Netherlands 168 for 3 (O'Dowd 90, de Leede 41*, Lamichhane 2-60) beat Nepal 167 (Paudel 33, van Beek 4-24, Vikramjit 2-20) by seven wickets
Harare: An explosive half-century from Max O'Dowd helped the Netherlands storm into the Super Six of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 qualifiers with a seven-wicket win over Nepal in Harare on Saturday.
After their bowlers had bowled out Nepal for 167, Max O'Dowd & co. ensured that there were no slip-ups in the Dutch batting effort.
With this Netherlands has qualified for the Super Six, while Nepal's World Cup qualification hopes have ended.
With this win, the Netherlands are in third position in Group A with two wins and a loss, a total of four points.
On the other hand, Nepal is in fourth place with one win and three losses, a total of two points.
In the chase of 168, after scoring merely one run in the first three overs of their chase, Netherlands openers took off.
Max O'Dowd and Vikramjit Singh blasted 86 runs off the first 13 overs before the latter fell the Sandeep Lamichhane (2/60).
While Vikramjit (30) had three fours and one six to his name, O'Dowd was even more aggressive, striking four fours and sixes during their partnership. He brought up his fifty in merely 30 balls.
This blistering start had already helped the Dutch to 97 in the first 15 overs.
Despite losing Wesley Barresi in the 15th over, the batting side looked in complete control of the chase.
Along with Bas de Leede, O'Dowd added 62 for the third wicket to get Dutch near the finishing line.
Unfortunately, O'Dowd was bowled by Gulsan Jha in the 27th over and could not be around when his side finished the game.
O'Dowd finished with 90 in 75 balls, consisting of eight fours and four sixes.
Leede scored 41* in 39 balls, consisting of six fours. Nepal reached the target in 27.1 overs.
The Nepal innings never got going as the Dutch bowlers struck regularly and restricted the sub-continental side to a sub-par total.
Nepal batters had to contend against a high-quality new-ball spell from the Logan van Beek (4/24) and Ryan Klein.
The duo got the ball to jag around and beat the bat on several occasions.
Nepal were 23 for the loss of Aasif Sheikh at the end of the first powerplay.
This conservative start was followed by a terrible slide as Nepal lost three batters in a space of 21 balls.
Two of these wickets were picked by Vikramjit Singh, who consistently troubled the Nepal batters with his uneven bounce.
Rohit Paudel and Kushal Malla then tried to stabilise the innings.
This didn't last for long as Malla fell to Aryan Dutt in the 26th over for 12.
The ball skied down the ground between the long off and long on region, where despite confusion between Teja Nidamanaru and Max O'Dowd, the catch was successfully taken by the former.
Hereafter, Paudel tried to bring some initiative to the Nepal innings, hitting a few boundaries to increase the scoring rate.
Sandeep Lamichhane (27) threw his bat around for the next few overs to add some quick runs, but the Asian side was not even able to bat out their allotted overs. Bhim Sharki (22), Kushal Bhurtel (27) also played some decent knocks.
Scott Edwards called it right at the toss, and chose to field. The Dutch were unchanged going into the game, while Nepal also backed the XI which lost the encounter against West Indies.