Nepal posted their highest score in Twenty20 Internationals smashing Netherlands for 238-3 in the final of the Tri-Nation Twenty20 International Series on Saturday.
At an empty TU Stadium where spectators had still created the noise, this time unusual, because of empty stands due to pandemic, Kushal Bhurtel once again stood tall and firworks from Kushal Malla, Dipendra Singh Airee and skipper Gyanendra Malla lifted them to a huge total.
It surpassed the previous best of 236 they had made the same ground in December, 2019 against Bhutan during the 13th South Asian 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.
After Dipendra stepped 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 knock included five fours and three sixes.