04 July 2015
Pun, Khadka give Nepal consolation win
Netherlands seals four-match T20I series 3-1 following wins in the first three games
Paras Khadka's 54 gives Nepal a consolation win.
Khadka's 40-ball 54 took Nepal to the doorstep of victory before a mini-collapse – three wickets in the space of 14 runs - spiced things up. But Sompal Kami, who came in to bat at the fall of Khadka's wicket with the team needing ten off seven deliveries, held his nerve to his two successive boundaries to help Nepal overhaul the Netherlands's 139 for 7 by three wickets.
Basant Regmi was at the other end when the winning runs were hit as Nepal won with three balls to spare to pull one back after losing the first three encounters.
That the Netherlands posted a total of substance was due to the efforts of Roelof van der Merwe, the allrounder, who joined the side prior to the series after securing a Dutch passport.
Van der Merwe, who has also represented South Africa, made a sprightly unbeaten 40 to shore up the total after the Netherlands was tottering at 81 for 6 in the 15th over. Michael Rippon's late burst, a 14-ball 22, added some muscle to take the host to a decent total.
Nepal, whose highest total over the first three T20Is was 131 for 9, needed a big effort to sign off with a win, but that looked quite distant when a top-order collapse rocked it. At 49 for 3, the signs were ominous.
Enter Khadka and Nepal suddenly had the belief. He forged a vital 44-run stand for the fifth wicket with Sharad Vesawkar, whose contribution was just 12. But that didn’t seem to deflate Netherlands as Ahsan Malik hit back with two quick strikes.
But, on the day, that wouldn’t prove enough as Khadka's half-century helped ride the troughs and Nepal ended the series with a win and some much-needed confidence ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 2016 qualifiers in Ireland and Scotland, starting on July 6.