Zimbabwe’s dream run seems to have hit a roadblock as the team suffered their second successive defeat in the super 12s, which all but knocks them out of the semi-final contention. Netherlands arrived in the game with nothing to lose and delivered a clinical performance against a buoyant Zimbabwe.
Overcast and gloomy, conditions were conducive for swing, with the Netherlands bowlers extracting great purchase from the surface. They had their opponents reeling at 20/3 by the end of the powerplay, a strong reply after the Zimbabwe skipper elected to bat first in tricky conditions. Sikandar Raza and Sean Williams steadied the ship and looked set to take their team to a competitive and defendable total but fell to some impeccable bowling by the Dutchmen. They picked up wickets at a consistent rate in the death overs and strangled the Zimbabwe batters to a below par score.
The opening batters needed to play with a mix of caution and attack, especially after seeing the movement on offer in the first few overs. Max O’Dowd and Tom Cooper played smartly, not taking risks after losing a quick wicket at the start. Max O’Dowd took his time to get in and eventually played some breath taking shots to guide his team closer to victory. Perhaps the inexperience and magnitude of the big stage played some part during the small stutter in their chase but Netherlands reached home in style as Bas de Leede hit the ball down the ground, taking them to their maiden victory in the super 12s this year.
Zimbabwe are all but ruled out of the top 2 spot in Group B and will be hurting that they couldn’t close out the key moments in what would’ve proved to be nothing short of a fairy tale run.