7th Match, Group D, Dallas, June 04, 2024, ICC Men's T20 World Cup
(18.4/20 ov, T:107) 109/4

Netherlands won by 6 wickets (with 8 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
Cricinfo's MVP
58.32 ptsImpact List

Netherlands vs Nepal - the one match neither team can afford to lose

Both teams have exciting cricketers, their head-to-head record is almost dead even, and with higher-ranked teams in their group, this is a game they can't lose

Match details

Netherlands vs Nepal
Dallas, 10.30am local

Big picture - Netherlands favourites, but only just

There are two obvious groups of death in this T20 World Cup, and Group D is one of them. Netherlands and Nepal are the two lowest-ranked sides in the group, but one of them comes into the tournament with serious pedigree in punching well above their weight at World Cups.
Remember this? And this? And this? And more recently, over the last two years, this, and this?
Before they can try and pull off results of that nature against South Africa, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, however, Netherlands will have to get past the one team they are favourites against. And it won't be easy.
Netherlands have a 6-5 T20I record against Nepal overall, and their six meetings in the pandemic and post-pandemic eras have been dead even. They met three times earlier this year, in a triangular tournament in Kirtipur, and won once apiece in the league stage before Netherlands won a closely fought final.
Netherlands may have been here and done it before, while Nepal have only featured in one previous T20 World Cup, but the results they achieved in that tournament - in 2014, when they beat Afghanistan and fell short of a Super 10s spot only by virtue of net run-rate - should tell you that this could be a seriously tight contest.

Form guide

Netherlands LLLWW (last five completed T20Is, most recent first)

In the spotlight - Michael Levitt and Dipendra Airee

Michael Levitt earned his first Netherlands call-up last year, at 19, and has gone on to become a key player at the top of the order since his debut this February. The South Africa-born Levitt has scored 349 runs in eight T20I innings so far, at an average of 43.62 and a strike rate of 156.50. He made Netherlands' highest T20I score in only his second T20I, smashing 135 off just 62 balls against Namibia, and he comes into this tournament with form behind him too, scoring a 28-ball 55 in the warm-up victory over Sri Lanka.
You probably remember him for scoring the fastest T20I fifty, off just nine balls, against Mongolia during last year's Asian Games, but Dipendra Singh Airee, Nepal's highest run-getter in T20Is, has shown his quality against higher-ranked teams too. Netherlands know what he's capable of; earlier this year, Nepal were six down against them in Kirtipur, needing 57 off 24 balls, when Airee went ballistic. His 34-ball 63 took Nepal to the doorstep of victory, before Roelof van der Merwe bowled him with four runs needed off three balls and Netherlands sealed a two-run win.

Team news

Since Levitt's emergence, Vikramjit Singh has dropped out of Netherlands' first-choice opening combination. He may bat at No. 3 or 4 if he finds a place in their XI on Tuesday.
Netherlands (probable): 1 Max O'Dowd, 2 Michael Levitt, 3 Vikramjit Singh, 4 Scott Edwards (capt & wk), 5 Teja Nidamanuru, 6 Bas de Leede, 7 Sybrand Engelbrecht, 8 Logan van Beek, 9 Aryan Dutt, 10 Paul van Meekeren, 11 Vivian Kingma
With a visa refusal ending Sandeep Lamichhane's potential participation in the World Cup, the question of Lalit Rajbanshi's spin partner becomes highly pertinent. Sagar Dhakal was one of only two Nepal bowlers to complete their four-over quota in their warm-up game against Canada. It suggests that Nepal may be mulling starting the 22-year-old against Netherlands, if they decide to go with two left-arm spinners.
Nepal (probable): 1 Kushal Bhurtel, 2 Aasif Sheikh (wk), 3 Anil Sah, 4 Kushal Malla, 5 Rohit Paudel (capt), 6 Dipendra Singh Airee, 7 Gulsan Jha, 8 Sompal Kami, 9 Karan KC, 10 Lalit Rajbanshi, 11 Abinash Bohara/Sagar Dhakal

Pitch and conditions

Dallas was where this World Cup got underway, and it got underway with a bang, as USA chased down 195 with 14 balls remaining. Twenty-one sixes were hit in that game, ten coming off the blade of Aaron Jones, who smashed an unbeaten, match-winning 94 off 40 balls. Prepare for more big hitting if the conditions remain similar.
The threat of rain hangs over the match, though, with Dallas experiencing stormy weather in the lead-up, and there's a 20% chance of precipitation forecast for Tuesday.

Stats and trivia

  • Sompal Kami is the only survivor from Nepal's last appearance at the T20 World Cup in 2014. The seam-bowling allrounder, who was 18 at the time, made his T20I debut in that tournament, picking up 2 for 13 in an 80-run win over Hong Kong
  • In the same match where Airee broke the record for fastest T20I fifty, Kushal Malla scored a 34-ball century, which at that time was a T20I record too. That record has since been broken, with Nepal at the receiving end as Namibia's Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton tonked a 34-ball ton against them in February
  • Malla (167.24) has the fourth-highest T20I strike rate among all batters with at least 500 runs in the format. Of batters from teams featuring in this tournament, only Suryakumar Yadav (171.55) is ahead of him
  • Logan van Beek is playing his fifth T20 World Cup, having previously featured in 2014, 2016, 2021 and 2022.


"We know the Nepal team quite well because we've played against them recently. But we've also played against South Africa, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka very recently as well ... in the 50-over World Cup and in the qualifiers. So really looking forward to our group and I'm sure there'll be a lot of jostling within the group."
Head coach Ryan Cook harks back to some recent giant-killings by Netherlands

Karthik Krishnaswamy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Win Probability
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Over 19 • NED 109/4

Netherlands won by 6 wickets (with 8 balls remaining)
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ICC Men's T20 World Cup

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