Netherlands began their second match of the Qualifiers, immediately finding themselves in hot water. Winning the toss and electing to bat, Jan Frylinck quickly dismissed Tobias Visee, caught behind, for 9(13). Visee was followed by Ben Cooper, dismissed caught and bowled by JJ Smit for 3(4). At 24-2, Max O’Dowd and skipper and Emerging Cricket Ambassador Pieter Seelar steered the ship to rotate the strike and push the RR towards 5/over. Seelar’s stint was ended by Frlinck, caught by Christi Viljoen having made 17(20).
With Seelar’s departure, Ryan ten Doeschate faced his first ball at the conclusion of the 10th over with his side on 48-3 and needing some serious vitality to post a competitive total. As is the modus operandi of ten Doeschate’s 340-some T20s, he proceeded to rotate the strike, putting away the odd poor delivery, until he lost his partner O’Dowd, who made 21(29). Three weeks after playing against each other for the County Championship in England, Roelof van der Merwe and ten Doeschate are playing in the global qualifiers as national teammates – putting on a partnership of 57 runs in which ten Doeschate reached 50 and van der Merwe faced just 9 balls, scoring 7. After van der Merwe was dismissed by Frylinck with 2 overs remaining, Scott Edwards joined ten Doeschate at the crease to put on another 17 runs between them, setting Namibia a target of 141 to chase.
With a relatively low total on the board and navigating slow pitches, Netherlands opened the bowling with the experienced van der Merwe, off the back of a good English summer with the ball. Despite a good start by JP Kotze and Nikolaas Davin, a breakthrough came for the Netherlands in the 3rd over, courtesy of Fred Klaassen; first dismissing Davin, Klaasen then got Kotze edged through to the keeper Edwards 3 balls later. With the Namibian scoreboard reading 20-2 in 3 overs, the Dutch bowlers and field were energized. Tight bowling from van der Gugten saw Netherlands next breakthrough dismissing Viljoen just before the conclusion of the 5th over, from which the Namibian batting lineup never really recovered, losing wickets at steady intervals after.
Paul van Meekeren dismissed Namibian dangerman JJ Smit for a paltry 5(3), followed up with the wicket of Erasmus by van der Merwe for 8(14). Netherlands pacer Brandon Glover took 3 wickets from the Namibian lower-middle order including Zane Green (6 off 14), Jan Frylinck (0 from 1) and Pikky Ya France (5 off 10). The Namibian lineup put together some resistance with an integral partnership of 24 bubbling between Craig Williams and Zhivago Groenewald until van Meekeren bowled Groenwald for 13. Van Meekeren then dismissed top-scoring Williams for 27(23), preventing Namibia from playing 20 overs and falling short of the target by 44 runs.
Netherlands became the first side to win their first two matches, thanks in large part to ten Doeschate’s experience and T20 situation-based specialism that accelerated late to score 59 off 40 balls, including 4 fours and a six, earning him player of the match. Paul van Meekeren’s bowling was once again critical for the Netherlands, taking his second 3fer of the tournament. The Dutch pace trio of van Meekeren, Klaassen and Glover have shown that while spin may have its place in this tournament, pace adapted to the ICCA’s pitches is fully capable of winning matches.
For Namibia, Jan Frylinck was key in making the Dutch top order struggle, indicating that despite the Netherlands eventual success, cracks in the batting lineup could be exposed. Had the Netherlands performed thusly against opponents with a more robust batting lineup, a target of 140 would have proven more challenging to defend.
Despite batting wobbles on the way to victory, the 2 from 2 tag will give the Netherlands a psychological boost going into their next game against Singapore on Tuesday. Namibia will face the comprehensive Scotland, looking to reverse their fortunes against a well-established side.