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By Shrikant Shankar
Mar 18, 2014
This is the battle of the victors from the first set of matches in the qualifying phase of the ICC World T20 2014. Bangladesh and Nepal won their opening fixtures in Group A comprehensively, and they now face each other in a crucial clash at Chittagong in the T20 World Cup. A win for either will put them in the driver’s seat to qualify from the group into the Super 10s.
Bangladesh beat Afghanistan by nine wickets and put their net run-rate at a good high. On the other hand, Nepal thrashed Hong Kong by 80 runs to better that and now top Group A. It is needless to mention the magnitude of the match. If the next matches for these teams prove to be victories, then their clash will decide who progresses. This will be a charged up atmosphere as fans from both teams are vocal and emotional.
The hosts Bangladesh would not like to miss the party that they themselves are looking good. All their big-name players are available and on paper they are the stronger team. They are led by Mushfiqur Rahim and their best player is Shakib Al Hasan. They also have the likes of Anamul Haque, Mominul Haque and Tamim Iqbal in their batting line-up. Their bowling line-up consists Mashrafe Mortaza, Abdur Razzak, Rubel Hossain and Mahmudullah.
Nepal impressed everyone with their flair and spark in their first match. They are top-heavy in their batting and would hope the top-order does the bulk of the scoring. Subash Khakurel, Sagar Pun, Gyanendra Malla and captain Paras Khadka are their main batsmen. Binod Bhandari and Sharad Vewaskar are handy in the middle-order. Nepal’s bowlers skittled Hong Kong for only 69 runs, which implies the Bangladeshi batsmen will have to be wary of their opponents.
Spinners Basant Regmi and Shakti Gauchan were too good for the Hong Kong batsmen as they took three wickets each. Sompal Kami, JItendra Mukhiya and Khadka were also amongst the wickets. However, Bangladesh are the favourites and would hope to send out a clear message in the qualifying phase by stamping their authority. Nepal are the underdogs and will have not as much expectations are compared to their hosts.
Bangladesh: Mushfiqur Rahim (c&wk), Al-Amin Hossain, Anamul Haque, Farhad Reza, Mahmudullah, Mashrafe Mortaza, Mominul Haque, Nasir Hossain, Abdur Razzak, Rubel Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Shamsur Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Sohag Gazi, Tamim Iqbal.
Nepal: Paras Khadka (c), Pradeep Airee, Prithu Baskota, Binod Bhandari, Naresh Budhaayer, Shakti Gauchan, Sompal Kami, Avinash Karn, Subash Khakurel, Gyanendra Malla, Jitendra Mukhiya, Sagar Pun, Basant Regmi, Sharad Vesawkar, Rahul Vishwakarma.
Time: 19:00 IST | 13:30 GMT
(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)
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