By defeating the United States, the Netherlands have qualified for the T20 World Cup which will be played in Australia later this year. The Dutch kept the U.S. to 138 and chased down this total for the loss of only three wickets.
Bas de Leede the top scorer with 91 not out.
The Americans won the toss and opted to bat first. Initially that seemed to be a good choice; in Klaassen’s first over, Taylor hit three boundaries, all from his edge. Taylor and Patel kept scoring runs at a high pace.
Paul van Meekeren, back in the team for Aryan Dutt, was responsible for the first breakthrough when O'Dowd caught Taylor (26) at mid-wicket: 51/1.
Monank Patel (32 off 15), who hit several magnificent cover drives, hit a short ball from Shariz Ahmad into the hands of Van Beek at deep square leg: the score 68/2 in the eighth.
Bas de Leede took the third wicket in the ninth over: a wonderful diving catch off his own bowling. At 73/3 in 9 overs, the Netherlands had pulled back the run rate after the explosive start by two American openers
A direct hit by Teja Nidamanuru led to the important wicket of Aaron Jones (15) in the twelfth over (87/4).
Van Meekeren and Pringle saw close LBW shouts overturned. However, Shiva Kumar (run out) fell victim to a misunderstanding: 96/5 in the thirteenth.
Van Meekeren got the dangerous Malhotra with a bouncer. Malhotra (12) was late on the shot and offered a simple return catch to the Gloucestershire
There was a third run out in the seventeenth over. Edwards couldn't control the ball. Stevenson wanted to steel a quick bye but was sent back by Edwards and came short: 121/8.
In the nineteenth over there was even a fourth run out: a brilliant fielding action and ditto throw-in by Bas de Leede from cow corner meant the end of the dangerous Nisarg Patel (28).
It was to the credit of the Netherlands that no meaningful partnership was established after the opening.
Although Klaassen (0-40) had little luck today, he still had a surprise in store for the crowd: in the final over of Van Beek (1-20) he plucked an unlikely catch out of the sky with his left hand fielding at long on.
The U.S were 138 all out when a total of 190-plus score seemed realistic after the good start.
Sporadic misfields aside, the fielding and bowling of the Netherlands was excellent: Van Meekeren 2-22, De Leede 2-23, Shariz Ahmad 1-6 and four run outs.
The Netherlands had a difficult start when Stephan Myburgh offered a simple chance to the short extra cover on the second ball. Bas de Leede, after a dodgy two, soon hit two characteristic 'wristy' square drives for four.
Initially left arm seamer Netravalkar was economical. 12/1 after three overs was the result. Rusty Theron came into the attack and was greeted by O'Dowd with a lofted-on drive for four.
The pressure was almost palpable on both sides. Bas de Leede took reduced the pressure with a jewel of a six over extra cover. That blow made the Americans visibly nervous. Netravalkar went back to left arm over the wicket and spent two full minutes reshuffling his fielders.
One over later Rusty Theron was also hit for six by De Leede, this time over mid-wicket. Because of these shots, the Netherlands maintained the required run-rate of seven runs per over, with nine wickets in hand. Max O'Dowd hit a blistering four over backward point, followed by a short ball that was hit for the second six of the over by De Leede.
Rusty lived up to his name with an over of 22 runs: it was 53/1 after six overs.
Logically, a spinner was introduced into the attack. O'Dowd (16 out of 15) hit the first ball back into the hands of Nisarg Patel. Tom Cooper, the hero against Uganda, replaced Max. He seemed to time a flick perfectly, but the reality was that Malhotra held the catch between square leg and mid-wicket. It was 63/3 after eight overs.
Captain Scott Edwards now had the opportunity to write history together with De Leede. De Leede, who gave away a tiny chance in the covers, reached his 50 in the tenth over of 33 balls. That meant, helped by some cunning sweeps and reverse sweeps from Edwards, that the requested run rate dropped to well under six runs per over.
Finding the singles and punishing the bad balls was now sufficient. The Netherlands did indeed ‘cruise’ to victory with Edwards
(26 not out) playing his supporting role perfectly. De Leede came off the ground with a career-best 91 not out.
This win means that the Netherlands qualifies for the T20 World Cup that will be played in Australia later this year. But first, the final of the Qualifier against Zimbabwe is scheduled for this Sunday, July 17.
Super League Series on Dutch soil!
Matches you shouldn’t miss out on, so buy your tickets now! #Thesummerofcricket
Netherlands - West Indies
May 31, June 2 and 4, 2022 | VRA - Amstelveen
Netherlands - England
June 17, 19 and 22, 2022 | VRA - Amstelveen
Netherlands - Pakistan
August 16, 18 and 21, 2022 | VOC - Rotterdam