Batting still a big concern for Nepal

Team Nepal’s historic 50- over One Day International debut against the Netherlands ended in defeat in the Netherlands.

In a drama filled match dominated by bowlers, the Dutch heavily favored to win had the last laugh not before overcoming jittery moments. They pulled off a 55 run victory at the end.

As for Nepal, once again, they had to pay a heavy price for poor batting. A lack of batsmanship from the middle order hurt their chance of an upset victory. In other words, they squandered a great opportunity to beat the home side.

The dramatic batting collapse put to rest Nepal’s hope of completing a historic victory. This tells the whole story.

Hard to believe, four batsmen failed to score a single run. They had plenty of overs to build their innings, but instead they threw away wickets playing poor or rash shots.

It would be fair to say that the youngsters lacked the focus, confidence, patience, technique and composure to score.

The selectors might have miscalculated by not including an extra batsman to solidify the batting. Upcoming Rohit Kumar Poudel could have been the ideal pick.

The Dutch chose to bat first after winning the toss but struggled to make runs.They faced a rejuvenated and sharp bowling attack and had to toil hard for runs.

Despite losing an early wicket and wickets falling at regular intervals, Rippen anchored the innings with a responsible 51.

Nepali bowlers came up with an outstanding performance, restricting the opposition to a meager total of 189 in 47.4 overs.

Skipper Paras Khadka was on fire and stole the thunder for his explosive bowling performance. In his 10 overs spell, he scalped 4 wickets for just 26 runs. I honestly could not have asked for more.

Pacer Sompal Kami was close behind his skipper with 3 wickets for 34 runs in 8.4 overs. Star spinner Sandeep Lamichhane was far from his best by his standards. He ended the day with 1 wicket for 43 runs in 10 overs.

Chasing a getable target, openers Gyanendra Malla and Anil Kumar Sha gave their side a perfect start .The partnership yielded 58 runs before Sha departed for a fighting 21.

Vice captain Malla finally ended his poor run of form by cracking an aggressive 51 with the help of 8 fours. He was focused and batted fluently cutting and pulling like he used to.

With all wickets intact and 58 runs on the board, a historic victory was within the striking distance for Nepal.

However, the optimism was short lived as the Dutch bowlers struck back with vengeance to put their team back in the driver’s seat.

Seventeen runs later, Nepal’s hopes go up in smoke after the dismissal of Skipper Khadka ,followed by a batting collapse.

In a space of six overs, Nepal fell from 2 for 85 to 6 for 104. Dipendra Singh Airee was the lone batsman who batted doggedly for 33 runs with 2 fours and a six. The innings folded up in 41.5 overs.

The tail-end was mopped up effortlessly by the Dutch frontline attacking trio of Klaassen, Rippon and Seelar. They claimed 3 wickets each and bowled exceptionally well.

For Nepal the result was/is disappointing, especially after a great performance by the bowlers and a promising start by the openers.

Moving forward to the next match,Nepal must learn from mistakes, regroup, get their confidence back and turn their batting performance around.