KATHMANDU, May 7: Nepal will play its third league match of the ACC U-19 Elite Cup Cricket Tournament against Iran on Tuesday at the Bayuemas Cricket Ground in Malaysia. Iran is a new opponent for Nepal as the two teams have not faced each other in the U-16 category.
Nepal has registered two wins from as many matches while Iran has won a match and lost another. Nepal had registered a 78-run victory over Kuwait in the first match and thrashed Bahrain by eight wickets in the second.
Iran had lost its first match against Malaysia by 135 runs, but registered a five-wicket victory over Kuwait in the next match.
Nepal will be without its reliable batsman Kushal Bhurtel as he broke his shoulder during the warm-up session ahead of the match against Bahrain on Sunday.
Nepal must win the match against Iran to keep alive its hopes of entering the semifinals. Host Malaysia tops the points table with six points from three matches, while Nepal has four points from two matches.
Coach Manjur Alam Khan said they have not taken Iran as a weak team. “We are the title contenders in the tournament and we have to play in a new ground, so we will take Iran as any other opponent.”
“Our main target is to beat host Malaysia. I have given the players rest so that they can recover from the match against Bahrain,” said the coach, adding “We are playing in a new pitch which supports fast bowlers, so Nepali fast bowlers will play a key role.”
“If we win the toss we have to score more than 200 runs and keep Iran under pressure as our fielding has not been satisfactory.”
Meanwhile, the players enjoyed the rest day swimming at the hotel. Coach Khan said swimming is also an exercise so he let the players swim on Monday.