Zimbabwe aims to continue winning run while Nepal and USA collide: 2023 CWC Qualifier Day 3 Preview and Prediction

Zimbabwe will aim to bag their second consecutive win

Four of the five Group A teams of the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier have already started their campaigns, with the fifth team set to begin their journey in what promises to be an exciting matchday 3.

Firstly, Zimbabwe will be up against the Netherlands at the Harare Sports Club. The hosts got off to exactly the start they would have wanted, as they defeated a spirited Nepal side by eight wickets in their first match on Sunday. That being said, the challenge could be tougher against the Netherlands, with Oranje having played impressive cricket in their recent fixtures.

In the second match, the United States of America will be up against Nepal. Both teams punched above their weights in their respective first games, but that was not enough to open their points tally. 

Nepal went down fighting against Zimbabwe, whereas despite putting up a show both with the ball and the bat, the USA found West Indies a bit too hot to deal with, losing the tie by 39 runs.

Match 1: Zimbabwe vs Netherlands

In match 5 of the competition, Zimbabwe will be up against the Netherlands. Having started their journey with a win over Nepal, Zimbabwe will be hoping to make it two victories in a row. On the other hand, the Netherlands will be desperate to start their campaign with a win.

Zimbabwe came into the event with two back-to-back wins in the warm-up fixtures but faced an unexpectedly difficult challenge against Nepal. Rohit Paudel’s team batted first and scored 290 runs, with opening batter Kushan Bhurtel scoring 99 runs.

Both Craig Ervine and Sean Williams scored centuries against Nepal

However, Zimbabwe chased the total down quite easily, with eight wickets in hand and 5.9 overs to spare. The experienced pair of skipper Craig Ervine and Sean Williams helped the Chevrons chase such a big total, with both of them scoring centuries.

As for the Netherlands, they will be satisfied with how things played out in the warm-up games. Scott Edwards’ team faced heavyweights Sri Lanka in their first match, where they were first bowled out for 214 runs but did manage to pick up seven of the Lankans’ wickets.

In the second match, their performance was even better, as they handed Ireland a two-wicket defeat. Bowling first, Edwards’ bowlers produced yet another excellent performance to bowl out Ireland for only 193 runs, before they chased the total down in only 37.3 overs.

Zimbabwe Predicted XI: Joylord Gumbie, Craig Ervine ©, Wessly Madhevere, Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza, Ryan Burl, Clive Madande (wk), Wellington Masakadza, Richard Ngarava, Tendai Chatara, Blessing Muzarabani.

Netherlands Predicted XI: Max O’Dowd, Vikramjit Singh, Wesley Barresi, Scott Edwards © (wk), Saqib Zulfiqar, Teja Nidamanuru, Shariz Ahmad, Logan van Beek, Aryan Dutt, Vivian Kingma, Bas de Leede.

When it comes to head-to-head records, there is absolutely nothing to separate these two teams. The Netherlands and Zimbabwe have met six times in the ODI format, with each team winning three of those six games. The last meeting was back in March this year, where the Chevrons secured a seven-wicket victory.

Match 2: Nepal vs USA

In the second match of the day, which will be the sixth match of the competition, Nepal will be up against the USA. This will be an extremely important game for both sides, given that they have started their journeys with defeats.

Nepal was up against Zimbabwe in their first match, where they did well to score 290/8 while batting first. Openers Kushal Bhurtel and Aasif Sheikh scored the most runs, with the former scoring 99 runs and the latter chipping in with 66 runs.

However, there will be questions about Nepal’s bowling department, considering the ease with which Zimbabwe chased the total down by losing just two wickets. Sompal Kami and Gulsan Jha were the only bowlers who got wickets, while Jha, Kushal Malla and Sandeep Lamichhane conceded seven or more runs per over.

As for the USA, they can be fairly content with their performance in the opening match against the West Indies. Despite facing a star-studded batting lineup which features internationally renowned big-hitters like Kyle Mayers and Nicholas Pooran, the USA managed to restrict their opponents to a score of 297 runs.

In the bowling department, Saurabh Netravalkar, Kyle Phillip and Steven Taylor were USA’s most successful bowlers, with all three of them picking up three-wicket hauls. Then in the run chase, USA scored 258/7, ultimately losing the battle by 39 runs.

Gajanand Singh’s century went in vain against West Indies

Gajanand Singh was the lone fighter with the bat, as he scored an unbeaten 101, while Shayan Jahangir and Nosthush Kenjige chipped in with decent contributions. If the USA can sort out their top order, they will have a great chance of beating Nepal.

Nepal Predicted XI: Kushal Bhurtel, Aasif Sheikh (wk), Bhim Sharki, Rohit Paudel ©, Kushal Malla, Aarif Sheikh, Dipendra Singh Airee, Gulsan Jha, Sompal Kami, Karan KC, Sandeep Lamichhane.

Oman Predicted XI: Steven Taylor, Sushant Modani, Monank Patel © (wk), Aaron Jones, Saiteja Mukkamalla, Gajanand Singh, Shayan Jahangir, Jasdeep Singh, Nosthush Kenjige, Kyle Phillip, Saurabh Netravalkar.

The head-to-head record between these two teams is inclined in favour of Nepal, but only by a very narrow margin. They have met six times previously in ODI cricket, with Nepal winning three of those games and the USA winning two, as the other fixture ended in a tie. The last meeting, which took place at the Choice Moosa Stadium a year ago, saw the USA winning by 39 runs.