Singapore T20I Tri-Series: Nepal vs Zimbabwe, 4th T20I, Preview – Both sides aiming for a win as the race to the top spot intensifies

Singapore T20I Tri-Series: Nepal vs Zimbabwe, 4th T20I, Preview – Both sides aiming for a win as the race to the top spot intensifies

The last time these two sides met, Zimbabwe pulled off a nerve-wracking five-wicket win.

Singapore
Singapore. (Photo Source: Twitter)

After a one-day breather, it is time for the action to resume. Its the 4th T20I of the Singapore Tri-series and we are well and truly at the business end of the tournament. With each having picked up a victory in the first round, the road to the top spot could lead to a lot of Permutations and Combinations and each side will hope that they do just enough to ensure their future in the tournament just does rest on the results of the other games.

This match will see Nepal lock horns with Zimbabwe. While Nepal is coming off a imperious nine-wicket win over hosts Singapore, courtsey a Paras Khadka special [106 off 52 balls], the Zimbabweans will hope they shrug off the ignominy of the four-run defeat they suffered against the same opposition that Nepal hammered in the 2nd T20I.

The last time these two sides met, Zimbabwe pulled off a nerve-wracking five-wicket win courtesy crucial knocks lower down the order by Ryan Burl [41 not out] and Richmond Mutumbami [40*], who pulled off an unbeaten stand of 69 runs. But, Nepal will know that Zimbabwe is an inconsistent batting unit and they’ll hope that can shrug off the ignominy of that defeat and do not flounder after doing all the good work, as they did during the first meeting between these two sides.

Team Combination:

Nepal

Paras Khadka’s maniac innings of 106 off just 52 balls; one that included seven fours and nine sixes was at the heart of Nepal’s resounding nine-wicket win over hosts Singapore; just like his failure against Zimbabwe in the first T20I was a major factor in his sides’ defeat. Needless to say, he the pivot around which the fulcrum of the side revolves, but he’ll hope that likes of Aaarif Sheikh and Deepak Singh Airee can contribute with the bat.

Sandeep Lamichhane [3/15 vs Zimbabwe] made the batters dance to his guile and spin during the last meeting between the two sides and Nepal will hope that the teenager can put-up another commanding performance tomorrow and spearhead what has been a pretty bowling performance by his side thus far.

Probable XI

Ishan Pandey, Paras Khadka (C), Aarif Sheikh, Dipendra Singh Airee, Kushal Malla, Binod Bhandari (wk), Abhinash Bohara, Sushan Bhari, KC Karan, Sompal Kami, Sandeep Lamichhane

Bench: Sundeep Jora, Rohit Paudel, Pawan Sarraf, Lalit Rajbansi

Zimbabwe

Inconsistent! This is the one word that instantly comes to mind when you think of Zimbabwe’s batting. While their top-order fell away shambolically in the first game against Nepal, in the second game, it was the turn of their lower-middle order. The likes of Regis Chakabva [48], Sean Williams [66] and Tinotenda Mutombodzi [32]  but were severely hampered by the lack of support from their middle-order as Ryan Burl and Richmond Mutumbami failed to do an encore of their performance against Nepal.

In order to qualify for the top spot, Zimbabwe would need their batting to work in unison and what better day than tomorrow to achieve that. On the bowling front, Tendai Chatara might come in for Richard Ngarava, who came in for plenty of stick in the last game.

Probable Playing XI:

Brian Chari, Regis Chakabva, Peter Moor, Sean Williams (C), Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Ryan Burl, Richmond Mutumbami, Wellington Masakadza, Neville Madziva, Tendai Chatara, Daniel Jakiel.

Bench: Tony Munyonga, William Mashinge, Timycen Maruma, Richard Ngarava.

The focus will be on:

Sandeep Lamichhane (NEP): I know all that talk has been around Paras Khadka and his maniac knock the other night against Singapore where he went on to become the first captain ever to score a T20I hundred in a run-chase. And, deservedly so! But, the point is bowlers win you matches. Which is why Sandeep Lamichhane could prove to be the trump-card for Nepal. In a tournament where almost every bowler has traveled the journey, Lamichhane has returned with barely believable figures: 3/15 vs Zimbabwe & 0/18 vs Singapore.

Sean Williams (ZIM): It has been a tournament for captain’s individual feats, isn’t it. Taking inspiration from Paras Khadka and Timothy David, newly-appointed skipper Sean Williams shrugged off his poor form and led from the front with the bat against Singapore. The Zimbabwe skipper scored a 35-ball 66; one that included five boundaries and as many sixes, and even though his side ended up losing the game, Williams and the top-order regaining their form comes as a huge positive for the side.

Stat Attack

4.125: In a tournament where almost every bowler has gone the distance, Sandeep Lamichhane has returned with combined figures of 8-0-33-3, conceding just 4.125 runs/over. Could he be the game-changer against Zimbabwe, again?

1st: Paras Khadka’s century against Singapore was the first instance of a captain scoring a T20I hundred in a run-chase. Interestingly, the very next day, Chamari Athapathu- captain of Sri Lankan Women team- achieved the same feat in Women’s cricket.

Live streaming & Broadcasters: Willow TV (Canada), Fan code (India), Wec Sports (Singapore).

Timing: 5:00 PM IST | 7:30 PM local | 11:30 AM GMT