Despite the fact that the Dutch have already delivered numerous highlights at this tournament, their performance against Zimbabwe may have been close to their most complete one so far as they sailed to victory on Adelaide Oval.
When Zimbabwe was all out from 117 in their last over, Paul van Meekeren (3/29) and fellow seamer Bas de Leede (2/13) were the standout bowlers. Their run chase was a simple procession, and they easily reached the winning score.
The stalwarts of the chase, Max O’Dowd (52 off 47) and Tom Cooper (32 off 29), put up 73 runs for the second wicket to help the Netherlands easily secure their first victory of the Super 12 stage with two overs left.
The Netherlands opener O’Dowd has been one of the T20 World Cup’s most spectacular performers so far, with 213 runs from seven innings, the highest of any player.
Prior to Wednesday’s game, Cooper’s T20 World Cup performance had been in stark contrast; the veteran, an Australian native, had amassed just 40 runs from six innings. However, Cooper displayed his talent by scoring a crucial run at the top of the order while batting on a surface he would have had much of experience on when playing for the Australian domestic team South Australia.
Zimbabwe’s chances are over
The defeat eliminates Zimbabwe’s prospects of competing in the tournament’s semifinals, and Craig Ervine’s team must now recover before a challenging encounter against India in Melbourne on Sunday. Though they improved near the conclusion of the game, Zimbabwe’s performance on the field was incredibly disappointing.
They will be aware that their fate was in their own hands because they lost the chance to advance to the semifinals. They did manage to take a wicket early on thanks to Blessing Muzarabani continuing his strong form, but they lost their way and lacked focus in the middle overs. Richard Ngarava, Blessing Muzarabani, and Luke Jongwe each ended up with two wickets in the end, but their efforts were useless as they suffered an upsetting loss.
The Zimbabwean batsmen, who never got going and produced a subpar score on the board, are to blame for this defeat. None of the other players—aside from Sean Williams and Sikandar Raza—were able to reach double digits, which is extremely concerning for the team because their two mainstays are the only ones who are responsible for scoring runs.
With all of their fast bowlers among the wickets, the Dutch delivered a thorough bowling effort. Brandon Glover, Bas de Leede, and Logan van Beek each contributed two, while Paul van Meekeren claimed three. The batsmen finished the formalities after their effort kept their opponents’ total under 120.
The Dutch will have the opportunity to complete the tournament with a winning streak when they play South Africa in Adelaide on Sunday, even though they were already eliminated from semi-final contention going into Wednesday’s game.
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