Bowlers, Openers shines as Nepal thrash the Dutch in the Series opener

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Cricket was back in the Himalayan Nation after a year and fans witnessed a great Twenty20 International match from the ground during this Pandemic period.

Hosts Nepal opened their Tri-Nations Series campaign with a dominant display, both will ball and bat against the Netherlands at Tribhuvan University Cricket Ground on Saturday.

Disciplined bowling effort hold the visitors to 136 for 4 wickets after Skipper Gyanendra Malla won the toss.

Nepalese Pacers Sompal Kami, Karan KC, and Abinash Bohara were impressive on the batting track today as they produced two wickets and gave away 61 runs in 12 overs. Sompal Kami (4-0-13-1) was hit for a boundary, the very first ball of the innings. But he grabbed the first wicket in his next over, trapping Ben Cooper for a duck.

Sandeep Lamichhane opened the bowling from the other end, and struck in his fifth ball to remove Max O’Dowd. O’Dowd was judged leg before for 10 runs. The Netherlands were two wickets down for 12 runs after three overs.

Scott Edwards and Bas de Leede consolidated with 61 runs partnership for the third wicket. The pair also took 13 runs off debutant Shahab Alam’s first over. Alam was hit for three boundaries and a six before striking his first wicket in T20, that of Scott Edwards. Edwards made 30 runs from 32 balls including two boundaries and a six.

De Leede crunched Alam for back-to-back sixes, ending his expensive (4-0-45-1) debut spell.

Lamichhane struck in his last over, just when the Netherlands were looking to break the shackle at the end overs. He removed Bas de Leede who made 41 from 49 balls and the visitors were pushed back to 99 for 4 in 17 overs.

Karan KC’s first three overs produced only five runs but he ended with 4-0-22-0. In his last over, Antonius Staal and Skipper Pieter Seelaar smashed two boundaries and a six.

The Netherlands finished on 136 for 4 as they added a vital 37 runs in the last three overs. Stall’s quick-fire innings of 20 runs from 9 balls including two boundaries and a six and Seelar’s 17-ball 23 helped Netherlands a respectable total.

Lamichhane was the pick of the bowlers as he grabbed two wickets with an economy of 5.50.

Nepal’s Reply
In reply, Nepal brought a new opening combination, both young, both making their international debut. The new combo of Kushal Bhurtal and Aasif Sheikh added 116 runs in just 12.3 overs to break Nepal’s highest-ever opening stand in T20Is. The previous record was held by Paras Khadka and Gyanendra Malla who made 108 runs against Bhutan on December 5, 2019.

Bhurtel survived an early scare as he was caught off Vivian Kingma in the first over (0.3 overs) as the umpire signalled a no-ball for overstepping. Bhurtel made good use of his second chance,
hitting five boundaries and fives sixes to bring up his maiden fifty.

The opening pair brought 50 runs in 4 overs and added 100 runs in 10.3 overs with 8 extras.

Sheikh made 31-ball 42 in that opening partnership while Bhurtel was driving the scoring before gifting a maiden international wicket for De Mey. He was caught off a leading edge for a 46-ball 62.

Skipper Gyanendra Malla joined Sheikh in the middle with just 20 runs remaining. Sheikh brought his own half-century hitting his fourth six of the innings. Malla then finished the game off with six and five overs to spare.

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