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Netherlands beat Nepal by four wickets in tri-nation series final

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Kirtipur (Nepal), March 5 (IANS) The Netherlands won the tri-nation series on Tuesday beating Nepal by four wickets in the final at the TU International Cricket Ground. Facing a daunting target of 185 set by Nepal, the Netherlands showcased resilience and determination as they reached a total of 189/6 with just four wickets in hand, sealing their triumph in a pulsating finish.

Opener Michael Levitt led the charge for the Dutch side with a scintillating knock of 54 runs off a mere 29 balls, ably supported by middle-order batsman Sybrand Engelbrecht who contributed 48 runs in 29 deliveries.

Earlier in the match, Nepal had reached a challenging score of 184/8 after winning the toss and electing to bat first. Opener Ashif Sheikh provided a solid start with a brisk 47 runs off 37 balls, laying the foundation for a competitive total. However, despite valiant efforts from Gulshan Jha (34 off 24), Kushal Malla (26 off 11), and captain Rohit Paudel (25 off 19), Nepal found themselves losing momentum in the death overs, losing four crucial wickets in quick succession.

The Netherlands' bowling attack, led by Fred Klaassen (2-37), Timm van der Gugten (2-29), Michael Levitt (2-35), and Sybrand Engelbrecht (2-14), proved instrumental in restricting Nepal's scoring opportunities and securing crucial breakthroughs at pivotal moments.

Despite a slow start in the series, Nepal had displayed promising performances in the last two games, securing their place in the final with a convincing victory over the Netherlands earlier in the tournament. However, their dream of lifting the trophy was dashed as the Netherlands delivered a clinical performance in the final.

With a win over Nepal in the final, the Netherlands cemented their dominance in the Tri-Nation T20I Series, finishing atop the points table with five points from four games. Nepal, despite their valiant efforts, settled for the runner-up position with four points, while Namibia's campaign came to an end with three points, relegating them to third place.

Brief scores:

Nepal 184/8 in 20 overs (Aasif Sheikh 47, Gulsan Jha 34; Sybrand Engelbrecht 2-14, Fred Klaassen 2-37) lose to Netherlands 189/6 in 19.3 overs (Michael Levitt 54, Sybrand Engelbrecht 48; Kushal Malla 4-33, Dipendra Singh Airee 1-16) by four wickets.

--IANS

hs/bsk/


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