In-form opener Max O’Dowd slammed a fine half century after a clinical show by the pace bowlers as Netherlands beat Zimbabwe by five wickets for their first win in the Super 12 stage of the ongoing T20 World Cup here on Wednesday.
The Netherlands chased down the small target of 118 with two overs to spare with O’Dowd hitting 52 from 47 balls, reaching 120 for 5 to collect their first points — two — though they are already out of the tournament.
Zimababwe are also virtually out of the tournament after Wednesday’s loss.
Paul van Meekeren (3/29) led the Dutch’s disciplined pace bowling show after Zimbabwe opted to bat, while Brandon Glover, Logan van Beek and Bas de Leede also returned with two wickets apiece to skittle out the African side for 117 in 19.2 overs.
In their must-win match, Sikandar Raza was the lone bright spot for Zimbabwe in an otherwise sloppy batting display by the team as the star all-rounder smashed a 24-ball 40 (3x4, 3x6) to take them past the 100-run mark.
But the target of 118 proved way below par as the Dutch cantered home in 18 overs en route to their first win of the Super-12 stage.
The ‘Orange Army’ will face South Africa in their last match on Sunday.
Zimbabwe, who had a stunning win over Pakistan earlier in the tournament, next face tournament favourites India in their last match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.
Netherlands came up with a solid and steady start with the long-haired O’Dowd steering their ship.
At the half-way mark, they were 67/1 as O’Dowd brilliantly held the innings together.
O’Dowd started to break loose and took on Luke Jongwe with two boundaries in a row to complete his 11th fifty, and fourth in a World Cup.
Needing nine runs from 30 balls, the win was delayed as Netherlands committed a bit of harakiri near the finishing line, losing O’Dowd and skipper Scott Edwards (5) in the space of nine balls.
In the end, de Leede slammed two boundaries in his run-a-ball 12 not out to seal the win.
Earlier, Zimbabwe batters, barring Raza, showed complete lack of application.
Only two Zimbabwe batters reached double-digit figures and they consumed 66 dot balls, summing up their plight in their must-win match.
Wickets kept on falling around Raza as he looked like batting for a different team, with supreme control and confidence.
Pacer Brandon Glover (4-1-29-2) troubled the Zimbabwe batters early on, extracting swing from the Adelaide Oval as he gave a twin blow inside the Powerplay by dismissing skipper Craig Ervine (3) and Regis Chakbva (5) in successive overs.
The top-three Wessly Madhevere (1), Ervine (3) and Chakabva (5) failed to get going and managed 20 runs in Powerplay.
Reeling at 20/3, Raza straightaway got going with his swivel shots to counter-attack the Dutch bowlers.
He bisected the field at ease with his elegant drives and looked in total control in a fine 48-run partnership off 35 balls with Sean Williams.
Just when Zimbabwe were trying to build a partnership and get back some momentum, Van Meekeren triggered yet another collapse by dismissing Williams (28 of 23 balls).
Van Meekeren (4-0-29-3) was the top-wicket-taker for the Dutch pace attack who showed a disciplined approach with Logan van Beek (2.2-0-17-2) and Bas de Leede (4-0-14-2) also returning with two wickets each.
De Leede took the prized-scalp of Raza who looked to tear the Dutch attack apart as the batter mis-timed a good length ball.
Fred Klaassen, who returned with 1/17, took a well-judged running catch at the boundary to end Raza’s entertainment.
Zimbabwe batting: Wessly Madhevere b van Meekeren 1 Craig Ervine c Edwards b Glover 3 Regis Chakabva lbw b Glover 5 Sean Williams c O’Dowd b van Meekeren 28 Sikandar Raza c Klaassen b de Leede 40 Milton Shumba c Myburgh b van Beek 2 Ryan Burl b van Meekeren 2 Luke Jongwe c van Beek b de Leede 6 Richard Ngarava c Myburgh b Klaassen 9 Tendai Chatara not out 6 Blessing Muzarabani c Glover b van Beek 1 Extras: (LB-3 W-11) 14
Total: (All out in 19.2 overs) 117
Fall of wickets: 1/9 2/14 3/20 4/68 5/77 6/92 7/98 8/100 9/111 10/117
Netherlands bowling: Fred Klaassen 4-0-17-1, Paul van Meekeren 4-0-29-3, Brandon Glover 4-1-29-2, Logan van Beek 2.2-0-17-2, Bas de Leede 4-0-14-2, Roelof van der Merwe 1-0-8-0.
Netherlands batting: Stephan Myburgh c Burl b Muzarabani 8 Max O’Dowd c Shumba b Muzarabani 52 Tom Cooper c Madhevere b Jongwe 32 Colin Ackermann c Jongwe b Ngarava 1 Bas de Leede not out 12 Scott Edwards c Chakabva b Ngarava 5 Roelof van der Merwe not out 0 Extras: (LB-5 NB-1 W-4) 10
Total: 120 (For 5 wickets in 18 overs)
Fall of wickets: 1/17 2/90 3/91 4/109 5/116
Zimbabwe bowling: Tendai Chatara 4-0-22-0, Richard Ngarava 4-0-18-2, Blessing Muzarabani 4-0-23-2, Sean Williams 3-0-21-0, Sikandar Raza 1-0-6-0, Luke Jongwe 2-0-25-1.