Nepal vs the Netherlands : Five Keynotes

Nepal vs the Netherlands : Five Keynotes

Five Keynotes, Nepal vs the Netherlands

 

Nepal hammered the Netherlands by 9 wickets and registered its first win in the ICC World Cricket League 2. On the back of the bitter defeat against Namibia, the home team Nepal responded emphatically and gave the Dutch a proper thumping. Here are five key notes from Nepal vs the Netherlands : 

 

  • Nepal Cricket: One minute down, Next minute up

Heading into the match against the Netherlands, Nepal had suffered a difficult defeat against Namibia two days ago. This tri-series was supposedly a litmus test of Nepal’s progress as an ODI team. The manner of defeat against the strong Namibian side left a bitter taste and Nepal had to respond against arguably the best associate team.

Inviting the visitors to bat first, Nepal turned up with the ball. The bowlers provided timely breakthroughs, aided by poor running from the Dutch batters. after the top-order batters were removed by Sompal and Lalit, the part-timers Kushal Bhurtel and Rohit Paudel combined to mop up the rest of the batting order. Bhurtel finished with four wickets, Lalit had two, and Rohit and Sompal took a wicket each.

Nepal made light work of the target. Chasing 138, Kushal Bhurtel and Aasif Sheikh initiated the chase aggressively. After Bhurtel fell for 28 off 11, the new batter Anil Sah continued the attacking approach and Nepal reached the target within the 16th over. 

Within a matter of days, Nepal’s batting performances have been sort of polarizing. While the approach of top-order batters has not changed, the team looks completely different when their approach pays off.

 

  • Anil Sah: The redemption story continues

Anil Sah top-scored for Nepal with 57 off 36 balls. He looked in complete control and was fearless in his strokeplay. While Aasif looked tentative early on in his inning, Anil oozed confidence and did not give the Dutch bowlers a sniff. His innings( six 4s and fours 6s) included a range of strokes, from classical drives to aerial hits. 

Anil was a member of Nepal’s first-ever ODI playing XI. He never had a substantial performance in his previous national team stint. Given a chance to prove himself in this international window, Anil has taken the opportunity with both hands. He carried his PM Cup form to the Canada ODI series and has earned a spot in the playing XI. He has three 50+ scores in the last four ODI matches. He fittingly hit the winning runs against the Netherlands and continued his purple patch. In Nepal’s short ODI history, many batters have been tried, tested, and dropped, and rarely has there ever been a comeback of a batter in the magnitude as Anil’s has. It will be interesting to see Anil’s performance when chasing a mammoth first innings total. 

 

  • Lalit Rajbanshi: Nepal’s premier bowler

The ever-accurate left-arm offspinner Lalit Rajbanshi was yet again Nepal’s prime weapon with the ball. His dismissal of Bas de Leede was termed by the commentators on air as the ‘Ball of the tournament so far’. While Bhurtel picked up four wickets, it was Lalit who pocketed key Dutch batters. Sybrand Engelbrecht and Bas de Leede’s attempts to revive the Dutch innings went in vain after Rajbanshi took their wickets. The Netherlands were doomed when their batting mainstay Bas de Leede was completely bamboozled by Rajbanshi.

Lalit kept things tight and bowled economical overs. He was used in the powerplay overs and troubled the batters along with Sompal Kami. Lalit has emerged as one of Nepal’s premier wicket-takers and dependable bowler.

 

  • Kushal Bhurtel : Right Arm Leg Spinner? 

Bhurtel made it into the U-19 team as an all-rounder. He batted in the middle order and was a designated right-arm medium-fast bowler as well in the 2016 ICC U-19 World Cup. He bowled occasionally for his domestic side Nepal Police Club when the conditions suited. Since then, Bhurtel has slowly transformed into a blazing opening batsman. He made his national team debut against the Netherlands in T20I as a designated batter and his bowling services were rarely required by the senior team.

Bhurtel started to bowl leg spin in recent years. He did well with the bowl in the PM Cup and bowled against Canada as well. However, he returned his best-ever bowling figures of 4-20 against the Netherlands. Bhurtel took key wickets( Scott Edwards and Wesley Barresi) and was instrumental in mopping up the visitor’s batting order. With Nepal short in the leg-spin department, Kushal could become a handy leg-spinner.

  • Associate cricket

Before the start of the tri-series, Nepal was ranked 15th in between the Netherlands (14th) and Namibia(16th) in ICC ODI rankings. The Netherlands was the only associate side in the ODI World Cup and bagged a few high-profile wins. However, on return to the associate world, the Netherlands suffered a thumping defeat. Namibia’s defeat of Nepal and Nepal’s victory over the Netherlands showcase the level of competition among associate nations. The associate nations seem to pull back no punches and any associate team seems capable of beating the other one. The gap among them has never been finer which has resulted in entertaining contests.

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