Khadka, spinners give Nepal 19-run win
Nepal 217 for 9 (Khadka 84, Pun 45, Malla 39, Rippon 4-35) beat Netherlands 198 (Van der Merwe 56, Gruijters 44, Khadka 2-19) by 19 runs
Paras Khadka, the Nepal captain, contributed with bat and ball to help his team defend 217 against Netherlands in an ICC World Cricket League fixture in Amstelveen.
Khadka top-scored with a 94-ball 84, and then nipped out two wickets - that of Stephan Myburgh and Wesley Barresi - with his medium-pace in six overs. Netherlands, who recovered from the early blows to be comfortably placed at 103 for 3, were bowled out for 198 in 48.3 overs.
Netherlands, who opted to bowl, had Nepal reeling at 65 for 3 in the 20th over. Khadka then forged a 118-run fourth-wicket stand with Sagar Pun to rescue Nepal and set them up for a competitive total. While Khadka hit seven fours and a six, Pun faced 78 deliveries for his 45 and struck two fours.
The dismissal of both batsmen in the space of 16 deliveries allowed Netherlands to claw back. Michael Rippon, the left-arm wrist spinner, ran through the lower middle order to finish with 4 for 35 off six overs, while Ahsan Malik, who sent back Khadka, had two wickets.
Netherlands' top three contributed just 21. It needed a rescue act from Max O'Dowd and Roelof van der Merwe to bring the chase back on track; the pair added 82 to rescue them from 21 for 3 in the eighth over.
But van der Merwe's dismissal for 56 to Sandeep Lamichhane, the legspinner, brought Nepal back into the game. The wickets of O'Dowd and Pieter Seelaar in successive overs left Netherlands tottering at 140 for 6. Timm van der Gugten and Tim Gruijters kept the chase alive courtesy a 53-run stand, before Nepal returned to pick up four wickets in eight deliveries to close out the contest.
Despite the loss, Netherlands are still three points ahead of second-placed Hong Kong in the eight-team table. Nepal, for whom this was the third win in eight matches, are placed sixth and equal on points with Kenya, who have two games in hand.