Preview: Netherlands vs Nepal – ICC T20 World Cup 2024 Group D match

Nepal return to the T20 World Cup after 10 years and will look to make the most of their clash against familiar foes.

Nepal's captain Rohit Paudel is confident that his side will start the T20 World Cup with a win against Netherlands [File: Eranga Jayawardena/AP]

Who: Netherlands vs Nepal
What: ICC T20 World Cup Group D match
When: Tuesday, June 4, 10:30am local (15:30 GMT)
Where: Grand Prairie Stadium, Dallas, US

Follw our live coverage of the match.

In a group comprising former champions Sri Lanka – as well as experienced sides South Africa and Bangladesh – the Netherlands and Nepal will face each other in their opening game of the ICC T20 World Cup 2024.

The two associate members of the International Cricket Council will play for pride and a chance to bag two crucial points in the so-called “group of death” in their match at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas on Tuesday.

For Nepal’s captain Rohit Paudel, it will be the realisation of a lifelong dream when he leads his team out in their first match of the tournament against Scott Edwards’ Netherlands.

“It [the game] is very important for us, especially for Nepal Cricket,” Paudel said in his pre-match news conference on Monday.

“It was our dream, as a kid we wanted to play the World Cup. We are getting the opportunity tomorrow and we are very excited. We have responsibilities too and we will make most of it.”

Nepal are returning to the T20 World Cup after a gap of 10 years and three editions. The South Asian side won two of their three group games in their debut tournament at the 2014 edition in Bangladesh but have since failed to qualify.

The enormity of the occasion was not lost on Paudel, who said he’s been “getting goosebumps” thinking about the match.

Paudel said his squad have been feeling nervous ahead of the tournament but they are ready to get going against one of their closest rivals on the associate cricket circuit.

“We have been playing against the Netherlands a lot and they are a very well-balanced team – the team that will handle the pressure well will win.”

Netherlands wary of Nepal’s team and fans

Netherlands’ coach Ryan Cook said his team will be wary of the threat Nepal pose.

“Nepal have been a team on the rise,” Cook told reporters.

“We have played against them recently and there are lots of nuances to their team. They have got a lot of all-rounders, a lot of depth, a lot of bowling options.”

The Dutch team’s coach believes both sides match up evenly.

“They are improving day by day, much like we are as a team.”

Nepal’s supporters are expected to throng the match venue in the suburbs of Dallas, which is home to a large South Asian community in Texas.

Cook said the Dutch will not be intimidated by their presence.

“I’m sure there will be a big Nepali crowd tomorrow and we don’t expect as much support but we have played in front of the Nepali crowd before. They are extremely respectful and support cricket as much as they support their own team.

“We will rock up with a small amount of orange that we have, but I know everyone will be behind us back home.”

Pitch and weather conditions

Dallas hosted the tournament’s opening game, which turned out to be a high-scoring encounter that USA won late into the night.

While the pitch is expected to remain the same, dew will not come into play as this will be a day game, with the sun beating down on the ground.

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(Al Jazeera)

Head to head

Nepal and Netherlands have come up against each other on a few occasions recently and their most recent meeting came in a T20 international (T20I) series in Kirtipur, Nepal.

The Dutch edged the hosts 2-1 in the closely matched series as well as their overall head-to-head record. They have won six of their 11 T20Is, while Nepal have won five.

Form

Both sides head into the match with a mixed run of form but will look to put it behind them in the all-important clash.

Netherlands: L L L W W
Nepal: L L W W W

Netherlands team news

Michael Levitt could get his T20 World Cup debut on the back of his recent form with the bat.

Squad: Scott Edwards (captain), Aryan Dutt, Bas de Leede, Daniel Doram, Fred Klaassen, Logan van Beek, Max O’Dowd, Michael Levitt, Paul van Meekeren, Sybrand Engelbrecht, Teja Nidamanuru, ⁠⁠Tim Pringle, Vikram Singh, Viv Kingma, Wesley Barresi.

Nepal team news

Nepal’s big-hitting record-breaking batter Dipendra Airee will be the one to watch with the bat in a side packed with all-rounders.

Squad: Aasif Sheikh, Dipendra Singh Airee, Kushal Bhurtel, Sundeep Jora, Rohit Paudel (captain), Karan KC, Kushal Malla, Pratis GC, Sompal Kami, Anil Sah, Abinash Bohara, Gulsan Jha, Lalit Rajbanshi, Kamal Airee, Sagar Dhakal.

INTERACTIVE - Men's T20 World Cup-Teams-qualified-2023-1716469528
(Al Jazeera)
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies