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The Netherlands beat Zimbabwe by five wickets in yesterday’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 Super 12 match at the Adelaide Oval.

Zimbabwe won the toss and opted to bat first in the Group 2 encounter. However, they came up with an insipid batting effort and were bundled out for 117 in 19.2 overs. The Dutch chased down the total in 18 overs. It would be unfair to term the result an upset since the Netherlands had been promising such a performance and were, in fact, clinical in their approach with both bat and ball.

Zimbabwe never got going with the bat. Paul van Meekeren cleaned up Wesley Madhevere for 1 in the second over and it pretty much set the tone for the game. Zimbabwe skipper Craig Ervine (3) was next to go, top-edging a length ball from Brandon Glover. The pacer then trapped Regis Chakabva (5) leg-before after the batter was given two lives in the same over. Zimbabwe were 20/3 at the end of the powerplay.

Sikandar Raza (40 off 24) and Sean Williams (28 off 23) yet again tried to hold the innings together for their team. But once they perished, the lower order caved in without resistance. Zimbabwe’s batting woes on the day can be gauged from the fact that Raza and Williams were their only batters to reach double figures. For the Netherlands, Van Meekeren helped himself to three wickets while Glover, Logan van Beek and Bas de Leede got two each.

The Netherlands lost Stephan Myburgh (8) early in the chase as he sliced a catch to backward point off Blessing Muzarabani’s bowling. However, a second-wicket stand of 73 between Max O’Dowd (52 off 47) and Tom Cooper (32 off 29) firmly put the Dutch on the path for a famous win.

There was a mini-hiccup for the Netherlands as Cooper, Colin Ackermann (1), O’Dowd and skipper Scott Edwards (5) were all back in the dugout in the space of a few overs. Zimbabwe also strung together a period towards the end where a number of dot balls were bowled in succession. De Leede (12*), however, sealed a deserving victory for Netherlands, charging down the track and launching Williams for a boundary.

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There were plenty of good performances for the Netherlands with the ball. Van Meekeren claimed three, including the key wicket of Williams. De Leede picked up two, which featured the big one of Raza. Glover and Van Beek also impressed with a couple of scalps each.

With the bat, O’Dowd ensured victory for the Dutch with a fine knock. His sublime half-century included eight fours and a six, completely shutting Zimbabwe out of the contest. Cooper’s innings was also crucial in the context of the match.

O’Dowd was named the Player of the Match for his well-compiled fifty in a winning cause.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert

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