Nepal vs Singapore, WT20 Qualifier 2018 Asia Final: Preview and Playing XI
Nepal will be looking to claim the Asia B T20 Qualifier title when they face Singapore in the virtual final of ICC World T20 Qualifier Asia B 2018 at the Klang on Friday, October 12.
The two teams are at the top of the seven-team standings with 10 points each from five wins and have already secured their berth for the regional finals in 2019 where they face the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar, the qualifiers from Asia A region qualifier.
Both teams will be going head-to-head for the eighth time against each other, with this will be their second meeting in T20 format. With the Men from the Himalayan nation coming out victorious on all occasions, they are once again favourites to win the title clash and claim the qualifier trophy.
Last time these two teams faced each other in T20 format was way back in 2013 at ACC T20 trophy in Kirtipur, when Nepal inflicted a heavy 121-run defeat on Singapore. After opting to bat first, Nepal posted 210 runs on the board, thanks to incredible batting performances by skipper Paras Khadka (44 off 25 balls), Binod Bhandari (54 off 34 balls) and Gyanendra Malla (30 off 11 balls), and then wrapped up Singapore innings at 89 due to Basanta Regmi (3/17) and Shakti Gauchan's (2/13) splendid bowling efforts.
After winning all group stage matches of the tournament in a row, they will be going into this clash high on confidence. Nepal have had comprehensive victories in all qualifier matches and despite the middle order chinks, they are expected to successfully carry out their title defence.
Batting: Nepal will also bank on the likes of Pradeep Singh Aired, Binod Bhandari, Anil Sah and skipper Paras Khadka. All have chipped in with fine contributions in the qualifier and the onus will once again be on these four to get the team off to a good total.
Bowling: Sandeep Lamichhane is the best bowler in the tournament with 20 wickets in five matches and he is likely to rattle the opposition top-order early on. Lalit Rajbanshi also proved his worth throughout the tournament having picked up ten wickets. These two along with Basanta Tegmi who picked up five wickets this season will the biggest threat.
Expected Playing XI: Paras Khadka (C), Basanta Regmi, Sharad Vesawkar, Gyanendra Malla, Binod Bhandari, Dipendra Singh Airee, Lalit Bhandari, Aarif Sheikh, Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi, Sandeep Lamichhane and Anil Kumar Sah.
Singapore have had a dream run this qualifier. The team started their campaign with an impressive eight-wicket victory over Myanmar. In the next two games, Lankan boys dismantled both China and Malaysia and won those games by 10 wickets and 40 runs respectively. They then went on to beat Thailand and Bhutan in the business end of the qualifier by 8 wickets and 95 runs.
Batting: Surendra Chandramohan, Kumarage and Aritra Dutta have been three pillars of Singapore batting lineup. This can be proved by the fact that all three are among top five run scorers this qualifier with 123, 111 and 82 runs respectively and the team will need them to continue their good run in the final clash as well.
Bowling: Manpreet Singh and Anantha Krishna are the main threats in Singapore's bowling attack. These two have been among the most successful bowlers in the qualifier for their nation with ten and nine wickets respectively. It will be up to them to provide the early breakthroughs and set platforms for others to follow. While Janak Prakash who claimed nine scalps is another option in the side with the potential to turn the game on his own.
Expected Playing XI : Chetan Ramchandra Suryawanshi (C), Kumarage Chaminda Ruwan, Amjad Mahboob, Karthikeyan Subramanian, Surendran Chandramohan, Arjun Mutreja, Anantha Krishna, Aritra Dutta , Mohamed Shoib Abdul Razak, Manpreet Singh and Janak Prakash.