Amstelveen: In their first ever ODI match in history, Asian minnows Nepal suffered a bitter defeat against hosts Netherlands by a margin of 55 runs. The visitors suffered the loss after seemingly looking competent to pull off a remarkable win, dismissing the Dutch for a paltry score before starting their batting very well.
Winning the toss, Netherlands' captain Pieter Seelaar opted for his team to bat first, considering factors like the morning dew which was believed to give the team batting first an upper hand. However, only a few Dutch batsmen justified their captain's decision, as most of them, including the captain himself, fell for cheap scores while the others failed to capitalize on good starts.
There were a couple of decent partnerships in the top order, but even those failed to help them dominate the game. Only Michael Rippon (51, 76b, 2*4) made some kind of an impact coming in at 72/4, but after his dismissal, the lower order was totally exposed to Nepal's disciplined bowling as they were disbanded within a short period of time.
Paras Khadka, the Nepal captain (10-0-26-4) and Sompal Kami (8.4-1-34-3) were the pick of the Nepalese bowlers, while Lamichhane produced figures of 10-0-42-1. The hosts eventually folded for 189 all out in 47.4 overs, most of the wickets falling to poor shot selection.
Nepal started their batting brimming with confidence. They might have believed that 190 was a chase-able target, and they were not wrong to believe so, especially considering the way their openers wielded their willows.
Gyanendra Malla and Anil Sah (21) added 58 runs in 12 overs before the first wicket fell in the form of Sah. Malla continued his good nick and went on to become Nepal's first half-centurion in ODIs. Skipper Paras gave him company until exactly six overs later when he fell to a poor shot off Seelar. With Malla (51, 61b, 8*4) dismissed on the first ball of the next over bowled by Rippon, they found themselves at 87/3 from 85/1 just an over earlier.
The dismissal of Malla was like a breakdown signal, as the rest of the side came crashing down, largely due to the exploits of Seelar (9-1-20-3) and Rippon (10-3-23-3), the spin-twins of the Dutch squad. Fred Klassen (10-1-30-3) contributed as well, as the trio plucked out the last nine Nepal wickets for just 49 runs - from 85/1 to an eventual 134 all out.
Dipendra Singh Airee (33) gave a brief period of hope even with wickets falling on the other end, but his dismissal put an end to all expectations.
Michael Rippon was awarded man-of-the-match for his all-round performance, which involved a half-ton while batting and three wickets while bowling, including the one of Gyanendra Malla, Nepal's top scorer.
The second and last ODI of the tour will take place on 3rd August 2018, at the same venue in Amstelveen, Netherlands.