis and instinct of the author. While selecting your team, consider the points mentioned and make your own decision.
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