Six-for Dutt spearheads a Dutch revival

Aryan Dutt with the Player of the Match award after his six wicket day. (CAN)
Aryan Dutt with the Player of the Match award after his six wicket day. (CAN)

A career-best – and Dutch ODI record – haul of six for 34 by 20-year-old off-spinner Aryan Dutt and a maiden half-century for opener Michael Levitt were the basis of a solid recovery by the Netherlands on Monday as they cruised to a seven-wicket victory over Namibia.

After the drubbing by Nepal two days earlier the Netherlands made two changes while keeping the balance of the side, Teja Nidamanuru coming in for Wesley Barresi and Roelof van der Merwe replacing Shariz Ahmad, while Namibia brought in JP Kotze for Jack Brassell.

Scott Edwards did the needful, calling correctly and offering Namibia first use of the pitch – or more accurately, offering his bowlers the same.

For the first eight overs Kotze and Niko Davin proceeded serenely despite fine initial spells from Viv Kingma and Kyle Klein, but then Davin, on 13, clipped Klein to Max O’Dowd at short midwicket, giving the young seamer his first international wicket.

And then Dutt, putting Saturday’s demolition behind him, simply took over.

He squeezed his second delivery past Michael van Lingen’s bat and front pad and into the back one, trapping him in front, and then the last of the over turned prodigiously to clip the top of Kotze’s off stump.

A fuller delivery had Jan Frylinck leg-before in his next, and in the one after that he again claimed two, skipper Gerhard Erasmus reverse-sweeping him for four and then chipping the following delivery straight to Sybrand Engelbrecht at mid-on, before Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton, making to cut off the back foot, heard an angled arm-ball take the base of his leg stump.

That gave Dutt his first five-wicket haul in ODIs, only the fourth Dutch player to achieve this, but now, with their side on 44 for six, JJ Smit and Zane Green began a rebuilding exercise, adding 30 runs in under eight overs and giving their side the faintest sniff of a respectable total.

Dutt, however, was not to be denied, Noah Croes taking a fine catch at slip to remove Green for 19, and the young off-spinner had six.

Hampered by a possible thigh strain, he had to leave the field, but when O’Dowd came into the attack Croes produced an even more spectacular grab to dismiss Smit for 26, and the Namibians were again in desperate trouble at 94 for eight.

Van der Merwe had turned in a largely impeccable spell at the other end but had remained wicketless, until in his final over Reuben Trumpelmann came down the pitch at him, was beaten by flight and drift, and was comfortably stumped by Edwards.

Dutt returned to get a brief opportunity to add to his historic tally, but it was Klein who came back at the other end to book-end the innings by claiming the last, bowling Bernard Scholtz all ends up, and Namibia were all out for 123.

They needed early wickets to create a degree of pressure, but O’Dowd quickly seized the initiative, twice hoisting Bernard Scholtz for six, and once he settled to the task Levitt began to keep pace with his partner, and at the end of the initial powerplay the Dutch were on 41 without loss.

Now Levitt pressed the accelerator, hitting Loftie-Eaton out of the attack by hammering him for 14 runs from four deliveries, but when Erasmus came on himself he secured the breakthrough, bowling O’Dwod round his legs as he made to sweep.

He collected another when he trapped Engelbrecht in front, and suddenly Scholtz was looking a lot more menacing at the other end.

Levitt, however, reached fifty, from 74 deliveries, in only his second ODI innings, and although he finally holed out to Frylinck on the long on boundary as he attempted a third six and departed for 57, now only 23 runs were needed.

That was scope enough for Bas de Leede to play an assured cameo, taking 18 off one Tangeni Lingamani over to level the scores and finish with an unbeaten 21,, and it was left to Edwards to nudge the single which gave the Dutch the points; Erasmus was far and away the pick of the bowlers with three for 23, but he had too little support.

Dutt was inevitably Player of the Match; few spells in the history of ODI cricket have been as devastating, and at last he received full reward for the consistency with which he has served the Dutch cause over the past two years.

Photo credit: CAN

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