The Netherlands has not been able to win the first T20I against New Zealand. Brilliant fielding led to a seemingly gettable target (149) but the world class attack decided otherwise (132).
New Zealand won the toss and decided to bat. Michael Rippon, who played for the Netherlands until recently, was left out of the team. Stars like Guptill, Neesham and Santner had been selected.
With Tim Pringle and Clayton Floyd the Netherlands played two left-arm spinners. The latter bowled an excellent first over, conceding only a single. At the other end Logan van Beek, who plays as a professional in New Zealand in the European winter - bowled an equally good over. Pringle replaced his colleague Floyd. Finn hit him for six over long on, but holed out to Cooper at mid on the very next ball. Cooper controlled it after a juggling act. Having seen Guptill hit a six, Cleaver too tried something adventurous. However, his edge went up high in the air, giving Bas de Leede ample time to get under it.
Guptill and Mitchell visibly felt like filling their proverbial boots against - on paper at least - a weaker opponent. But the men in Orange made them work hard for their runs. Mitchell, who was in good knick recently, chose to play a big shot in the direction of long on that dismissed him: 61/3 in the eleventh over and a wicket for the young legspinner Shariz Ahmad.
The Dutch groundfielding and returns at this stage were outstanding. Guptill (45) thought he hit Ryan Klein for six over square leg, but he had overlooked Tim Pringle who took a comfortable catch: 85/4. Lefthander Jimmy Neesham immediately played a wonderful straight drive. His partner Phillips however became the second victim of Ahmad, who took a sharp catch off his own bowling. From a Dutch perspective, a score of 100/5 after sixteen overs was impressive.
The two lefthanders Neesham and Santner accelerated. Two sixes from Neesham (32 off 17) and a third in the making, so it seemed. But Bas de Leede timed his jump to perfection and took a spectacular catch on the mid wicket boundary: 122/6/17. The crowd did not have to wait long for the next sixes. Ish Sodhi (19 off 10) opened his shoulders and ruined Floyd’s fourth over. The end result of Van Beek’s final over, in which Nidamanuru took a fine catch to dismiss Sodhi, was that New Zealand had to defend a total of 148.
Myburgh handled a short-pitched delivery from Ferguson well, but was late on a Tickner bouncer and was caught behind. O’Dowd was struggling on the serious pace attack. Stay at the crease is one, but getting seven runs an over is a different matter. O’Dowd’s attempt to play a ramp shot led to a slide that cost him his wicket. Cooper, too, did not last long. It was 15/3 after four overs.
Bas de Leede and Scott Edwards did have an answer to the Kiwi attack. Edwards lofted Santner over long on for six whilst De Leede hit Sodhi for four through the covers. At 62/3 after ten overs, the Netherlands was in with a chance. De Leede and Edwards made 49 runs for the fourth wicket until Edwards - playing a sweep shot - was magnificently caught by Phillips.
Nidamanuru was late on a Sears bouncer and became Cleaver’s third victim behind the wicket. A nice little cameo from Ryan Klein (11 off six) was ended when he was caught at long on: 113/8. Shariz Ahmad became the victim of a direct hit when he tried to give De Leede the strike. De Leede was eventually caught in the final over for a monumental 66. A Dutch victory would have been possible if he had received a bit more support.
The Dutch played well. The second and last one will be on Friday afternoon at 5 PM at Voorburg CC.
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