Nepal lost its fifth match in a row-going down this time to The Netherlands in the semi-finals for seventh place play offs. Having finished last on Group B losing all four matches, Nepal were no match for the experienced Dutch side who chased the 172 runs target from Nepal in mere 31.5 overs. Losing this match means that Nepal will now face Uganda, who lost the other semi-final to Canada by 59 runs(D/L method).
Netherlands sealed victory at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui. following a half-century from Eric Szwarczynski (56) and an unbeaten knock of 45 from 32 balls from captain Peter Borren, after earlier restricting Nepal to 171/9. Wicket keeper Wesley Barresi(31) who came to bat at number three after Prithu Baskota got rid of opener Stephan Myburgh(5) in the second over, added 88 runs for the second wicket with Szwarczynski. Both Szwarczynski and Baressi fell to Basanta Regmi. Regmi ended the match with 2 wickets from his 10 overs.
Michael Swart who made 27 added 50 runs with the skipper as the duo guided the Dutch team to victory. Swart’s 21 balls innings included 4 fours and a six, the only six of the match.
Batting against the top class Netherland seam bowling was once again a big challenge for Nepal. The openers Anil Mandal and Pradeep Airee added 16 for the first wicket but once Airee out run out for 5 by chinaman Mincheal Rippon things started going downhill for Nepal.
Gyanendra Malla, who is often the one with top scores against tougher opponents fell for a duck. Nepal kept losing wickets at regular intervals-and expereienced Netherland bowlers did not leak any runs. Anil Mandal was next to fall scoring just 7 of 43 balls. Prithu Baskota was the second duck of the innings for Nepal. Nepal then were 39-4 in 15 overs.
Vesawkar and Paras then added some relatively quick runs in a partnership of 15. The prospect turned gleam once again when Paras who did the majority of scoring till the point was dismissed for 29.
When Paras got out Nepal were 54-5 in 20 overs. With half the side back in pavilion it looked as though even three figure mark would be a challenge.But the lower middle order batted rather sensibly round Vesawkar and took Nepal to a respectable total.
Bhandari(14), Regmi(17), and Shakti(26) added 22, 28 and 46 runs for the 6th, 7th and 8th wickets to take Nepal to 150. Sagar Pun coming into bat at number 10 with just 14 more balls to go-injected some urgency into the innings scoring 12 from 8 balls. With that Nepal scored 21 runs in last 2 overs to post 171.
Sharad Vesawkar made anchoring 42 of 90 balls with just a single boundary. He was out of the last ball of Nepal’s innings.
Ahsan Malik who bowled just 4 overs for 21 runs picked 3 wickets. Vivian Kingma was the only bowler who completed in quota of 10 overs giving away just 18 runs. Kingma also bagged two wickets-vital ones of vice-captain Gyanendra Malla and captain Paras Khadka.