Cricket World Cup: South Africa avoid third Dutch loss

Logan van Beek of Netherlands celebrates the wicket of Reeza Hendricks. Photo: Alex Davidson-ICC via Getty Images

South Africa 106 for 6 (Miller 59*, Stubbs 33, Kingma 2-12, van Beek 2-21) beat the Netherlands 103 for 9 (Engelbrecht 40, Baartman 4-11, Nortje 2-19) by four wickets 

David Miller’s composed half-century buried the ghosts of Dharamsala and Adelaide to prevent a Dutch three-peat in New York.

At one point, South Africa were struggling at 12 for 4 chasing 104 to win on a tricky pitch but Miller’s unbeaten 51-ball 59 eventually took them over the line with four wickets and seven balls to spare.

Earlier, Sybrand Engelbrecht and Logan van Beek’s 54-run partnership, a Dutch record for the seventh wicket in T20Is, helped the side post 103 for 9 from the depths of 48 for 6 in the 12th over.

Coming into the game, the drop-in pitches in New York had come under intense scrutiny not only for their two-paced nature but a degree of variable bounce bordering towards “dangerous” with Indian and Irish players copping body blows during their game. That prompted the ICC to put out a statement committing to “deliver the best possible surfaces for the remaining matches.”

The fresh pitch in use on Saturday had little to suggest the organisers had delivered on their promise to the extent that one of the Dutch players even quipped after the game that the pitches produced back home are of a much superior quality.

Having lost a crucial toss and being inserted to bat, the Dutch batters failed to adapt as much to the surface as the South African fast bowlers, who operated a tight line outside the off stump line and used the bouncers to good effect.

The pitch’s wayward behaviour was evident from Marco Jansen’s third delivery, which nipped back in late as Michael Levitt feathered an edge to the keeper. Jansen’s consistency was rewarded despite overstepping to hand Vikramjit Singh, who produced the sole boundary of the powerplay, a reprieve on 7 but later bowled him with a full ball.

Bas de Leede and Teja Nidamanuru fell in a similar fashion, bounced out by Anrich Nortje’s back-of-a-length delivery that exploded off the surface.

The unrelenting pressure with the ball produced 58 boundary-less deliveries with the streak broken only by Scott Edwards’ audacious reverse-scooped six off Nortje in the 12th over.

After his run-out next ball, Van Beek (23) and Engelbrecht (40) provided a semblance of control and much-needed aggression as the last six overs produced 46 runs, despite a three-wicket final over by Ottneil Bartman (4 for 11).

The South African response with the bat started nervously as Quinton de Kock was run out first ball without facing a delivery. Van Beek’s fourth ball trimmed Reeza Hendricks’ off-stump before Vivian Kingma’s double strike put the Dutch ahead at 12 for 4.

But Miller and former Excelsior batter, Tristan Stubbs, added 65 for the fifth wicket to put the result beyond doubt. Even as Jansen’s wicket with 16 runs needed threatened a late twist, Miller clubbed De Leede for two sixes and a four to seal the win in the penultimate over.


Engelbrecht said after the game that the Dutch were “15-odd runs” short on a bowler-friendly pitch.

“[It was] tough,” he said when asked to sum up the challenge for the batters.

“There was quite a bit of invariable bounce for hard length and I think the South Africans executed their plans really well for the majority of the game. If you hit that hard length, the ball either just kind of squats on you or goes through the top a little bit, so it’s difficult to play cricket shots and you could see that in the South African innings as well.

“So, it was tough conditions, but it is what it is. Both teams need to play on it and you need to find a way to score runs and get to a defendable and competitive total.”

The Dutch squad will now fly out to Kingstown in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on Sunday for their next game against Sri Lanka on Thursday (4:30pm CEST).

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