Playing a one-day international after 2014, Michael Rippon put in an excellent all-round performance for the Netherlands to help clinch a 55-run win against Nepal.
All the attention was on Nepal, who were playing their maiden ODI, but it was also the Netherlands’ first ODI since January 2014.
Batting first, they put up 189, 26-year-old Rippon’s 51 the main reason for them getting to a competitive total. It might not have been enough had Nepal built on their 85/1, but a spectacular collapse to 134 all out gave the Netherlands victory. Rippon was in the game with the ball too, returning 3/23 with his left-arm wrist-spin.
Game over!— ICC (@ICC) 1 August 2018
A stunning collapse from Nepal, from 85/1 to 134 all out, hands @KNCBcricket victory in the first ODI. Three wickets apiece for Seelaar, Rippon, and Klaassen as Netherlands claim victory by 55 runs.#NEDvNEP SCORE 👇https://t.co/ryjofhUrScpic.twitter.com/oWwGDh8wEW
“To be out here today and play another ODI for Holland was a bit surreal,” said Rippon, who was playing just his fifth ODI, after the Player of the Match performance in a chat with ESPNcricinfo.
“The structure has changed quite a bit. I have been out of it for six or seven months, and they have been playing some really good cricket. There are lots of new players, a couple of debutants [five of the Dutch players made their ODI debuts in the game] as well.”
When Rippon walked in at the VRA Ground in Amstelveen in the first ODI, the Netherlands were 72/4, but he lifted the side with a sensible innings from No.6.
“When I came in, it was around 70/4, and the fielding was quite tight. We couldn’t afford to lose another wicket. I found strike rotation quite hard to come by. However, the more I batted, the easier it got,” he said.
“To be honest, I was a bit disappointed with the way I batted this afternoon and I am trying to be quite hard on myself. At that stage of the game, I needed to bat at least till the 45th over, but I threw it away and put pressure on the lower order. Live and learn. Hopefully I can put in a better performance on Friday.”
It’s also not lost on Rippon that the result of the first ODI could have been very different had the Nepal batsmen played with greater composure.
“There are areas in which we need to improve,” he agreed. “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.”
The second and final ODI of the series will be played on Friday at the same venue.
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