The first step of their new journey did not go as expected for Nepal as they lost to the Netherlands by 55 runs in the first ODI of the two-match series despite being on top for a large part. The Netherlands were bowled out for 189 after winning the toss and electing to bat. However, the relatively meagre-looking target proved to be far out of the reach of the visitors, who could only manage 134 despite being at 85/1 at one stage.
Nepal captain Paras Khadka led from the front with the ball, picking up 4/26, and received support from Sompal Kami, who picked up three wickets, even as Michael Rippon scored a handy 51 to lead the Netherlands charge.
But their batsmen let Nepal down after Gyanendra Malla (51) and Anil Sah (21) had added 58 runs for the first wicket. Barring the top four, which included Khadka (12) and Dipendra Singh Airee (33), none of the Nepal batsmen could get to double-digit scores.
That's something Nepal must address. The bowlers did exceedingly well in their first outing in ODI cricket and will look to repeat the performance before signing off.
For the Netherlands, the poor total came as a bit of a surprise, given they are much ahead of Nepal in terms of experience. Barring Rippon and Bas de Leede (30) not many batsmen could play a good hand, and that could be a problem for the Netherlands in the upcoming tie.
Rippon starred with the ball as well, picking up 3/23, and was assisted by Pieter Seelar, the captain, who picked up 3/20. Fred Klaassen returned 3/30 as well.
So it's the batting that both teams will be concerned with as they look to make a big statement in the last fixture.
Squads: The Netherlands: Pieter Seelaar (c), Wesley Barresi, Ben Cooper, Bas de Leede, Scott Edwards, Fred Klaasen, Stephan Myburgh, Max O’Dowd, Hidde Overdijk, Michael Rippon, Shane Snater, Daniel ter Braak, Paul van Meekeren
Nepal: Paras Khadka (c), Aarif Sheikh, Dipendra Airee, Lalit Bhandari, Shakti Gauchan, Karan KC, Subash Khakurel, Sandeep Lamichhane, Gyanendra Malla, Rohit Kumar, Lalit Rajbanshi, Basant Regmi, Anil Sah, Sompal Kami, Sharad Vesawkar
First Published: August 3, 2018, 8:50 AM IST