South Africa 190 for 2 (Bavuma 90*, Markram 51*, Dutt 1-30) beat Netherlands 189 (Nidamanuru 48, V. Singh 45, Shamsi 3-25, Magala 3-37) by eight wickets
Unbeaten half-centuries by Temba Bavuma and Aiden Markram helped South Africa cruise to a comfortable eight-wicket victory over the Netherlands in the second One-day International in Benoni.
The Dutch folded for a well below-par 189, with only two batters crossing the 20-run mark, before an unbeaten 102-run partnership between skipper Bavuma and Markram helped the hosts chase down the target with as many as 20 overs left and pick up 10 crucial World Cup Super League points.
The two-match series has much at stake for South Africa, who need to win the final ODI on Sunday to more or less seal automatic qualification for this year’s fifty-over World Cup and Friday’s victory was another step towards achieving that goal.
After losing the toss and being put into bat, Max O’dowd and Vikramjit Singh ensured the Dutch prevailed in the opening squirmishes. Singh clobbered as many as four fours and three sixes in an entertaining knock of 45 and was particularly strong pulling on the back foot.
But once the pair was dismissed in the space of four overs after a 58-run stand for the first wicket, the Dutch middle-order crumbled to lose their next five wickets for 56 runs and be reduced to 127-6 in the 31st over.
Despite Teja Nidamanuru’s fighting 48 before the side was bowled out for 189 in 46.1 overs, the Dutch were culpable for their own loss. The familiar middle-order batting woes, compounded by the absence of Durham-bound Bas de Leede and an injured Tom Cooper, left the bowlers with too little to defend.
Scott Edwards said as much at his post-match press conference: ‘Everyone in our top six; I don’t think they (South African bowlers) got us out. Their better balls were actually missing, and we found ways to get ourselves out.’
‘It was a good start but we’ve got to go on with it from there. 189 was always going to be well below the mark. We needed to bowl exceptionally, which we didn’t. We’ve had a lot of decent innings but we need guys to start going on and get big hundreds,’ he said.
On a pitch conducive to swing and turn, right-arm quick Sisanda Magala and left-arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi bagged three wickets apiece to inflict the damage on the Dutch.
Off-spinner Aryan Dutt priced out Quinton de Kock early in South Africa’s chase in the sixth over before Fred Klaassen induced a top-edge off Rassie van Der Dussen’s pull in the 19th to give the Dutch a sniff at an improbable win.
But a sniff was all it was as Bavuma and Markram knocked off the remaining 102 runs off just 69 balls.
Sunday’s ODI is the Netherlands’ final opportunity to fine tune their preparation ahead of the World Cup Qualifier in June.
From the ten-team tournament hosted by Zimbabwe, only two will get through to India for the showpiece event and the Dutch are set to go head-to-head with Sri Lanka, West Indies, Zimbabwe and one of South Africa or Ireland among the full-members.
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