Sharjah: 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.
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."
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.