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Netherlands cruises to comfortable win over Nepal

Mudassar Bukhari stars in five-wicket victory
Nepal suffered a five-wicket loss at the hands of The Netherlands in the 34th match of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier tournament at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Wednesday (November 20).

Sent in to bat by Netherlands, Nepal lost two wickets in its first four overs in the form of Sagar Pun and Subash Khakurel, who were dismissed by Mudassar Bukhari, the medium pacer. Gyanendra Malla put on 44 runs batting at No. 3, as the remaining batsmen failed to impress. Nepal managed to crawl to a small total of 107 for 6 in 20 overs.

Bukhari bagged three wickets for 15 runs in his four overs while Ahsan Jamil returned figures of 2 for 29.

The Netherlands chase kickstarted with a quickfire 20-ball 31 from Stephan Myburgh as Paras Khadka and Basant Regmi tried to curb the scoring rate. The duo managed to cause a brief scare in the Netherlands camp, picking up four wickets between them for 35 runs, but an unbeaten sixth-wicket partnership of 18 runs between Ben Cooper and Eric Szwarczynski saw Netherlands sail to a comfortable five-wicket victory with 22 balls to spare.

Khadka, the Nepal captain, reflecting on the loss, said, "We just did not bat well, failing to put a good score with the bat. If we could have got twenty runs more the outcome might have been different."

"Cricket is a funny game, you always have to believe in your capabilities," said Khadka. "We went in with a positive frame of mind that we could defend the total but unfortunately could not pull off after getting some quick wickets in middle. They took their chances in first six overs, which worked for them. We pushed them back with our spinners bowling well but at the end our total was just not enough."

Bukhari was handed the Man of the Match award for his lethal assault on the Nepali top order. "It was a good day for me. I'm delighted to have got  crucial wickets upfront,  which put the opposition under a lot of pressure.", said the 29-year old bowler. "The whole team has put huge effort in training for the tournament before coming here. We trained hard in Pretoria, I bowled millions of over before coming here practicing hitting good length and Yorkers."

Netherlands now face Scotland in a Group B clash on Friday in Dubai, as Nepal take on in-form Afghanistan later in the day in Sharjah.

Peter Borren, the Netherlands captain refused to take Scotland lightly, saying, "Despite Scotland having not performed so well in this tournament so far, it won’t be easy.  They are a very talented team and they have got very talented players. We respect them, so it is going to be a difficult challenge. We're really happy today to get a win against Nepal but we move our focus now onto Scotland. We always have a good contest against them so we're really looking forward to it."

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