Nepal aims for winning start at T20 World Cup

Kathmandu, June 4: The Nepali cricket team is set to face the Netherlands at the Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium in Dallas, United States on Tuesday. This match marks the Rhinos’ return to the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup after a decade-long absence.

Nepal is expected to start the tournament with a victory against the Netherlands, who are another associate team in Group D. Nepal’s other group stage opponents include the full members Sri Lanka, South Africa, and Bangladesh.

This will be Nepal’s second appearance in a T20 World Cup since 2014, whereas the Netherlands are participating in their fifth global event. The Dutch team has a history of causing upsets, having previously surprised teams like South Africa, England in previous editions, and Sri Lanka in warm-up match played recently.

The head-to-head record between these two teams is quite balanced, with the Netherlands winning six and Nepal emerging victorious in five. In the three matches played between them this year, the Netherlands have won twice and lost once.

The support of Nepali fans is expected to play a crucial role for the Nepali team, as they will be playing in a stadium where 90% of the tickets have been purchased by Nepali supporters. Additionally, the team will benefit from their familiarity with the Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas, which is considered their second home ground after the TU Cricket Ground in Kirtipur, Nepal.

Nepal’s captain, Rohit Paudel, believes that the local support will provide the team with the energy they need to perform well. He emphasized the importance of catching momentum from the match against the Netherlands, as it is crucial for their main goal of reaching the Super Eight.

Despite Nepal’s recent underwhelming tune-up match performances, Paudel remains optimistic about his team’s abilities, expressing faith in their capabilities in all aspects of the game.

The return of Dipendra Singh Airee is also seen as a morale booster for Nepal’s team ahead of their opening match. The team’s coach, Monty Desai, confirmed Airee’s full fitness and highlighted his importance for the upcoming match against the Netherlands.

Airee, who is ranked 10th in the ICC’s world ranking list of all-rounders, carries a significant burden of performance for the Nepali team. His return to the squad has generated excitement among the team and their supporters.

Dipendra’s injury had caused concern before the World Cup, as he is a crucial player known for both his batting and off-spin bowling. His absence from the team was felt during recent matches, and his return is anticipated to have a positive impact on the team’s performance.

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