Tribhuvan University ground hosting Prime Minister's One Day Cup matches - Image by Yadav Banjade @_imyadav (Twitter)

10 teams with almost more than 100 players have taken part in Nepal’s Prime Minister’s One-Day Cup over the past couple of weeks at venues in Kirtipur and Kathmandu to claim a spot in the what has become a norm in Nepal Cricket over the past few seasons, the National closed-camp.

While a number of capped players have done well in patches, the youngsters have also impressed and have thrown in their names in the selection hat as well. The tournament’s shine was taken away a bit before the start of the group stage with the withdrawal of several National players but the players taking part in it have tried their level best to give it their all in the scorching heats.

The 7 provinces have shown that there are hidden talents in the various cities and villages, who are untapped and some yet to be discovered but if given the right pathway, can be nurtured well in 50-overs and T20 formats of the game for Nepal in the near future.

While the 50-overs format in the domestic competition has come as a blessing in disguise for the players, who have not played anything other than T20 leagues at home and travelling overseas for 50-overs tournaments including WCL Championship and World Cup Qualifiers, it has also shown during the group phase that lots of work is still required from the players to become more consistent in domestic cricket in the country.

Lets look at some alternate stats from Nepal’s 2018 PM Cup:

  1. Lots of wickets for those who have been bowling the most overs but strike-rate an increasing concern. While Nepal’s next International assignments will be in European conditions, the norm will be to take more seamers and pace bowlers for the conditions. Although the pace bowlers will get assistance from the ground and weather conditions, it would be interesting to see how they fare in UK and Netherlands as compared to how they performed in the PM Cup. Spinner’s have again dominated pace bowlers in the domestic tournaments and that will itself be a cause for some concern heading into a busy 2018 International calendar.
Player Matches Overs Maidens Runs Wickets Economy Strike-Rate
S Bhari 5 30.2 3 78 12 2.57 15.1
Sagar Pun 5 42 7 134 11 3.19 22.9
Samsad Sheikh 4 35.5 4 129 10 3.6 21.5
Sompal Kami 5 30 4 148 9 4.93 20
B Regmi 5 37 2 142 8 3.83 27.7
L Adhikari 5 30.5 1 163 8 5.28 23.1
Karan KC 5 38 3 167 8 4.39 28.5
KS Airee 5 30 2 151 7 5.03 25.7
BK Bhusal 5 33 0 159 7 4.81 28.2
Bipin Khatri 4 34 5 110 6 3.23 34
Bikram Sob 5 32.5 3 147 6 4.47 32.8
SP Gauchan 5 35 6 95 5 2.71 42
S Regmi 4 30 4 150 5 5 36

 

If the idea is to contain the batsmen, then Nepal bowlers have enough in their armoury; however, it’s the wicket-taking ability at crucial points in a match, that will count towards achieving more success against top-ranked Associate members & Full members.

Our Take: Include Sushan Bhari & Samsad Sheikh in the National set-up. If not possible, then send them to other countries to get some more exposure.

2. Lots of runs made by experienced and uncapped players; however, strike-rates again a concern for those who have scored the most of the runs during the group phase of the tournament. If you look at the players who have played more than 100 deliveries in the tournament, there are not many who are scoring them at a strike-rate of over 90’s and 100’s.

Player Matches Runs Average Balls Faced Strike-Rate
PS Airee 5 252 50.4 249 101.2
Sagar Pun 5 206 41.2 278 74.1
SP Khakurel 5 194 48.5 251 77.29
S Dhamala 4 193 64.33 291 66.32
AK Mandal 5 190 47.5 309 61.48
Aarif Sheikh 4 170 56.66 147 115.64
HB Chauhan 4 157 39.25 185 84.86
P Baskota 5 157 52.33 158 99.36
S Dhungana 4 151 37.75 193 78.23
AK Sah 5 136 34 178 76.4
RK Paudel 5 133 66.5 137 97.08
H Shah 4 128 32 185 69.18
S Ghimire 4 124 31 109 113.76
S Rana 5 115 28.75 179 64.24
B Sharki 5 108 27 107 100.93
A Airee 4 100 50 172 58.13
DS Airee 4 98 32.66 107 91.58
Anil Gurung 4 98 32.66 196 50
Aadil Khan 4 95 23.75 143 66.43
P Thapa 4 95 23.75 140 67.85
RJ Shahi 3 88 29.33 131 67.17
S Damai 4 87 21.75 119 73.1
Suraj Patel 4 87 29 110 79.09
NB Budayair 5 79 19.75 106 74.52
Diwan Pun 3 74 24.66 112 66.07
D Nath 4 67 16.75 104 64.42
R Rijal 5 65 16.25 134 48.5
RK Shrivastavav 4 63 31.5 120 52.5
JS Thakuri 4 63 15.75 138 45.65
R Magar 4 53 13.25 121 43.8
B Shrestha 4 53 13.25 114 46.49
RP Singh 4 53 13.25 118 44.91

 

Considering the fact that there are few spots in the Nepal top and middle order, which are not yet cemented by the current players, most of the names in the above list would have been eyeing the opportunity but not having a strike-rate of at-least a minimum of 75-80 is not going to help the team overall. Nepal need to score more runs and lose less wickets during their middle overs in any 50-overs or T20 format match.

Our Take: Once Cricket Association of Nepal (NEP) gets re-instated by ICC, the need of the hour will be to develop Nepal “A” squad and most of the players in the list above have shown their capabilities to expect call-ups.

3. Teams are not able to score beyond 200 consistently. Although the Armed Police Club and Army Club produced the maximum of 200+ team totals, there were only 4 instances where the provinces went up-to 200 & beyond. Agreed that the provinces consist mostly of uncapped players who are not experienced in playing the 50-overs format, the opportunities must be created more in order to bring them up to the level where every individual can contribute more towards the team’s cause in terms of runs scored.

Team Score Overs Run-Rate Opposition Ground
Armed Police 339/6 50 6.78 v Prov-2 Kirtipur
Police Club 324/6 50 6.48 v Prov-7 Kirtipur
Prov-4 310/7 50 6.2 v Prov-1 Kirtipur
Army 289/8 50 5.78 v Prov-5 Kirtipur
Army 244 49.3 4.92 v Prov-2 Kirtipur
Armed Police 242/5 36.3 6.63 v Prov-4 Kirtipur
Prov-4 239/9 50 4.78 v Armed Police Kirtipur
Army 228 40 5.7 v Armed Police Kirtipur
Army 225/9 45 5 v Prov-1-Nepal Kirtipur
Prov-1 223/7 50 4.46 v Prov-2 Mulpani
Armed Police 208 48.5 4.25 v Police Club Kirtipur
Police Club 201/3 44 4.56 v Prov-5-Nep Kirtipur
Prov-5 200/9 50 4 v Police Club Kirtipur

 

Our Take: In current 50-overs landscape, gone are the days when scores of 250 and beyond were considered tough challenges for the chasing side. Batsmen need to find new ways and shots to consistently ensure that teams score beyond 250+ as default.

4. Plenty of partnerships between the range of 50-99 for various wickets; but where are the big ones. A total of 7 partnerships were seen during the entire league stage which touched 100 and went beyond, of which two were made for the 2nd wicket and three were made for 4th wicket. It bodes well for some individual players to cement their places in the Nepal starting XI, but overall a key area to focus on in the next 50-overs competition in the country.

Partners Runs For Wicket Team Opposition Ground
SP Khakurel, PS Airee 231 2nd Armed Police v Prov-2 Kirtipur
HB Chauhan, S Ghimire 136 6th Prov-4 v Prov-1 Kirtipur
Sagar Pun, B Sharki 115 4th Army v Prov-5 Kirtipur
P Baskota, RK Paudel 110 5th Armed Police v Prov-4 Kirtipur
S Dhamala, Aarif Sheikh 110 4th Police Club v Prov-3 Mulpani
DS Airee, Aarif Sheikh 104 4th Police Club v Prov-5 Kirtipur
AK Sah, P Baskota 100 2nd Armed Police v Prov-1 Mulpani

 

Our Take: Partnerships are crucial to any team’s chances in an International match and Nepal have had issues with this aspect; hence, the players who have featured more in big partnerships in the domestic matches need to be nurtured for specialist positions in the batting line-up.

Nepal’s upcoming International commitments include Tri-series with Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and Netherlands, followed by two ODI’s against Netherlands. Then there are ACC Asia Cup qualifiers in Sep 2018 and ICC World T20 Asia “B” qualifiers in Oct 2018. Nepal’s senior players almost select themselves in the squad as of now and with not many knocking down the doors for the spots, they are still very much in the safe zone for now.

Nepal’s U19 team will be in action in the ACC U19 Asia Cup in Oct 2018 as well and the youngsters having performed well in PM Cup will look forward to representing the country in Bangladesh.

Armed Police Force Club and Tribhuvan Army Club will be contesting the PM Cup Final on 11th Jun 2018.

This Might Interest You

Share Your Opinion