Nepal to face Scotland today

Kathmandu, July 28

Nepal and Scotland will lock horns in their first of the two ICC World Cricket League Championship matches in Ayr on Wednesday.

The two teams are playing their first match following the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers in Ireland and Scotland, and the co-hosts earned a spot in next year’s World Cup in India. Nepal had a disastrous outing in Ireland where they won just one match before crashing out of group round with three points.

Kenya and Nepal, who finished third and fourth, respectively, in the WCL Division 2 in Namibia got the chance to play in the WCL Championship after ICC promoted Afghanistan and Ireland to join the 10 Full Members in the rankings-based qualification system for the World Cup 2019.

Nepal skipper Paras Khadka said the team was getting familiar with the local conditions. “As a group we need to step up and improve the performance, compared to our last outing in Ireland,” Khadka told ICC. “Scotland is a good team and we will have to play to our potential and come up with good plans and execution to beat them. The players know the need to stand up and be counted.”

Scotland captain Preston Mommsen said the team was excited after the ICC World T20 Qualifier. “We are looking forward to the trip to Ayr and getting our WCL Championship campaign underway against a talented Nepalese side. It will be the last leg of a solid period of representative cricket, and the group is hungry to finish on a high.”

The WCL Championship is an elite 50-over competition played between leading Associate and Affiliate members. It is the pathway for participating teams to play in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 and subsequently have a chance to qualify for ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The ICC WCL Championship will run from 2015-2017. Four of the eight participating teams in ICC WCLC have ODI status, while the other four have been promoted from ICC WCL Division 2 which was held in Namibia in January 2015.

The Netherlands defeated Papua New Guinea 2-0 in Rotterdam last month to move to the top of the table and Peter Borren’s men currently enjoys a two-point lead over Hong Kong who are marginally ahead of Kenya, UAE and Namibia on net run rate. Namibia held Hong Kong to a 1-1 draw in round one, while Kenya and UAE also shared the spoils when they faced off in Hampshire in late June.