Nepal and the Netherlands advanced to the final of the Bajaj Pulsar Tri-Nation T20I Series here at the TU Stadium today.

The two teams made it to the championship contest after the rain-hit match between the Netherlands and Malaysia ended in a draw on Wednesday. The draw meant Malaysia were eliminated from the race to final with one match to play. The Dutchmen are at the top of the table with five points from four matches, while Nepal are at the second position with four points from three matches.

Malaysia, who opened their accounts with one point from the drawn match, will face Nepal in the last match of the league round on Thursday and the outcome of the match will not affect the finalists. Nepal can finish at the top of the table with a win, while Malaysia will remain at the bottom even if they record their maiden victory of the series.

Nepal defeated both the opponents by identical nine wickets, while the Dutchmen edged past Malaysia by 15 runs in the first round matches. The home team faced a three-wicket defeat at the hands of the Netherlands yesterday and they will face Malaysia in the last match of the league round tomorrow.

On Wednesday, Malaysia invited the Netherlands to take the first strike after skipper Ahmad Faiz won the toss.

The Dutchmen had reached 68-3 in 10.2 overs when rain forced the players off the field. The match was reduced to 13-over-a-side and the Netherlands posted 107-4 in 13 overs.

Malaysia received the revised target of 120 runs from 13 overs under Duckworth-Lewis rules and they were batting at 56-0 in six overs when the rain stopped the match again. The match was reduced by three overs again and Malaysia got the target of 92 runs in 10 overs.

The scores were tied after Malaysia reached 91-4 and the two teams shared points.

Ben Cooper top scored for the Netherlands with 32-ball 54 hitting seven fours and two sixes and he was later named the man of the match. Skipper Pieter Seelaar struck five boundaries in his 37 off 31 balls, while Antonius Staal remained unbeaten on 10 off five balls with the help of a six. Muhammad Wafiq took 2-13 for Malaysia, while Pavandeep Singh and Virandeep Singh claimed one wicket each.

In reply, Malaysia opener Syed Aziz struck two each fours and sixes in his 26-ball 30, whereas Anwar Arudin scored 23 off 17 balls hitting two boundaries and a six. Virandeep Singh scored sixball 14 hitting three fours.

Malaysia needed seven runs in the last over bowled by Vivian Kingma to win the match but they were able to level the scores with a bye run in the last ball of the innings despite the bowler delivering two wide balls.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 22, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.