Singapore T20I Tri-Series: Singapore vs Nepal, 5th T20I, Preview – Paras Khadka vs Amjad Mahboob’s battle could well decide the fate of what is a must-win encounter for Nepal
If Nepal loses, they will be more or less out of the tri-series.
Updated - Oct 1, 2019 9:03 pm
We are well and truly into the business end of the tournament. In the 5th T20I of the Singapore Tri-nation series, the hosts will take on Nepal in what should be another riveting encounter between these two upcoming cricketing nations. And, it could not get bigger than this: A chance of making it to the finals and take another step towards their already outstanding surge in International cricket.
The last time these two sides met, it was a Paras Khadka show. The Nepal skipper shellacked the Singapore bowlers to all corners of the Indian Cricket Association ground, making a mockery of the target of 152. Khadka eventually ended up with a 52-ball 106, becoming only the first skipper to score a T20I hundred in a run-chase. But, Nepal would know Singapore aren’t pushovers.
They have had a taste of it in the past: Remember ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Asia Region Qualifiers back in July? And, especially now when they are coming off their first-ever win against a Test-playing nation [Zimbabwe]. Timothy David  and Manpreet Singh  and the duo of skipper Amjad Mahboob [2-20] and Janak Prakash were the wrecker-in-chief, and Singapore will hope that the quartet can do an encore and help them seal their spot in the grand finale.
Nepal, on the other hand, will have to shrug off the ignominy of the 40-run defeat that they suffered against Zimbabwe. With just one win in three games, its a must-win game for Paras Khadka’s team and the skipper will have to once again do an encore of what he did the last time he met Singapore. Easier said than done, though!
Singapore’s all-round batting performance against Zimbabwe was the cornerstone of their historic win. The duo of Rohan Rangarajan  and Surendran Chandramohan  gave their side a swashbuckling start, adding 62 runs in just 6.2 overs. The base set by the openers was ably used by Tim David, who scored a 24-ball 41 and wicket-keeper Manpreet Singh to build what turned out to be a bridge too far to cross for the Zimbabweans. Much of the same will be expected against Nepal tomorrow.
In the last game that Singapore played against Nepal, the absence of regular skipper and the spearhead of their bowling unit, Amjad Mahboob was a subtle difference. Mahmboob’s 2-20 against Zimbabwe proved how much his side missed him against Nepal and the skipper could once again prove to be the difference.
Rohan Rangarajan, Surendran Chandramohan, Tim David, Aritra Dutta, Manpreet Singh (wk), Janak Prakash, Sidhant Singh, Selladore Vijaykumar, Amjad Mahboob (C), Vinoth Baskaran, Aahan Gopinath Achar
Bench: Avi Dixit, Navin Param, Anantha Krishna, Aryaman Sunil, Arjun Mutreja, Utsav Rakshit, Rezza Gaznavi
In their last game against Zimbabwe, Nepal once again found out how much they are dependent on Paras Khadka’s batting. Khadka does well, Nepal wins; if he doesn’t? Well! Nepal just gets blown away. Despite a valiant attempt from Aarif Sheikh  and Binod Bhandari , Nepal fell well short of the target set by Zimbabwe .
They will now have to win their last league game against Singapore to harbour any chance of making it to the finals, and they’ll need a firing Paras Khadka to take them through. The bowling unit will as always be spearheaded by Sandeep Lamichhane [2-27] and Sompal Kami, who had a great outing against Zimbabwe, recording figures of 2-27.
Paras Khadka (C), Aarif Sheikh, Dipendra Singh Airee, Kushal Malla, Binod Bhandari (wk), Pawan Sarraf, Abhinash Bohara, Sushan Bhari, KC Karan, Sompal Kami, Sandeep Lamichhane
Bench: Sundeep Jora, Rohit Paudel, Ishan Pandey, Lalit Rajbansi
Focus will be on:
Amjad Mahboob (Singapore)
Amjad Mahboob’s 2-20 played a key role in Singapore successfully defending 9-181 despite a 35-ball 66 by Sean Williams. It also showed how much Singapore missed him when Paras Khadka was going hammer and tongs against their bowlers. Mahboob has taken 8 wickets at an average of 11.11 in his 4-match T20I career. His battle with Paras Khadka might just decide the eventual outcome of the game.
Paras Khadka (Nepal)
Khadka’s form is directly proportional to Nepal’s fortune! At least this is what we can conclude after seeing their performances in this tournament. The only game that Nepal has won was due to their skipper’s maniac knock. Needless to say, he will once again hold the key in his sides’ must-win encounter.
8- No of wickets Amjad Mahboob has taken in his 4-match T20I career- the joint-most for Singapore.
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