Will Kenya continue their dominance or will Kenya shock their opponents?    Getty Images
Will Kenya continue their dominance or will Kenya shock their opponents? Getty Images

In the 35th match of the ongoing ICC World Cricket League Championship, Nepal will take on the far more experienced Kenya cricket team on Saturday. The match will be played at the Tribhuvan University International Cricket Ground in Kirtipur, which is in the outskirts of the Nepalese capital Kathmandu. It is a battle between two evenly matched sides as both Nepal and Kenya are placed right next to each other in the points table of the ICC World Cricket League Championship 2015-16-17. While Kenya are at the fifth spot in the points table with 4 wins in 8 matches, Nepal are placed right below them with 3 wins in 8 matches.

Kenya have so far won 4 and lost as many out of their 8 matches played so far, from which they have 8 points. However, the Nepalese cricket team is not far behind the African nation which made it to the semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003, having lost 5 out of their 8 matches and winning 3 to earn 6 points. The upcoming clash on Saturday will be an interesting clash as both the teams will look to consolidate their chances in the tournament, with Kenya, for obvious reasons, having an upper hand. Let us take a look at what possible likely XIs will the two teams field: ICC WCL Championship, Nepal vs Kenya, Preview

Top order: Nepal have so far played 8 matches in the tournament, and they have had several opening pairs so far. However, the Nepalese side is expected to send in their experienced batsman Gyanendra Malla at the top of the order along with Sagar Pun. Apparently, Anil Mandal had scored a fine century against Scotland earlier in the tournament at Ayr. Nepal are likely to stick to this opening combination for this game. At No. 3, it will not be a wrong idea to move Paras Khadka up in the batting order, who had scored a terrific 84 in the previous game against the Netherlands at Amstelveen.

On the other hand, ever since his promotion in the top-order, Irfan Karim has been among runs and he will be the biggest hope for Kenya. In the last four games he has scored 73, 4, 67 and 33. Alex Obanda has got decent runs as the opening partner to Karim and he is likely to be the other opener. Dhiren Gondaria, who had opened for Kenya in the initial stages of the tournament, is set to continue batting at No. 3.

Middle order: Nepal have shuffled their middle-order far too many times in this tournament, but the likes of Sharad Vesawkar, Aarif Shaikh, Dipendra Airee and Binod Bhandari are likely to be the main batsmen in the middle-order. While Pun had scored a fine 45 in his previous match against the Netherlands, Vesawkar had scored a resolute 74 off 107 balls two matches ago, against Namibia. Nepal s regular shuffling of their players is likely to keep their opponents guessing, but as far as their batting is concerned, Khadka and Malla remain the backbone with Pun and Vesawkar providing the back up. Rijal has kept the wickets in Nepal s last two games but Bhandari is likely to continue as the keeper. ICC WCL Championship, Nepal vs Kenya at Kathmandu: Key clashes

Kenya captain Rakep Patel has had two quiet games with the bat with the scores of 4 and 0, but he is expected to bounce back. He will continue to feature in the middle order. Collins Obuya has had a few starts, but big scores are desired from the seasoned cricketer. Rushabh Patel and Karan Kaul are likely to feature in the lower middle order.

Lower order: Sompal Kami may have not taken a lot of wickets of late but he remains Nepal s premier bowler, along with Khadka, Basant Regmi and Shakti Gauchan. Spinner Sandeep Lamichhane has been among the wickets too, which means he will be the lead spinner in the Nepali side. Lamichhane had spent some time with former Australia captain Michael Clarke in Sydney.

For Kenya, the Odhiambo duo Nehemiah and Nelson are set to feature in their bowling attack. Pushpak Kerai is also there in the squad, who had also spent some time at Pakistan s National Cricket Academy last year, but Lucas Oluoch may inch ahead. Shem Ngoche has gone wicketless in the last three matches, and he would want to end his barren run with the ball. Unless there are any injuries, both Nepal and Kenya are likely to retain their playing XIs.

Likely XIs:

Nepal XI: Gyanendra Malla, Sagar Pun, Sharad Vesawkar, Paras Khadka, Aarif Shaikh, Dipendra Airee, Binod Bhandari (wk), Basant Regmi, Sandeep Lamichhane, Sompal Kami, Shakti Gauchan.

Kenya XI: Irfan Karim (wk), Alex Obanda, Dhiren Gondaria, Rakep Patel (c), Collins Obuya, Rushab Patel, Karan Kaul, Nelson Odhiambo, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Lucas Oluoch, Shem Ngoche