Saturday, May 18, 2024

World Cup Qualifier: Netherlands beat Nepal by 7 wickets, qualify for Super Six

Netherlands produced a clinical all-round performance to beat Nepal by seven wickets and qualify for the Super Six of the ICC Mens Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023, here on Saturday.

A scintillating 90 off 75 from Max O’Dowd helped Netherlands chase a target of 168 in merely 27.1 overs after their bowlers had bowled out Nepal for 167. With this loss, Nepal’s World Cup qualification hopes have ended.

After scoring merely one run in the first three overs of their chase, Netherlands openers took off. Max O’Dowd and Vikramjit Singh blasted 86 runs off the first 13 overs before the latter fell to Sandeep Lamichhane (2/60). While Vikramjit (30) had three fours and one six to his name, O’Dowd was even more aggressive, striking four fours and sixes during their partnership. He brought up his fifty in merely 30 balls.

This blistering start had already helped the Dutch to 97 in the first 15 overs. Despite losing Wesley Barresi in the 15th over, the batting side looked in complete control of the chase.

Along with Bas de Leede, O’Dowd added 62 for the third wicket to get Dutch near the finishing line. Unfortunately, O’Dowd was bowled by Gulsan Jha in the 27th over and couldn’t be around when his side finished the game.

The Nepal innings never got going as the Dutch bowlers struck regularly and restricted the sub-continental side to a sub-par total.

Nepal batters had to contend against a high quality new-ball spell from Logan van Beek and Ryan Klein. The duo got the ball to jag around and beat the bat on several occasions. Nepal were 23 for the loss of Aasif Sheikh at the end of first powerplay.

This conservative start was followed by a terrible slide as Nepal lost three batters in a space of 21 balls. Two of these wickets were picked by Vikramjit Singh, who consistently troubled the Nepal batters with his uneven bounce. Rohit Paudel and Kushal Malla then tried to stabilise the innings.

This didn’t last for long as Malla fell to Aryan Dutt in the 26th over. The ball skied down the ground between the long off and long on region, where despite confusion between Teja Nidamanaru and Max O’Dowd, the catch was successfully taken by the former. Hereafter, Paudel tried to bring some initiative to the Nepal innings, hitting a few boundaries to increase the scoring rate.

But van Beek returned to account for both Paudel and Dipendra Singh Airee, to leave Nepal at 123 for seven. Sandeep Lamichhane (27) threw his bat around for the next few overs to add some quick runs, but the Asian side weren’t even able to bat out their allotted overs.

Brief scores: Nepal 167 (Paudel 33, van Beek 4-24, Vikramjit 2-20) beat Netherlands 168 for 3 (O’Dowd 90, de Leede 41 not out, Lamichhane 2-60) by seven wickets.

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