Brief scores: Netherlands 112 for 7 in 19.5 overs (O’Dowd 23, Siddique 3-24) beat UAE 111 for 8 (Waseem 41, de Leede 3-19) by three wickets
The Netherlands held their nerve to scrape through to a three-wicket win off the penultimate ball chasing 112 against the UAE on the opening day of the T20 World Cup in Geelong.
After restricting the Emirati side to a below-par total on a difficult pitch to bat with odd dimensions of the ground and slow outfield, the Dutch raced off the blocks as openers Vikramjit Singh (10) and Max O’Dowd (23) muscled five boundaries and a six between them but departed before the powerplay ended.
UAE bowlers clawed their way back as they reduced the men in Oranje to 76-6 in the 14th over as right-arm quick Junaid Siddique (3-24) sent back Tom Cooper and Roelof van Der Merwe in the space of two deliveries to turn the heat up on a cold night.
Tim Pringle (15), who earlier delivered a miserly spell of 1-13 in his four overs, stitched a crucial 27-run partnership with captain Scott Edwards (16*) to keep the Dutch in the chase as the UAE fielders failed to restrict singles despite not having conceded a boundary since the eighth over. Logan van Beek and Edwards, then, calmly knocked off six off the final over to kickstart the campaign with a win.
Earlier in the match, the Dutch bowled economically with discipline on a slow pitch, not too dissimilar to the ones back home, as Fred Klaassen (2-13) and Pringle kept the runs in check going under four-an-over.
Despite not losing early wickets, the UAE batters found the spin and bounce hard to contend with as Muhammad Waseem top-scored with 41 with little support from the other end. Bas de Leede, the player-of-the-match, struck thrice in the 19th over as UAE collapsed from 93-2 to finish on 111-8.
‘It wasn’t easy for the batters,’ Klaassen explained in an interview with broadcasters.
‘We didn’t take as many wickets as we would have liked in the powerplay but we contained them quite well,’ he said.
‘It was a bit two-paced, you saw some turn there early on from Pringle and he set up nicely for us. The seamers just hit good lengths, hard lengths and made it difficult for the batters to score. Even when they had partnerships they couldn’t get away from us. You have to be smart with the angles and we did that.’
The Netherlands next take on Namibia, who beat Sri Lanka earlier in the day, on Tuesday.
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