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Nepal claim first int’l title at home in 11 years after decimating Netherlands

Nepal recorded their biggest Twenty20 International victory in terms of run margin as the hosts claimed thei first international title at home in 11 years.

In what was expected to be a high-voltage match, Nepal dominated both with the bat and ball to inflict Netherlands their biggest defeat in Twenty20 Internationals winning the final of the Tri-Nation Twenty20 International Series by 142 runs.

Half centuries from Kushal Bhurtel and Kushal Malla combined with a powerpacked knock from Dipendra Singh Airee leading Nepal to 238-3, their biggest Twenty20 International total ever.

Karan KC took three wickets, while Sandeep Lamichhane and Kamal Singh Airee picked up two wickets each to bundle out Netherlands for just 96 runs in 17.2 overs.

Netherlands’ biggest defeat was a 115-run defeat against fellow Associates Scotland in 2018, while Nepal’s biggest win in terms of run margin was 141 against Bhutan during the 2019 13th South Asian Games in 2019.

Netherlands lost wickets from the second over and were never in the game throughout their innings. Sebastian Braat top scored for them with a 27-ball 26. Max O’Dowd (20) and skipper Pieter Seelar (13) were the only remaining batsmen to reach double figures.

Nepal’s young brigade performed throughout the tournament with the bat.

Karan, the hero with the bat in previous match against Malaysia smashing a 13-ball 45, took 3-11 from three overs.

Nepal’s total also surpassed the previous best of 236 against Bhutan in the SA Games.

The tournament has all been about Nepal’s fearless batting after they made 206 against the Dutch in the league stage but ultimately lost by three wickets. Openers Aasif Sheikh (16) went early with the team’s total on 30 in 2.2 overs.

Gyanendra scored in his usual free-flowing style to add 57 runs for the second wicket with Bhurtel. The Nepali captain chipped in 33 off 19 with three fours and two sixes.

Netherlands came up with a plan against Kushal Bhurtel against whom they partially succeeded but the youngster flourished to make 77 off 53 balls with eight fours and three sixes. He and Kushal Malla added 76 runs for the third wicket.

Karan KC starred with the ball in the final with figures of 3-11 from three overs.

With Dipendra stepping in, Nepal completely dominated the Dutch attack scoring 69 runs in the last four overs. Kushal completed his maiden Twenty20 International half century reaching the landmark off jus 24 deliveries. His innings included five sixes and two fours.

Dipendra smashed an 18-ball 48 narrowly missing the country’s fastest half century. Had his final ball shot crossed the rope, he would have become Nepal’s fastest half century scorer in the format.

However, the boundary set a new team total in the format for Nepal. Dipendra’s knoc-k included five fours and three sixes.

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