Despite a wonderful all-round performance by Michael Rippon, New Zealand won the first One Day International against the Netherlands quite easily. The 30-year-old all-rounder became top scorer for the Netherlands with 67 runs. He then took 2-32 in eight overs, including the 'prize wicket' of Ross Taylor.
Beforehand, a Dutch stunt was not considered entirely impossible. After all, twelve New Zealand top players play in the lucrative IPL, including Kane Williamson, Tim Southee and Trent Boult. Still, a score of 300+ would be needed at the Bay Oval to stand a chance against the 2019 World Cup finalist.
Stephan Myburgh and Max O'Dowd opened the batting facing Kyle Jamieson and Matt Henry. Both showed some well-timed cover drives before O'Dowd was caught behind off his batting glove on the legside. Vikramjit Singh (19) made his ODI debut with four fours, until an uppercut ended up in the hands of the third man.
The Dutch middle order struggled with the serious pace of Tickner and Henry, who were bowling almost 140 km/h. After the departure of Scott Edwards and Bas de Leede, the Orange men were on 45/5 and in proverbial dire straits.
Michael Rippon and Pieter Seelaar fought back with a nice partnership of 80 for the sixth wicket; Rippon with a fine 67 and Seelaar (43) useful and gritty innings. Van Beek (14) and Boissevain (15) determined the Dutch score at 202. Debutant Blair Tickner took 4-50.
New Zealand innings
Van Beek and Klaassen had to try to put NZ under pressure with the new ball. Soon there was a success for Van Beek, who got Martin Guptill caught behind.
Defending 202 on run rate was obviously not an option. That is why the Dutch attacked, including bowling short balls with a deep backward square in the powerplay, in the hope that the batsmen would give away a catch chance. The tactics did not go to plan; a top edge from Young flew for six and the Kiwis hit boundaries off 50% of all short balls -- a predictable 'elephant's trap'.
Commentators Scott Styris and Grant Elliott were critical of this approach: according to the former internationals, back of a length and not giving the batsmen any room should have been the 'stock ball’.
However, the Dutch seamers were all over the place in this phase, with the exception of Klaassen. That caused problems for captain Seelaar who was now limited in his options and perhaps had to resort to spin sooner than planned. That happened in the thirteenth over. Seelaar (0-30 in 10) took responsibility himself with excellent spells. On the other side, Michael Rippon took over from Glover.
Apart from a near-chance at leg slip and a minimal run-out chance, no wickets fell at this stage. Henry Nicholls and Will Young quietly built a 162 run partnership for the second wicket.
In the 32nd over there was a success for left-arm spinner Rippon, who cleaned lefthander Nicholls with a googly. The bonus was that this meant Ross Taylor would spend some time in the middle. With an ODI average of 48, this 38-year-old Blackcap has had an impressive career.
Taylor seemed caught behind but was not given. The review proved the umpire right – an excellent decision. Still, Rippon (2-32 in 8) won the battle when he cleaned Taylor moments later with a beauty through the gate. Will Young just reached his first and well-deserved ODI century on the last ball of the innings. New Zealand won by seven wickets.
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