Opener Max O'Dowd scored maiden century as the Netherlands defeated Malaysia by 15 runs in the Bajaj Pulsar Tri-Nation T20I Series here at the TU Stadium today.

Batting first, the Dutchmen posted 191-2 in their allotted 20 overs before restricting Malaysia to 176-8. After the second match, home team Nepal are at the top of the table with two points, above the Netherlands on better net run rate.

Nepal had defeated the Netherlands by nine wickets in the opening match on Saturday.

Netherlands had a poor start after skipper Pieter Seelaar won the toss losing opener Tobias Visee (one) with just 17 runs on the board. O'Dowd and Scott Edwards then added 49 runs for the second wicket before the opener combined with Ben Cooper to share a 125-run partnership for the unbroken third wicket.

O'Dowd, who became the first Dutchman to score a century in T20 Internationals, struck 15 boundaries and six sixes in his unbeaten 133 off just 73 balls. Man-of-thematch O'Dowd reached triple figures off 59 balls with the help of 10 fours and five sixes.

Edwards struck three fours and a six in his 23-ball 31, while Cooper remained unbeaten on run-a-ball 20 that included two fours. Pavandeep Singh and Anwar Rahman took one wicket each for Malaysia.

In reply, Malaysia made a blistering start to the run chase scoring 12 runs in the first two legal deliveries - one each four and six along with two runs from a no ball - before Aryan Dutt struck twice in the space of four balls. Dutt bowled Anwar Arudin (six) in the third ball and he had skipper Ahmad Faiz (naught) caught by wicketkeeper Ewards in the sixth ball. Malaysia were soon reduced to 20-3 after Syed Aziz (seven) fell at the hands of Bas de Leede.

Virandeep Singh fought the lonely battle for Malaysia and saw his teammates falter at the other end. Singh top scored for Malaysia with a quick fire 87 off 53 balls that included six each fours and sixes. Sharvin Muniandy (28) and Aminuddin Ramly (26) were the other two batsmen who contributed in double figures.

Dutt returned with 2-14, while de Leeded took 2-15. Sabastiaan Braat also grabbed two wicket but he was hammered for 50 runs in his fourover spell, while Philippe Boissevain and Pieter Seelaar pocketed one each.

On Monday, Nepal will take on Malaysia in their second match of the event which is being played in double league format. Top two teams after the league round will make it to the final slated for Saturday.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 19, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.