Nepal failed to qualify for ACC Eastern Region T20 2020, winning just a game and losing two matches with one match being washed out.
In first match against Malaysia, winning the toss, Malaysia decided to bat first. Chasing a total of 155 runs, Nepal were bowled out in 19.5 overs for 132 runs, thus Nepal lost the match by 22 runs.
In second match against Hong Kong, Nepal won the toss and then decided to bowl first. Set in to bat first, Hong Kong made 154 runs in 20 overs. Chasing a total of 155 runs, Nepal were bowled out for 111 runs in 18.1 overs. Nepal lost the match by 43 runs.
In third match against Thailand, Thailand won the toss and elected to bat first. Thailand were bowled for 66 runs in 20 overs. Chasing 67 for victory, Nepal achieved the target in 5.3 overs losing just 1 wicket thereby wining the match by 9 wickets. Kushal Malla top scored with 36 runs from 18 balls..
The last match against Singapore was abandoned without a ball bowled where both the team shared points.
Here we analyze the various reasons why Nepal failed to qualify for this tournament.
Failure of Paras Khadka:
Paras Khadka has always been the backbone of Nepali batting over the years. He has mostly battled at number 3 and number 4, providing solid resistance and support to the middle order. However, in this series Paras Khadka seems to have lacked his golden touch. He failed on three of the three instances where he battled. In first match against Malaysia, Khadka scored 9 runs from 10 balls. Against Hong Kong, he scored 4 runs from 7 balls. And against Thailand, the former captain scored 9 runs from 5 balls. Therefore, the total runs scored by Paras Khadka in 3 matches is 22 runs at an average of 7.33 runs.
Although, every player goes through the rough patches, Nepali Cricket, especially in batting is very much dependent on Paras Khadka which was clearly visible in this series. Nepal failed to make big runs with Khadka on being on highest of forms.
Failing to restrict opposition to a lower score
Nepal has been always stronger on their bowling than their batting side. The likes of Sandeep Lamichhane, Karan KC, Shusan Bhari were expected bowl out the teams and set Nepal lower score to chase. In their match against Malaysia, Karan Kc went for 7.25 runs, Avinash Bohara went for 9.75 runs an over. Sandeep Lamichhane was economical with 5.50 runs.
In second match Karan Kc went for 11 runs an over, Sandeep Lamichhane went for 6.25, Shusan Bhari went for 9.25 runs an over. The only instance where the Nepali bolwers were economical was against Thailand. Sandeep Lamichhane bowled 2 maidens in his spell of 4 overs. Karan KC had economy of 3.00, Paras Khadka and Bhuvan Karki had economy of 1.50 thereby restricting Thailand for 66 and winning the match in 5.3 overs.
The job of bowlers is to restrict opposition team to a lower score and possibly bowl them out. But Nepali bowlers were just not able to do that.
Chasing seem problematic
Nepali players seem to lack the confidence to chase scores. In both of the matches, they lost while chasing scores. While it can be caused by large score chase, it can also be blamed to batman chasing approach. In absence of Sarad Veshwakar, no one could provide that finishing touch. After the top order crumble wickets kept tumbling and no one seemed to carry on the team to chase the score and lost on both the instances.
In first match chasing a score of 155 runs against Malaysia, Nepal were bowled out for 132 runs. Gyanendra Malla scored 38 runs from 33 balls and Dipendra Singh Airee scored 38 from 40 balls. Pawan Shaarf too contributed with 19 runs from 14 runs, however other batsman ever failed to score double digit scores.
Similarly, in the second match against Hong Kong chasing 155 runs for victory, Nepal were bowled for 111 runs thereby loosing the match by 43 runs. Gyanendra Malla scored 46 runs from 43 balls, Kushal Malla scored 19 runs from 14 balls, however others failed to contribute much.