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:
- 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.
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.
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.
|Armed Police||339/6||50||6.78||v Prov-2||Kirtipur|
|Police Club||324/6||50||6.48||v Prov-7||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|
|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.
|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.