Nepal take on Bhutan today

KATHMANDU: Nepal will be looking forward for a semi-final berth with a win against Bhutan in the Group A match of the ACC Women’s Twenty20 Cricket Tournament at the Bayuemas Oval in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Tuesday.

Nepal are currently at the second position behind Thailand in the standings. Both the countries have accumulated six points from their three wins in as many matches but Thailand are on top on better run rate. Singapore, Bhutan and Iran all have two points each.

A win against Bhutan will ensure Nepal’s berth in the last four. “We will not take Bhutan lightly as they have already registered a win and will definitely push for victory to remain in contention for the semi-finals,” said Nepal skipper Ritu Kanoujiya. “But we will put everything into the match to register an easy victory as we did against Qatar.”

She said the team would like to take the first strike to give batswomen the chance to gain confidence. “If we win the toss, we will bat first and hope to put on 150 runs on the board,” said Ritu. “So far we have been facing the problem in the opening stand and we can change the opening pair for tomorrow’s match,” she said. “The other departments are doing well,” Ritu added.

Nepal opened the

campaign with a 62-run victory over Iran before edging past Singapore 2-1 in Bowl-out after both the teams were tied at 79 runs. Rubina Chhetry made history in the match against Singapore taking five wickets in five balls becoming the first ever Nepali cricketer to take a hat-trick in international tournaments. In their third match, Nepal outplayed Qatar by eight wickets.

Coach Pradeep Raj Pandey said the team would not take Bhutan lightly. He also said he was considering of changing the players including the opening pair. “I am thinking of sending in Nary Thapa in place of Neera Rajopadhyay to partner Maya Rawat,” said Pandey. He also informed the openers would be followed by Rashmi Sharma and Ritu Kanoujiya. “Rest we will decide as per the situation.”

The coach also said he was considering of giving rest to Ambika Budhathoki, Manisha Rawal and Sarita Magar in tomorrow’s match. “We will decide it tomorrow and I am also thinking of trying Nary Thapa’s bowling as well,” he added. Nary has not bowled in the previous two matches. Nepal will play against Thailand on Wednesday.