Nepal crashed to their tournament-low total to lose their fifth match of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers to the Netherlands by five wickets at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
Nepal’s strong batting line up succumed to a strong Dutch bowling attack as their innings folded for 107-6 in 20 overs. Netherlands finished at 110-5 in 16.2 overs with opener Stefan Myburgh providing them the momentum with an aggressive 31 off 20 balls studded with four boundaries and a six.
While the Netherlands are curising along in Group ‘B’ with eight points from five matches, Nepal are pushed to third behind Afghanistan on net run rate after both teams were tied on six points each. Afghans — who lost to Netherlands in their tournament opener — have played four matches, one less than Nepal.
After Sagar Pun (six) and Subash Khakurel (11) headed back at 23-2 in 3.2 overs, skipper Paras Khadka and Gyanendra Malla resisted but consumed too many balls on the way. Paras made five off 15 and Gyanendra was unable to cross the ropes until he hit a six in the 17th over, 48 balls after hitting a boundary in the final delivery off the third over.
After losing Paras, Gyanendra added 60 runs with Binod Bhandari for the fourth wicket. Gyanendra was out in the 18th over making 44 from 55 balls, while Bhandari was able to go with his Twenty20 nature making 29 off 26 with two boundaries and a six and lost his wicket in the last over.
Myburgh hastened Netherlands’ chase smashing Amrit Bhattarai for two boundaries in the second over. Paras gave the breakthrough bowling Wesely Barresi after he was hit for a six in he first ball of third over.
Myburgh was in no mood to settle down and Amrit was once again his target clobbering the left arm seamer for three boundaries in the fourth. He lofted Shakti Gauchan for another six in the fifth before Basanta Regmi dimissed him.
The crisis man of Nepal was in the act again bowling Daan van Bunge in the eight over but by then Netherlands had already added 56 runs on the board. Shakti gave slim hopes to Nepal sending back new man Michale Swart reducing Netherlands to 61-4 in 8.5 overs.
Eric Szwarczynscki and skipper Peter Borren combined for a 31-run stand taking the game away from Nepal. Basanta — the only bowler to end his four-over spell without conceding a boundary dismissed Borrent but by then Netherlands were just 16 runs short of target.
Basanta returned with the figures of 3-12. Szwarczynscki made 21 not out off 28 and Ben Cooper — who hit the winning six off Paras Khadka — was unbeaten on 12. Nepal will play Afghanistan in their sixth match on Friday.
The Afghans today crushed Bermuda by eight wickets to underline their title credentials and pose themselves as the serious contenders to qualify for the World Twenty20 as group winners.