ICC World T20 Results: New Zealand Made to Sweat by Netherlands, With McCullum Half-Century Guiding the Kiwis Home
By Deepak Vikraman | March 29, 2014 11:40 PM EST
Netherlands proved in their previous match against South Africa they were a lot better than Sri Lanka made them look in their first game of Group 1 of the ICC World T20 2014.
Skipper Brendon McCullum was instrumental in New Zealand's win over the Netherlands in their ICC World T20 Group 1 game
After giving the Proteas a right-old scare, the Netherlands did the same to New Zealand as well, posting a real score of note before staying in the game right until the end as the Kiwis just about scraped through in Chittagong.
Put into bat first, the Dutch overcame a slow start to finish on 151 for four in their 20 overs, thanks to nice knocks from skipper Peter Borren (49) and Tom Cooper (40).
The Black Caps did not and could not blaze their way to the target, needing a composed half-century from their captain Brendon McCullum (65) to see them home by six wickets, with New Zealand finishing on 152 for four in 19 overs - their highest successful chase in the World T20.
New Zealand's victory, their second in the World T20, puts them level on points with Sri Lanka and South Africa, who can now go through to the semifinals if they beat England in the evening match, with Stuart Broad's men out of the tournament if they fall to the Proteas.
One might have expected New Zealand, needing to boost that net run rate as much as possible, to come out all guns blazing, but the pressure of a decent score and the pitch which was stopping a bit ended up in both openers starting a little circumspect.
Guptill's poor World T20 continued, with the opener getting a nick through to the keeper off Timm Van Der Gugten in the fourth over.
Kane Williamson, in the form of his life, and skipper Brendon McCullum looked to stabilise the innings, before looking to throw their bat at every ball later on, but after a solid partnership of 42 from 8.1 overs, Williamson (29, 22b, 5x4) did what Guptill did, edging one to Wesley Barresi with Logan Van Beek this time the wicket beneficiary.
That brought two of New Zealand's most experienced batsmen - McCullum and Ross Taylor - together, and the duo did not panic, picked up the singles - with MCullum becoming the first batsman in T20Is to get to 2000 runs in the process - while ensuring the required rate never soared up to an intolerable level.
Taylor (18, 11b, 1x4, 1x6), though, unnecessarily gave his wicket away in the 13th over, a ball after smashing a mammoth six, top-edging one to Barresi, who ran back to take a smart catch, off Van Der Gugten (three for 30).
New Zealand still had plenty of work to do, needing 61 from the final seven overs, with McCullum struggling a little in the middle for timing. The onus was also on Corey Anderson to prove his worth with the bat as well, as the Kiwi fans prayed for some of that massive six-hitting from the big left-hander.
Only 16 runs were taken from the next two overs, and that too thanks largely to a six from Brendon McCullum of Mudassar Bukhari, leaving New Zealand needing a should-really-get-it 45 from the final five overs.
McCullum (65, 45b, 4x4, 3x6), struggling with a back injury, started teeing-off with the target well in sight, reaching his half-century with a six, before holing out in the deep with New Zealand needing another 18 runs in 19 deliveries.
Anderson did not let his captain's wicket fluster him too much, though, tonking a couple to take his side to their second victory in three.
With no score to chase, there was no smash-every-ball-we-see start from the Netherlands, with Stephan Myburg, who played a quickfire innings against South Africa in the last game, getting stuck in the middle, while Michael Swart, at the other end, also could not take-off.
New Zealand, who has made a few changes to their lineup, strangled the openers, with Netherlands managing just 37 runs from their Powerplay overs, with the wicket of Myburg (16, 23b, 1x4, 1x6), in the fifth ball of the sixth over, only making the opening a little more desirable for the Kiwis.
No. 3 Wesley Barresi did not last too long, edging one to wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi off Mitchell McClenaghan, with Swart and skipper Peter Borren then putting on a nice little partnership of 39 from just 27 balls.
Borren was the man in control, with Swart happy to give the strike to his captain, before he fell in the first ball of the 13th over to Nathan McCullum.
However, the momentum was now with the Netherlands, as Borren (49, 35b, 7x4, 1x6) and ever-impressive Tom Cooper (40, 23b, 4x4, 2x6) allied for a wonderful 60-run partnership from just 35 deliveries to take their side to a total of real merit.
Borren, born in Christchurch, fell one run short of what would have been a deserved hundred, but this time he walked back to the pavilion knowing he and his team had done a pretty good job, with the final 101 runs coming from just 11 overs as Cooper again caught fire.
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