The left handed opening batsman and right arm leg spinner Hari Shankar Shah, national U19 player for Nepal has been shining for England’s local clubs lately. Currently, he is playing for two clubs: Upchurch Cricket Club and Newington Cricket Club in England. He has played a total of seven games in English soil, four for the Upchurch Cricket Club Second XI, one forthe Upchurch CC First XI and two for the Newington Cricket Club Sunday team.
While playing four games for Upchurch Cricket Club – 2nd XI, he has managed 138 runs from 4 innings at a healthy average of over 38 with the highest of 62, the only half century he crossed. But he couldn’t perform with his average quality when playing for Upchurch CC – 1st XI and managed just 3 runs in the only match played.
But playing for Newington Cricket Club – Sunday team, he really flaunted his talents. He scored the highest score of the tour with an unbeaten 141 runs against Tenterden CC – Sunday 1st XI. The opening batsman managed 141 unbeaten runs from just 91 deliveries with 28 fours and a maximum. In total, he made 180 runs – with same average courtesy of the not out innings – in the two matches.
Nepal’s boy troubled the local players with his leg spin as he picked up 14 wickets in total from the 57.4 overs he bowled across all matches (one player can bowl maximum of 14 overs in Kent Cricket League) for Upchurch Cricket Club. Among these 14 wickets, he managed 11 wickets from 46.4 overs for Upchurch Cricket Club – 2nd XI, conceding just 126 runs with an incredible economy rate of just 2.72.
He managed his best bowling figure playing for 2nd XI side of Upchurch CC of 5 for 50 runs against Lordswood CC – 2nd XI. He also took 3 wickets in another match to end up with the figure of 11-4-19-3 for Upchurch CC – 1st XI in the only match he played for that team. And moving to Newington CC, Shah represented the Sunday team. Following up on his brilliant batting performance, he managed two wickets from as many matches. His bowling figures shows he is a little bit more expensive than he was playing for Upchurch CC – 2nd XI. His bowling figure for Newington CC is 15.4 – 2 -61 -2.
All the above stats shows he is getting better and better. Talking about Nepal’s main strength, no doubt it is our bowling, for it has been dominating our gameplay since the start of cricket in Nepal. And our main problem? It surely is batting. He is yet to play from senior side but playing in English soil will surely provide him with a lot of much-needed experience. Even in batting, our weaker part has always been the opening. During Nepal’s terrible World Twenty20 Qualifier campaign, coach Pubudu Dassanayake coach Pubudu tried several opening combinations but to no avail and there is a striking need for a stable opener.
Will Hari Shankar Shah be a better choice in National team as an opener? I certainly hope so.
All the stats are as of August 9, 2015.
(This article was firstly published on cricketlok.com by the Author.)