ABOUT THE MATCH
The opening game of the Singapore T20I Tri-Series 2019 will see Zimbabwe take on Nepal. The match is scheduled to be played on September 27 at the Indian Association Ground.
Zimbabwe is coming off a disappointing T20I tri-series in Bangladesh that also involved Afghanistan. They faced defeats in their first three fixtures but managed to bow out of the tournament on a high with a seven-wicket victory over Afghanistan in their last match. Batting first, the Afghans posted a respectable 155/8 in their 20 overs before Zimbabwe got off to a good start and wrapped up the chase with three balls to spare.
Nepal, on the contrary, is coming off a fairly successful ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Asia Region Final held in Singapore in July. After losing their campaign opener against Qatar, they registered back-to-back wins against Malaysia and Kuwait to seal their spot in the final. Nepal, however, could not win the tournament as they were blown away by hosts Singapore.
With a few rain interruptions expected during the match, the DLS method could come into play and that should favor the side batting second. Moreover, since five of the last seven T20Is at this ground have been won by the chasing side, the team that wins the toss here is more likely to bat second.
PITCH AND CONDITIONS
There is a good chance of a delayed start as plenty of thundery showers have been forecast before the match and the weather is expected to clear only after 9 PM. Temperature is likely to be around 28-29 degrees Celsius while humidity should be around 82% during the match.
Scores of 180+ have been achieved on three occasions in the last five T20 internationals that have been played at the Indian Association Ground, indicating that pitch here has been pretty good for batting. Pacers are likely to get more assistance due to the moisture underneath the surface.
PROBABLE PLAYING XI OF Zimbabwe
Brian Chari, Craig Ervine, Regis Chakabva, Sean Williams (c), Peter Moor (wk), Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Timycen Maruma, Richmond Mutumbami, Neville Madziva, Wellington Masakadza, Tendai Chatara
PROBABLE PLAYING XI OF Nepal
Paras Khadka (c), Kushal Malla, Sundeep Jora, Dipendra Singh Airee, Rohit Paudel, Binod Bhandari (wk), Lalit Rajbanshi, KC Karan, Sompal Kami, Sandeep Lamichhane, Abinash Bohara
- Zimbabwe has made quite a few changes to their squad from their recently concluded Bangladesh T20I tri-series.
- Their star batsman Hamilton Masakadza has signed-off from international cricket which means the team will be coming up with a new opening combination.
- Brian Chari and Craig Ervine could open the batting while Peter Moor is likely to be slotted in the middle order. Tendai Chatara will probably lead the Zimbabwean bowling attack.
- Zimbabwe has been faring very poorly in the shortest format of the game.
- They have managed to win only two of their last eighteen T20 internationals and both of those wins have been registered this year against Ireland and most recently against Afghanistan.
- Zimbabwe had a tough time in the recently concluded tri-series in Bangladesh that also featured Afghanistan, losing three out of their four encounters.
- Prior to that in July, they drew a three-match series 1-1 in Ireland against the hosts.
- Nepal has retained most of the players that were part of the squad that toured Singapore in July for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Asia Region Final.
- Paras Khadka will be leading the team’s 15-man squad and will probably open the batting alongside Kushal Malla.
- Binod Bhandari is the lone specialist wicketkeeper in the side while Sandeep Lamichhane and Lalit Rajbanshi are likely to form the team’s spin attack for the series opener on Friday.
- Nepal has had plenty of success in the T20 format this year, winning six out of their nine matches.
- Their previous T20I assignment came a couple of months ago in Singapore at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Asia Region Final.
- They were pretty impressive in that tournament with two wins and as many losses from four fixtures.
- They even made it to the final which was played at this very ground but suffered a heavy 82-run defeat at the hands of the home team.
PROBABLE WINNING TEAM:
Nepal have won many more matches in the T20 format than they have lost this year and having finished as finalists at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Asia Region Final in Singapore two months ago. Zimbabwe may not have found much success in T20 cricket but they certainly have a lot more match-winners in their ranks which is why we expect them to make a positive start in this tri-series.
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