Fairfax – A poor batting performance against the Netherlands ‘A’ in the solitary warm-up match that was called off due to bad weather was a spot of bother for Team Nepal. The writing was on the wall.
Call it patchy or brittle or awful batting, it was Nepal’s biggest concern. It was hard to envisage how they could prevail over the Netherlands in the crucial ICC Cricket World League Championship matches.
The bottom line, they had to bat extremely well to be in contention in the two match series.
Saturday, with decent weather in Amsterdam, it was match day for Nepal. The stakes were high enough.
Fans in the country keenly anticipated the clash. There were great expectations in the air regardless of the dicey situation. A defeat was the last thing they wanted.
It was very obvious that Nepal needed a big batting performance to stand any chance against the Dutch side.
Contrary to expectation, unfortunately, it did not transpire much to everyone’s chagrin. When all is said and done, they crashed to a seven-wicket defeat, following a batting fiasco lasting just 38.1 overs.
In one of the worst batting performances in recent times, Nepal ended scoring a paltry 94 runs with 11.5 overs to spare.
The batting literally collapsed like ninepins on a lively pitch that ultimately proved batsmen’s nightmare.
The batting woe was in full display with only four batters making it to double figures. Opener Anil Mandal was the highest run getter with 20 runs.
The dismissal of skipper Paras Khadkha for a golden duck was a stunner, thereby hammering the final nail in the coffin on the team’s hope of putting up a fighting score.
Dutch duo pacer Van dear Gugten and slow left arm Chinaman Rippon bowled with aplomb and excellence. With three wickets each they triggered a batting debacle and unveiled the shortcomings of the batsmen.
The batsmen were literally flummoxed by their guile and accuracy. In a parade of mediocrity batsman after batsman made their way back to the pavilion. The batting was just terrible and they were guilty of throwing their wickets away
In contrast, the Netherlands innings got off to slow start. Despite chasing a small total the batters were circumspect and disciplined initially.
They were in no hurry and showed no signs of struggle. After finding their groove, they accelerated the pace and reached the target in style in the 17th over losing three wickets.
Having to defend a meager total, Nepali bowlers were reduced to a hopeless situation, and it was a tough and difficult challenge. One hoped for a dramatic comeback but did not happen.
They did their best but were unable to stop the opposition from romping home to a big win.
The outcome of the match confirms the fact that the current national team’s problem lies with batting. Over all, from top to bottom, batsmen have struggled mightily with their techniques and lacked the big match temperament of staying at the wicket for a long period of time.
In addition, the batsmen inability to bat on seaming pitch has been well documented, time and time again.This is not the first time the team has batted so poorly. We have seen the constant batting failure, over the years.
Unless and until, Nepal’s batting woes is addressed to the core, I fear batsmen struggle will continue unabated.Things are not looking good for Nepal at the moment.
Forget the final round qualification chances; the defeat has them teetering on the fringes of the relegation zone.The big question is, can they avoid it? Honestly speaking, I highly doubt it.
Nonetheless, I hope to see Nepal rebound from their heavy defeat in the second match.