The Associate participation in the 2014 World Twenty20 ended three days ago after the Netherlands played their last game, defeating England by 45 runs in what has to be the Oranje’s most convincing international win over a full member. The only Associate in the Super 10 stage, the Netherlands had a roller-coaster of a tournament.
Even before the tournament began, controversy hit the Dutch in the form of the last-minute selection of Tom Cooper instead of Tim Gruitjers, following which the latter went public with a claim that he was coerced into pretending an injury. Moreover, in January, the team lost its ODI status.
However in the qualifying round, they did the unthinkable by stunning group favourites Ireland in a surreal game – requiring to chase an imposing 189 in 14.2 overs to leapfrog both Ireland and Zimbabwe, the Netherlands achieved the target in just 13.5 overs and zoomed into the Super 10.
In their first game of the the tournament proper, they were hit by Sri Lanka, who rolled them over for a record-low 39. But then they gave a massive scare to South Africa and then impressed against New Zealand before ending with the win over England, thus giving a good display overall.
In this post we look at the Netherlands’ five best international Twenty20 victories in chronological order:-
1) Beat England by 4 wickets, Lord’s 2009
This was the opening game of the second edition of the World Twenty20 and the Netherlands’ first T20I against a full member. At the home of cricket, the hosts were upset in a nail-biting contest. Dutch captain Jeroen Smits inserted England in and the decision soon looked like a mistake as openers Ravi Bopara (46) and Luke Wright (71) added 102 in only 11.2 overs. But Bopara’s dismissal helped pull things back for the Netherlands, even though Wright was looking in dangerous form. The middle order failed to build on the start, and the final total was kept to 162/5. Ryan ten Doeschate finished with 2/35, scalping both the openers.
The Dutch openers in contrast had a poor start as they slumped to 23/2. Tom de Grooth then belted 49 from 30 balls at No.4 to bring his side back in the game. He put on 50 in 4.5 overs with Peter Borren (30) for the fourth wicket, and when he was out, the requirement was 47 from 7 overs, which became 30 from 4 and then 17 from 2 even as more wickets fell and rain began to make its presence felt. Ten Doeschate (22*) kept going with sensible batting and finally seven were needed off the last over, to be bowled by Stuart Broad.
It got tighter towards the end – three singles off the first three balls, followed by a bye and another run which meant two needed off the last ball. Edgar Schiferli made contact and the ball was collected by Broad, who not only failed to hit the stumps but also allowed an overthrow as the Dutch scampered home. James Anderson bowled well, taking 3/23.
2) Beat Bangladesh by 1 wicket, The Hague 2012
Netherlands’ second T20I win over a Test nation was another last ball thriller, this being the second of a two-match series at home. After deciding to bat, Bangladesh crashed to 8/3 in the fourth over before Tamim Iqbal (50) and Mahmudullah (41) combined for a fourth wicket stand of 62. From 106/4 however, another collapse ensued as the Tigers folded for 128 in 20 overs. Sydney-born fast bowler Tim van der Gugten collected 3/18 while Michael Swart and Mudassar Bukhari took two wickets apiece, Swart’s scalps being two of the top three.
The home side had to overcome a spin-heavy visiting attack and they began well enough with an opening stand of 24 before two wickets in five balls dented their chances. Swart, whose off-spin had already created an impact earlier, continued to keep up with Bangladesh, this time with the bat. Opening the innings, he was the only one who stood up to the task as wickets fell around him. Things were looking bleak at 86/6 in the 16th over, but Swart (61 off 49 balls) kept going. He was the seventh to fall with the score at 112, with two overs still to go.
A tight penultimate over meant that ten were needed off the last over, to be bowled by Abdul Razzak, with two wickets standing. With 8 needed off three balls, van der Gugten struck a six before getting out leg before the next ball. No.11 Ahsan Jamil sealed the deal with a powerful boundary off the last ball as the Dutch levelled the series.
3) Beat Scotland by 8 wickets, Abu Dhabi 2013-14
This was a do-or-die match for both teams in the 2014 World T20 Qualifiers to decide the final spot available for the main event. After electing to bat, Scotland had the worst possible start as both their openers were out for ducks to have the score 1/2. But they fought back admirably, with Matt Machan (61) and Michael Leask adding 111 for the third wicket. They eventually ended at a competitive 147/6. Pace bowlers Mudassar Bukhari and Ahsan Jamil took two wickets apiece.
Neil Carter bowled Stephan Myburgh for a duck off the second ball of the chase, but that was the last moment of joy for the Scots. Ben Cooper (40 off 28) and Wesley Barresi (75* off 47) put on 69 for the second wicket before the latter put on an unbroken 80 with Michael Swart (30* off 28) for the third wicket. This solid batting display helped the Netherlands reach 149/2 in only 17.5 overs, enabling them to a place in the 2014 World Twenty20.
4) Beat Ireland by 6 wickets, Sylhet 2013-14
This game has to be the most astonishing Twenty20 international played thus far. In this final first round game of the 2014 World Twenty20, Ireland needed a win to progress into the Super 10, while a win for the Netherlands would have sent Zimbabwe through. For the Netherlands themselves to qualify, they had to win by a very big margin. And as it happened, they did it thanks to a stunning display of T20 batting.
Ireland piled up 189/4 after being put in, with the early platform built by captain William Porterfield (47 off 32) being capitalised by a marauding 101-run stand for the fourth wicket off just 45 balls between Andrew Poynter (57 off 38) and Kevin O’Brien (42* off 16). Ahsan Jamil bowled with good control to finish with 2/26.
To make the Super 10’s, the Netherlands had to get to the target in 14.2 overs or less. And from the word go, their batsmen went hell for leather. The Irishmen were left shell-shocked as captain Peter Borren and Stephan Myburgh blasted 91 for the opening wicket in only six overs. From that blitzing start, they never looked back. Myburgh made 63 from 29 balls, launching 4 fours and 7 sixes. There was a bit of wobble as the score went to 100/3, but Wesley Barresi (40* off 22) and Tom Cooper (45 off 15 with 6 sixes) made sure there was no further panic.
Barresi clouted Tim Murtagh for six to bringing up the victory. The final score read a mind-boggling 193/4 in 13.5 overs, the best ever run-rate in an innings of a completed T20I. The Dutch innings had 19 sixes while the entire match had 30 – both new T20I records. Myburgh was named man-of-the-match. As Porterfield rightly said later, there was nothing Ireland could do about it.
5) Beat England by 45 runs, Chittagong 2013-14
The Netherlands recorded their second T20I win over England in as many matches with a convincing triumph in their final game of the 2014 World T20. Both the teams were already out of contention for the semi-finals, but the Dutch played with great spirit to end their entertaining campaign on a high. After being put into bat, the Netherlands were on course for a good total at 84/1 in 11 overs. However, Stephan Myburgh’s dismissal at that point for 39 brought England back in the contest. Wesley Barresi top-scored with a solid 48 from No.3, but the final total of 133/5 (Stuart Broad 3/24) was much less than what the Dutch would have liked at the half-way mark.
But the total looked more than adequate as England crashed from 18/0 to 32/4 in the face of some brilliant bowling from the Dutch pace bowlers. The innings was a disaster throughout as only three men reached double figures and the highest was only 18. At the 10 over mark, the score read 42/5 and England were dying a slow death. They eventually were bowled out for a paltry 88 in 17.4 overs, their second lowest T20I total.
The final wicket was a run-out as the men in orange celebrated their resounding win. Mudassar Bukhari took 3/12 in a man-of-the-match performance while fellow pace bowler Logan van Beek chipped in with 3/9. Having squandered a winning position against South Africa a few days earlier, the Netherlands had the satisfaction of beating at least one full member nation.