After a determined win over South Africa, and with some assistance from Pakistan and India, the Netherlands finished 4th in their Super 12s group of the T20 World Cup. In doing so, they have confirmed their place at the 2024 T20 World Cup, hosted by the USA and the West Indies.
To pull off an unlikely 4th place finish, the Dutch needed near everything to go their way in the final two rounds of Group 2 fixtures. That started positively with a battling win over Zimbabwe to give them their first win of the Super 12s stage. Although Pakistan beat South Africa to maintain their two-point advantage over the Dutch, India’s DLS win over Bangladesh kept the Dutch’s slim hopes alive.
To reach the top four, the Dutch needed everything to go their way on the final day of group stage play. First, a win over tournament dark-horses South Africa was imperative. Next required Pakistan to beat Bangladesh, save for an unlikely 160-run win for Bangladesh. Finally, India would need to defeat Zimbabwe in Melbourne to stop the African nation claiming 4th place for themselves.
And they day got off to the perfect start, with the Dutch defeating South Africa by 13 runs. In doing so, the Dutch eliminated the Proteas, who only four days ago were top of the group, and the Netherlands last.
With South Africa out, the Dutch had opened the door for Pakistan or Bangladesh to make the semi-finals, with the two Asian sides going head-to-head in a de facto quarter final. But the Oranje had a favourite in this fight, since Pakistan had a far superior Net Run Rate, a Bangladesh win by less than 160 runs would have left the Dutch behind Pakistan on the tiebreaker, resulting in a 5th place finish.
But the Bangladeshis only managed 127 batting first, and Pakistan duly returned the favour to the Dutch, winning by five-wickets to secure their semi-final berth and maintain 4th for the Oranje.
One game to go, Zimbabwe vs India: Zimbabwe needed a win to secure 4th place for themselves, whilst an India win would give thefinal qualification berth to the Netherlands. For a few moments, Zimbabwe threatened to run India close, before Suryakumar Yadav slogged India to an imposing total of 186. Zimbabwe never got back into the game and lost by 71 runs, resulting in qualification for the Dutch.
The Netherlands are one of twelve teams to have secured qualification to the 2024 event, and the second associate after hosts USA. Meanwhile, full members Ireland and Zimbabwe will return to the qualifiers, having failed to finish in the top 4 of their Super 12s group themselves. With the World Cup expanding to 20 teams for 2024, there are 8 further qualification berths remaining, which will be decided in regional tournaments after the demise of the global qualifiers.
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