Nepal lost their four-match Twenty20 International bilateral series to the Netherlands 3-0 with one game to go after crashing to an 18-run victory against the Dutch at Hazelaarweg in Rotterdam on Thursday.
After a 103-run humbling in the second Twenty20 on Wednesday, Nepal need a victory to at least draw the series. However, the Dutch once again gained the upper hand once they reduced Nepal to 59-4 in 11.5 overs.
The Netherlands made 149-6 in 20 overs with Stephan Myburgh once again proving a thorn in Nepal’s victory bid hamming 71 not out – his highest score in Twenty20 Internationals. Nepal finished at 131-9 in 20 overs where a 48-run stand between Paras Khadka and Sharad Vesawkar ignited few hopes but to no avail.
Nepal lost opener Sagar Pun (five), playing his first match in the series, in the second over before a snail-paced 32-run stand between Subash Khakurel and Gyanendra Malla kept them in the match.
Gyanendra made 17 off 19 with three boundaries, while Subash’s poor form with the bat continued making 14 off 27. Binod Bhandari’s horrible form in major tournament continued after he was out for one. Sharad was particularly aggressive in the 48-run stand as he made 24 off 16 with a six and a four. When he departed in the 18th over, Nepal required 43 off 16 balls. It all seemed possible with Paras sticking at the crease. But a run out of Paras virtually ended the match for Nepal.
Paras made 36 off 28 with two fours. Pradeep Airee looked good smashing two back to back boundaries in the over that Paras was dismissed leaving Nepal with 23 to win from the last over. But Pradeep lost his wicket to Ahsan Malik in the first ball that all but ended Nepal’s hopes.
Pradeep scored 18 off nine with three fours. Malik ended up picking three wickets in the final over conceding just four runs. He finished with the figures of 4-21 from four overs.
Earlier, Myburgh once again played sensibly beginning with a 37 run-stand for the first wicket with Rahil Ahmed (13). Netherlands though didn’t have big contributors, Myburgh did enough to guide his team to what was a challenging total.
It was Myburgh’s second half century in two matches that he has so far played in the series. He skipper the second Twenty20. Myburgh’s innings included five fours and two sixes in 56 balls. Peter Borren made 19 off nine with two fours and a six.
Karan KC picked up 2-24 from three overs, while Sagar (1-24), Basanta Regmi (1-29) and Shakti Gauchan (1-30) — playing his first match in the tournament — sharing three wickets between them in their collective 12 overs.
The two sides will square off in the final Twenty20 Internationals on Friday before beginning their ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers journey.