Netherlands registered a comprehensive five-wicket win over Zimbabwe at the Adelaide Oval to hamper its chances of qualifying for the semi-finals in the ongoing T20 World Cup. Max ODowd played a superb half-century knock to help his team register a clinical win over Zimbabwe. Paul van Meekeren bowled a fiery spell to claim three wickets to his name, restricting Zimbabwe to 117.
Chasing the target, the Netherlands openers tried to make most of the loose deliveries on offer as both Stephan Myburgh and Max ODowd were watchful in the beginning. Myburgh however lost his wicket in the fourth over to Blessing Muzarabani giving Zimbabwe their first wicket.
Tom Cooper and ODowd then stitched a crucial 73-run second-wicket partnership to push Zimbabwe out of the game. Cooper made the most of being promoted up the order and showed great intent with the bat. The batter smashed a six and a boundary in the last over of the powerplay to take his side to 35/1 after the first six overs.
ODowd also found his timing in the middle overs and scored boundaries at will. The duo took the team past the halfway mark without any hiccups. The Dutch team ended their 10-over mark at 67/1. The Netherlands seemed to be cruising to victory with both batters flourishing in the middle overs but Luke Jongwe returned in the 13th over to dismiss Cooper for 32(29).
Muzarabani dismissed ODowd in the 16th over for 52(47) to give a glimmer of hope to Zimbabwe. Ngarava also grabbed a wicket in the next over to bring back his team in the game but Bas de Leede ensured that Zimbabwe were knocked out of the match as he hit the winning runs in the 18th over.
Earlier, Netherland pacers dominated with the ball to restrict Zimbabwe to 117. Sikandar Raza’s late flourish helped Zimbabwe put up a respectable total as no batter could counter the Dutch bowlers. Opting to bat first, Zimbabwe got to a horrendous start losing Wesley Madhevere to pacer Paul van Meekeren in the second over. Madhevere played all over the line of the ball and saw his stumps rattled. He was dismissed for 1(5).
Zimbabwe kept losing wickets at regular intervals with only Sikandar Raza standing up to the Dutch bowlers, playing an aggressive knock of 40 from 24 balls. Max O’Dowd was declared the ‘Player of the Match’ for his match-winning knock.
Brief Score: Netherlands 120/5 (Max ODowd 52, Tom Cooper 32; Richard Ngarava 2/18) vs Zimbabwe 117 (Sikandar Raza 40, Sean Williams 28; Paul van Meekeren 3/29)