Nepal’s bowlers run through lack-lustre Dutch

Nepal bowlers make short work of Netherlands. (Credit: Cricket Netherlands on X)

It was hard to believe that it was essentially the same Dutch side which had hammered 247 off the Namibian attack the day before, or indeed that it was the same Tribhuvan University ground which had seen such mayhem in recent matches, as hosts Nepal reduced the Netherlands to 120 all out on Saturday and went on to win by six wickets.

Perhaps it was the expectations of the massive crowd which got to Scott Edwards’s team and lifted the performance of the Nepalese bowlers, or perhaps a long and demanding tour is beginning to take its toll, but there is no doubt that on the day Nepal were far and away the better side.

Vikram Singh was again missing from the Dutch eleven and Fred Klaassen made way for Kyle Klein, with Nepal bringing Kushal Bhurtel back in place of Anil Sah.

Edwards again elected to bat, but Karan KC delivered two crucial blows in the first over, Michael Levitt, after square driving him for four, lofting the tamest of catches to Dipendra Singh Airee at deep mid-off, and Sybrand Engelbrecht well taken by keeper Aasif Sheikh, low to his right, two balls later.

For a time normal service was resumed as Max O’Dowd and Edwards himself added 53 for the third wicket from 44 deliveries with four fours and two sixes, but another double-wicket over, this time from Pratis GC, accounted for both batters, both of them bowled hitting across the line at the zippy left-armer.

Not to be outdone, Kushal Malla went one better in the next over, removing Noah Croes and Aryan Dutt with successive deliveries, and the Dutch had lost four wickets in twelve balls, slumping to 60 for six at the halfway mark.

Teja Nidamanuru and Timm van der Gugten managed a little rally, putting on 23 for the seventh wicket, but Pratis GC returned to bowl Nidamanuru and although Van der Gugten and Roelof van der Merwe took the total into three figures, two wickets fell in the same over for the fourth time: Van der Gugten was caught by Sompal Kami off Airee for 24, and off the nexty ball a momentary hesitation between Van der Merwe and Klein saw the latter’s dive beaten by a direct hit from Gulsan Jha.

The end of the innings was remarkable, as Bhurtel produced a superb acrobatic leap at long on to touch a certain six from Van der Merwe back into play, quickly gather the ball and return it to keeper Sheikh with Viv Kingma, perhaps understandably confused, and his partner at the same end.

120 never seemed likely to be remotely challenging, and although Kingma joined the two-wickets-in-an-over club by removing both openers in his second over, the score had already reached 27, and Rohit Paudel and Jha made sure of the points by adding 86 for the third wicket, finding the boundary at regular intervals.

Paudel looked particularly classy, his 46 coming from 34 deliveries, while Jha, although a little more subdued, contributed a 36-ball 38.

Only eight were needed when Jha attempted a reverse slog-sweep off Dutt and was bowled, and in the next over Paudel fell to a magnificent diving catch by Croes at cover, but Nepal had 28 balls to spare when Malla hit the winning single.

That was not quite enough to take the hosts above the Dutch on net run rate, but it guaranteed them a place in Tuesday’s tournament final; who they play will depend on the encounter between the Netherlands and Namibia on Sunday, since almost any margin of defeat would see the Dutch drop below their NRR, while Namibia will need a very big win to overtake them.

You’re reading Emerging Cricket — brought to you by a passionate group of volunteers with a vision for cricket to be a truly global sport, and a mission to inspire passion to grow the game.

Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, please subscribe for regular updates, and follow EC on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and YouTube.

Don’t know where to start? Check out our features listcountry profiles, and subscribe to our podcastSupport us from US$2 a month — and get exclusive benefits, by becoming an EC Patron.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

3 × five =