Nepal seeks first win in second ODI against the Netherlands
August 3, 2018 09:45 AM NPT
By: Rajan Shah
Players of Nepal attend a training session at the VRA Cricket Ground in Amstelveen, the Netherlands on Wednesday. Photo Courtesy: KNCB Cricket/Twitter
KATHMANDU, Aug 3: As Nepal scored 85 runs losing just 1 wicket, chasing the target of 190 runs, it was in strong position at this stage of Nepal’s debut One Day International (ODI) match. It was another commanding performance by Nepali bowlers in alien conditions like the Netherlands to limit the opposition from free stroke-making in its home ground.
Nepal’s out-of-form opener Gyanendra Malla was hitting, after a long gap, all the right notes in his exquisite shot-making which he is known for. He smashed Nepal’s first ever half-century in ODI cricket. Nepal was all set to win their first ever ODI match, a rare feat completed by only six teams before. Nepali batsmen had negotiated the Netherlands pace bowlers with ample ease.
But the opposition captain Pieter Seelaar sparked a middle-order collapse after the first drinks break, getting his opposite number Paras Khadka to drive a catch to Michael Rippon at extra-cover. Then the left-arm wrist spinner Rippon trapped Malla in front for LBW in the next over after he was late on an attempted sweep. A middle-order collapse followed in the absence of dropped Rohit Kumar Paudel and injured Sharad Vesawkar as Aarif Sheikh, Sompal Kami and Basant Regmi all fell for ducks as Nepal fell to 104 for 6 in the 27th over. Nepal lost nine wickets to 49 runs and succumbed to 55-run defeat.
Nepal is scheduled to play their second ODI against the same opposition at VRA Ground in Amstelveen on Friday. It will mark end of Nepal’s England and the Netherlands tour which started 10 days ago. The first ODI was last match left-arm spin veteran Shakti Gauchan took field for Nepal in internationals. He ahead of leaving for the match he had announced to retire from international matches for Nepal after playing the debut ODI.
Batting collapse is not new for Nepal. Similarly, making a strong comeback after losing the first match has been the script Nepal has been following in recent times.
A pleasant day was in the offing for the first ODI. The VRA Ground remained true to its nature of behaving friendly for batsmen who can apply themselves. Michael Rippon and Gyanendra Malla, both enjoyed their innings tackling different bowlers like spin and pace respectively.
The pitch was holding up and went slower in the second innings making it difficult for stroke-making. However, success to spinners much depended on duo of Pieter Seelar and Rippon putting the ball in right areas. In the 22 overs of spin bowled by both the teams in the match, the Netherlands scalped seven wickets, three each to Rippon and Seelar compared to Nepal’s two wickets, one each by Basant Rgmi and Sandeep Lamichhane. Shakti Gauchan was wicket-less in final four overs of his career.
Similarly, Fredrick Klaassen and Sompal Kami purchased enough movement and bounce from the surface to deliver top-notch fast bowling spells. In short, VRA was a sporting wicket with little bit of help to everyone who can apply themselves and hit the right areas on the pitch.
Probable XIs NEPAL
With an injury to Sharad Vesawkar in the first ODI, Rohit Kumar Paudel might get a look in replacing him in the middle order. Much depend on morning of the match day but if pitch remains in similar condition, the management might be tempted to play Lalit Rajbanshi in place of Shakti Gauchan who was given Guard of Honor for appearing in his last match for Nepal.
However, the batting order collapse in the first match will also invite discussions over possible inclusion of Subash Khakurel, the extra batsman in the squad. Though Malla and Sah would continue opening and Khakurel will have to do with middle order which the right-handed batsman has not done much in his career.
Similarly, the final change would be left-arm pacer Lalit Bhandari replacing Karan KC in the XI. KC has been struggling to get wickets for some matches and with swing and bounce available with the new ball, the angle that Bhandari can create would prove handy for Nepal’s attack. Nepal XI: Sah (W), Malla, Khadka (C), Airee, Aarif, Rohit, Khakurel/Rajbanshi, Kami, Regmi, Lamichhane, Bhandari
The Netherlands would like to continue the same winning combination. Highly-rated Daniel ter Braak was given debut on Wednesday; the Dutch team will like to give him another shot at the opening position. The middle order of Ben Cooper, Wesley Barresi and Mcihael Rippon looks solid and did its job in the first ODI of negotiating the quality spin of Regmi, Lamichhane and Gauchan. In fact, they outplayed Nepal batsmen.
Skipper Pieter Seelar and wicket-keeper Scott Edwards will continue to provide strength to lower-order shielding the tail-enders. The pace-bowling trio of Shane Snater, Paul van Meekeren and Fredrick Klaassen should remain same despite a temptation of including an extra spinner in the XI. The Netherlands squad doesn’t have any extra mainstream spinner in the squad. Barresi and de Leede might have to roll their arms again if the situation arises. Netherlands XI: Myburgh, ter Braak, Cooper, Barresi, Rippon, de Leede, Seelar (C), Edwards (W), Snater, van Meekeren, Klaassen
Who said what?
“We were far from our best performance here. The team needs to put together a full package where we can get a good total and bowl well. The guys are training very, very hard and I’m sure there will be some great performances come Friday.” –Michael Rippon
“We did well to restrict opposition under 200. Similarly, we had good opening partnership. But we lost too many wickets after that. I think, the batsmen took extra pressure. The fact we were not able to weaver partnerships in the middle cost us the match,” –Basant Regmi
The Netherlands vs Nepal
VRA Ground, Amstelveen
2nd ODI, Friday, August 3
09:00 GMT, 11:00 Local, 2:45 NST