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T20 World Cup 2024: Sri Lanka under pressure against Nepal; Rohit Paudel confident ahead of crucial encounter

In the T20 World Cup 2024, Nepal captain Rohit Paudel is optimistic about his team's chances against a pressured Sri Lanka. With numerous upsets and close finishes highlighting the tournament, Paudel believes Nepal can capitalize on Sri Lanka's struggles in their upcoming match in Lauderhill, Florida.

T20 World Cup 2024: Sri Lanka under pressure against Nepal; Rohit Paudel confident ahead of crucial encounter osf
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First Published Jun 11, 2024, 3:20 PM IST

In the T20 World Cup 2024, the number of upsets and close finishes has emboldened Nepal captain Rohit Paudel, who believes his team can defeat an under-pressure Sri Lanka in Lauderhill, Florida, on June 11. While this is Nepal's second game, it is a crucial fixture for Sri Lanka, who are on the brink of elimination after losing their first two matches.

"Absolutely," Paudel affirmed when asked about his hopes of beating Sri Lanka. "In this World Cup, Associate teams have been beating Test-playing countries. This motivates us for tomorrow's game. We believe we can win, given our preparation and performance over the last one and a half years. We're excited to showcase our talent on the world stage."

Sri Lanka's bowling coach Aqib Javed has advised his team to "assess the situation and conditions" ahead of their match against Nepal. Despite a rocky start, Sri Lanka will need to adapt quickly to stay in the tournament.

Two recent upsets boosting Nepal's confidence include the USA defeating Pakistan and Canada prevailing over Ireland. Other notable performances include Papua New Guinea's challenge to the West Indies and the Netherlands' close match against South Africa. Afghanistan's significant win over New Zealand also defied expectations.

Paudel emphasized the tournament's low-scoring nature, noting that scores have been modest across the USA venues, with New York seeing the lowest. "Scoring is harder due to drop-in pitches and conditions. Florida has different conditions, but we believe respecting the conditions and presenting our skills can lead us to victory," Paudel said.

Sri Lanka, having lost their first two games against South Africa and Bangladesh, faces a daunting task. Even winning their remaining league games might not secure a spot in the Super Eight. Paudel pointed out that Sri Lanka is under more pressure, especially considering the playing conditions in the USA.

"Teams scoring 140 have been successful in these conditions," Paudel added. "We need to capitalize on starts and avoid dot balls. Despite our first game not going as planned, we are confident and excited for tomorrow's game."

Lauderhill has hosted 15 completed T20Is, with the last matches in August 2023 seeing teams batting first (India and West Indies) score 178 and 165. Sri Lanka, having played here before and recently in warm-up games, will need to adjust quickly.

Paudel acknowledged Sri Lanka's spinners as a significant threat but remains optimistic about Nepal's chances. Nepal will also gain a boost with the arrival of star legspinner Sandeep Lamichhane, set to play the last two league games against South Africa and Bangladesh in St. Vincent. Although Lamichhane will miss the game against Sri Lanka due to visa issues, Nepal is confident in their squad's capabilities.

Also Read: T20 WC 2024, IND vs PAK: Chris Gayle meets Rohit, Kohli in NY; tricolour blazer wins hearts (WATCH)

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