Nepal look to square series

  • Netherlands-Nepal ODI series

Aug 3, 2018-

Nepal are preparing to settle the score with the hosts Netherlands in their second ODI match in Amstelveen on Friday two days after losing the historic first game.

Nepal had a sour start to their ODI debut after they blew away match from a perfect position on Wednesday. The tourists lost by 55 runs while chasing 190. The second match at the VRA grounds will give them an opportunity to level the series. “We just need to bat better,” said skipper Paras Khadka on the eve of the match.

Nepal were in cruise control at 85-1 thanks to a strong start provided by openers Gyanendra Malla and Anil Sah. But once skipper Paras Khadka got out, Nepali batting collapsed and were folded for just 134 runs in 41.5 overs. “We should have carried on after being in a comfortable position. I should have stayed at the crease a bit longer, especially,” added the skipper, whose dismissal triggered a collapse as Nepal went on to lose nine wickets for 49 runs.

With Shakti Gauchan already playing his last game in the first ODI, the retiring veteran left-arm spinner will make way for talented youngster Rohit Kumar Paudel to add strength to the batting. But Nepal will be missing the services of middle order mainstay Sharad Vesawkar who injured his finger while fielding on Wednesday.

Vesawkar came on to bat at No 11 despite the injury but looked visibly uncomfortable. His absence has also opened up doors for one of the three among opener Subash Khakurel, spinner Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi or left-arm seamer Lalit Singh Bhandari. But with Sah and Mall already providing the desired start, Khakurel’s chances of breaking into the squad appears slim.

“Paudel will be in for next game. The second match is another opportunity for us to defeat Netherlands once again at their home ground. We did most of the things right in the first half except for batting. Hopefully, we do better in the second game,” said Khadka.

After playing key roles in ICC World Cricket League Division 2 in Namibia and ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers, Nepal’s young middle order trio of Aarif Sheikh, Dipendra Singh Airee and Paudel have been shouldered with heavy expectations. But that fizzled out on Wednesday after Shiekh was out for a duck and Airee scored 33, a score not enough to take the team through.

Khadka continued to back the youngsters. “The youngsters have already proven themselves winning us important matches in the Division 2 and the Qualifiers. They have managed to pull us through many times. I believe that they will come back hard in the second match,” added the captain.

Coach Jagat Tamatta said changes in the second game will give them opportunities to beat the Dutch. “The playing XI will not look the same in the second ODI. We have to come up with good performance and we expect the middle and lower middle order to do good. I hope the change in playing squad will work for us,” said coach Tamatta.

With the bowlers already looking in good shape after squeezing out Netherlands below 200-run mark, Nepal will once again look up to their batsmen to do well against the Dutch side whose spinners wreaked havoc in first match. Spinners Michael Rippon and skipper Pieter Seelar had taken six out of 10 wickets apart from applying brakes on the run flow.

But Khadka ruled out that his batting lineup was not doing well against spinners. “If fast bowlers keep taking wickets, you get the label that we are vulnerable to seamers. And same will happen if we fall to spinners. We are doing good against any bowling attack but sometimes things don’t go your way,” the skipper added.

Published: 03-08-2018 08:48

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