Geelong, Oct 16: Captain Scott Edwards showed calmness and got the crucial winning run to help the Netherlands edge past UAE by three wickets in a low-scoring thriller match of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at Kardinia Oval, Geelong, on Sunday.
After brilliant spells from fast bowlers Bas de Leede, Fred Klaasen and left-arm spinner Tim Pringle restricted UAE to a lowly 111/8 in 20 overs, Netherlands were also kept under check as they lost wickets at regular intervals and didn’t score a boundary after the eighth over.
But Edwards hung around till the end and survived a run-out in the final over when six runs were needed off as many balls to get Netherlands home with a ball to spare and open their account in the Group A points table with two points.
Netherlands’ chase began with Vikramjit Singh bringing out delightful cuts through point on successive balls off Junaid Siddique in the opening over. In the next over, he was castled by Basil Hameed while going for an expansive slog-sweep.
Max O’Dowd hit a six and three fours in his 18-ball 23, before he was completely foxed by a ball which kept low and crashed into the middle-stump to give Siddique his first wicket of the match.
Though Bas de Leede and Colin Ackermann hanged around, UAE didn’t let them stay at the crease for long as they picked wickets at regular intervals. De Leede went for a drive off Karthik Meiyappan with skipper CP Rizwan taking a terrific low catch at cover.
Three overs later, Ackermann’s slog-sweep was pouched by square leg off Ayaan Afzal Khan. Siddique brought UAE back in the match by trapping Tom Cooper lbw and got a full yorker to hit the base of Roelof van der Merwe’s off-stump in the 14th over where he conceded just one run.
He could have made it three wickets in an over, if Rizwan hadn’t dropped a simple catch of Tim Pringle. Eventually, Pringle was cleaned up by an inswinging yorker from Zahoor Khan in the 19th over as the 27-run stand was broken. But Edwards, whose father was sitting in the stands, ensured that the Netherlands ended up on the winning side despite a gutsy late fightback from the UAE.
Brief Scores: UAE 111/8 in 20 overs (Muhammad Waseem 41; Bas de Leede 3/19, Fred Klaasen 2/13) lost to the Netherlands 112/7 in 19.5 overs (Max O’Dowd 23, Colin Ackermann 17; Junaid Siddique 3/24, Basil Hameed 1/7) by three wickets.