The national team’s New Zealand tour has been already in chaos owing to the failure of the team and it continued on Sunday as well when Nepal lost to the Netherlands by seven wickets in the seventh place playoff match of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.
The defeat to Nepal is result of a huge gulf between a team that enjoyed one-day status for the last four years and a country that has rode mostly on the luck to make it to the Qualifiers itself.
For the fifth match in a row, batting department disappointed as Nepal failed to restore pride surrendering meekly to the Dutch soon after the team was folded for 171-9 in 50 overs. There was a huge contrast when the Netherlands replied.
They lost their first wicket with just seven runs on the board and after some patience at the crease, went on to score runs at will reaching 172-3 with 109 balls to spare sending a high flying Nepali team into the wall.
While Nepal’s Sharad Vesawkar took 90 balls on his way to make 42 with one boundary and never bothered to go after the bowlers, Netherlands’ man-of-the-match opener Eric Szwarczynski took no time to up the ante after spending some time at the crease making 56 from 73 balls with six boundaries.
There was gulf between the two teams in the batting department as neither the top order nor the middle order from Nepal managed to play openly except for skipper Paras Khadka. Paras hit a six and three boundaries making 29 from 38 balls.
Sharad’s painstaking innings included just one boundary. Shakti Gauchan rather showed some grit striking three fours in his 26 from 46 balls.
Nepal’s top order confirmed that it is not going to perform in New Zealand as Anil Mandal (seven) fell for his third single digit score in the tournament and Pradeep Airee departed for seven. Gyanendra Malla was out for a duck – his second in the tournament – along with Prithu Baskota as Nepal were already dominated in the match when they were reduced to 54-5 inside 20 overs.
As Nepal lost one after another wicket, Netherlands’ innings saw resurrection. Basanta Regmi dismissed set Szwarczynski and Wesley Barresi (31) after their 88-run stand for the second wicket that won the match, Peter Borren and Michael Swart meant business straight away.
Borren hit 45 off 32 and Swart scored 27 from 21. Both his four boundaries apiece and the latter had a six into his name.
Nepal began the tournament with a ninth ranked team and now they are under pressure to maintain that status when they face Uganda in ninth place playoff final on Wednesday.
Photo credit :- Getty Images / ICC