The odds were stacked against them but Netherlands, yet again, showed some gumption and flair on the field as they did not let New Zealand post a huge score. The qualifiers, as happened in their game against Pakistan, dominated certain periods of the game but were unable to hold onto their advantage for longer periods. New Zealand went on to post 322 for seven.
Chasing 323 for victory was never going to be easy against the New Zealand attack. Netherlands batters got off to decent starts but couldn’t build upon it as the Kiwi bowlers denied them scoring opportunities. Most of the non-Test playing nations suffer from lack of quality batters. This hamstrings them when facing the bigger teams, who are able to wiggle out of tight situations like India managed to do against the Australians in Chennai the other night.
As It Happened
Like in the previous game, Netherlands didn’t have the batters who could tackle the Kiwi bowlers. Colin Ackermann top scored with 69 (73b; 5×4) and skipper Scott Edwards made 30 but the others failed to make it count. They were bowled out for 223 with left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner finishing with five for 59 – the first five-wicket haul in ODIs on this ground. He bagged the player of the match award.
For New Zealand, it proved to be a good outing as their batters, unlike in their previous game against champions England, were tested quite a bit by the Dutch bowlers. One doesn’t often get to see 18 dot balls being bowled on the trot at the start of an innings. Netherlands off-spinner Aryan Dutt bowled two maiden overs and pacer Ryan Klein the third one as New Zealand openers Devon Conway and Will Young were left stroke less in the first three overs. The shackles were broken by Young when he drove Klein past the mid-off fielder to the fence for the first scoring shot of the innings off the 19th ball.
Thereafter, it was a Young and Conway (32; 40b, 5×4, 1×6) show as they went after the Netherlands’ bowlers. They went on to add 67 for the first wicket in 12.1 overs (effectively 9.1 overs) before Conway, who had struck an unbeaten century in the previous game, was tricked into a false stroke by left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe.
Young (70; 80b, 7×4, 2×6) was joined by another centurion Rachin Ravindra and the duo made steady progress. The 11 to 40 overs period was a mixed bag for both teams. One was reminded of two boxers encircling each other and throwing the occasional jab but wary of landing the knock-out punch. The Kiwis scored 175 runs and lost three wickets in the process. They were steady in their approach and built a platform for an assault in the last 10 overs. The Netherlands, on the other hand, too were quite satisfied with it as they had kept the Kiwi batters under control. They have never let them cut loose during this period.
There was quite a drama in the 32nd over bowled by medium pacer Ryan Klein. A confident leg before appeal against Ravindra was turned down and the review didn’t help Netherlands either though one felt it was quite a close call and the umpire’s call benefitted Ravindra. In the same over, Daryl Mitchell (48; 47b, 5×4, 2×6) was dropped by debutant Sybrand Engelbrecht. However, Netherlands broke through in the next over as van der Merwe had Ravindra (51; 51b, 3×4, 1×6) caught by wicketkeeper Scott Edwards.
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In the five overs (40 to 45), New Zealand managed to score only 24 and lost three wickets as Netherlands enjoyed another good phase. However, the Kiwis got a whopping 51 in the last three overs as the Netherlands bowlers and fielders succumbed to the pressure. Skipper Tom Latham scored 54 (46b; 6×4, 1×6) and Mitchell Santner got a 17-ball 36 (3×4, 2×6) as New Zealand reached 322 for seven.