The Netherlands clinch last-over thriller over Zimbabwe
The Netherlands 255 for 7 in 49.5 overs (Nidamanuru 110*, Ackermann 50, Masakadza 3-36, Ngarava 2-44) beat Zimbabwe 249 in 47.3 overs (Madande 74, Klaassen 3-41, van Meekeren 2-50) by 3 wickets
Netherlands ended a 15-match losing streak in the ongoing World Cup Super League with a stunning come-from-behind three-wicket win led by Teja Nidamanuru’s unbeaten 110 against Zimbabwe.
Chasing 250 in the first ODI at the Harare Sports Club, Netherlands were buried at 64-5 and then 110-6 in the 32nd over. But Nidamanuru, playing just his ninth ODI, struck his maiden International century batting at No. 7 and stitched a record 110-run stand with Shariz Ahmad to help the Dutch register just their third win in the Super League.
Earlier, Zimbabwe rode on Clive Madande’s 74, his maiden ODI half-century, and lower order cameos by Wellington Masakadza (34) and Richard Ngarava (35) to post a formidable total of 249 after collapsing to 98-7 inside 21 overs.
Neither side could capitalize on a strong start by their bowlers but Zimbabwe put down several catches to eventually lose the game. Nidamanuru was handed a reprieve on 77 and Paul van Meekeran, who struck a quick-fire 21, was dropped in the last over with three runs required off four balls.
Van Meekeran, who sealed the chase with a six two balls later, had earlier struck with the new ball extracting bounce off the surface to pick up two wickets. Left-armer Fred Klaassen (3-41) was the pick of the bowlers after accounting for the Zimbabwean captain Craig Ervine and the crucial wickets of Madande and Ngarava.
The Dutch, too, struggled against the new ball after losing Vikramjit Singh (8) and Tom Cooper (1) cheaply in the powerplay to Ngarava. But it was Masakadza’s left-arm spin that broke the back of the middle-order after losing captain Scott Edwards and Colin Ackermann LBW, the latter making a 72-ball 50.
As the hosts rotated their spinners, with the experience of Sikandar Raza and Ryan Burl in their ranks, Nidamanuru hit nine fours and three sixes to put up a power-hitting masterclass. He frequently targeted the short straight boundaries and converted his fifty to a century in the space of just 25 balls as the asking rate increased.
Shariz Ahmad, who effected a run-out and took a sharp running catch in the first innings, chipped in with a handy 30.
‘You dream about moments like this,’ man-of-the-match Nidamanuru said after the game. ‘Being able to win the game and see it through, that doesn’t happen too often. I’m extremely proud, and I’m proud to be wearing this orange shirt.’
‘The team make up is such, me batting at No. 7 gives the right balance to the side. We were trying to build a partnership, that was the game plan. We were looking to be positive, we were trying to take it as deep as possible. They bowled really well, but happy we came out on top.’
Roelof van der Merwe is unlikely to play the remaining two ODIs on March 23 and 25 after he flew back to England due to a family matter.
The matches can be watched free on icc.tv.
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