Netherland’s batters let Namibia down and get one foot in Super 12s
Netherlands dominated Namibia before doing brilliantly with the bat in Geelong to secure a five-wicket victory and secure a spot in the Super 12s, despite a small problem.
Namibia struggled to get going after choosing to bat first as Netherlands bowled effectively. Jan Frylinck, who’d been named Player of the Match in Namibia’s match against Sri Lanka, top-scored for Namibia with a 43-ball 48, but with only 121 for 6 as their total, there was not much else to say about their innings.
Max O’Dowd and Vikramjit Singh’s opening 59-run partnership gave Netherlands a good start in the chase, but a flurry of wickets in the 16th and 17th overs delayed the finish until there were three balls left.
Netherlands will qualify to the second round if UAE defeats Sri Lanka in the day’s second game.
In Geelong, where a new pitch was in use, the Netherlands had the ball at their feet right away. With the new ball, Fred Klaassen discovered swing and only gave four runs in the first over. In the following over, Namibia sent left-arm spinner Tim Pringle, and on his first delivery, he had Divan la Cock, the lone fielder in the deep at the time, caught at long-off for a duck. Namibia had trouble locating the boundaries, and the slow outfield did not help either. After that, Colin Ackerman entered the game with his offspin, mostly to counter left-handed Michael van Lingen, but he was met with a few boundaries.
The combo eventually succeeded when van Lingen missed a loft and subsequently hit Bas de Leede at mid-off a few balls later. Namibia was 33 for 3 at the end of the powerplay when Paul van Meekeren forced Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton to edge one behind with a ball that seemed to be sailing away in the very next over.
For the struggling Namibia, Stephan Baard’s lbw dismissal was overturned on the final ball of the sixth over.
Namibia had to wait until the fifth ball of the 18th over for the next boundary as Frylinck smashed a Timm van der Gugten short delivery for a six over midwicket after hitting a four off van Meekeren in the third ball of the eighth over. Frylinck also led Namibia past 100 at that point. Between these two boundaries, Namibia also lost Baard, who was out for 19 off of 22 balls, while Frylinck and captain Gerhard Erasmus put up the innings’ best partnership of 41 runs.
Then De Leede bowled a double-wicket over, dismissing both of them in the space of three balls, but JJ Smit and David Wiese both hit a boundary to raise Namibia’s score to 121.
Netherlands openers blast away
Bernard Scholtz, a left-arm spinner, bowled first for Namibia and was successful in keeping the openers quiet, but the fast bowlers fell short of expectations. In the second over, Vikramjit slammed two boundaries off Wiese before hitting two massive sixes off Ben Shikongo, first smashing a short ball over midwicket and then launching a ball in the slot to the same area. Vikramjit and O’Dowd cautiously played out Erasmus, survived the powerplay, and were running far ahead of the needed rate, but Scholtz made the crucial breakthrough when he removed Vikramjit in the ninth over.
A mini collapse, but Netherlands make it
It made no difference because O’Dowd and de Leede had the Netherlands in complete control of the chase; they only needed 30 off 38 balls.
Pretty simple, wouldn’t you say? Not exactly.
The second-wicket stand was broken by an outstanding stroke of fielding from Erasmus, with O’Dowd falling for a run-a-ball 35. JJ Smit, a left-arm quick, struck Tom Cooper and Ackermann out consecutively in the 16th over. A full ball from Frylinck was chipped by Scott Edwards to Loftie-Eaton at cover in the 17th over. And in the space of 18 balls, Netherlands has lost four wickets for ten runs.
At this point, the necessary rate increased to just beyond six, and Wiese and Smit bowled a few overs in which de Leede and Pringle could only manage singles. The pressure was relieved by a four from de Leede off the first ball of the last over, bowled by Wiese, and the victory was secured by a scrambling two off the third delivery.