Netherlands deny UAE in nail-biter

The UAE bowlers took the game to the last over, but didn't have enough to defend their total

The Netherlands needed everything but their last ball chasing a low total against UAE. Set only 112 to win, the Dutch struggled against a determined seam-attack and a turgid pitch to record their first win at a World Cup since 2016.

On a cold night in Geelong, CP Rizwan won the toss for UAE and chose to bat. On a pitch that had offered inconsistent pace and bounce in the earlier game, the Dutch bowlers exploited the conditions well, and conceded only 7 runs in the first 22 balls. Despite two lofty blows from Muhammed Waseem, the Emiratis could only manage 31 in the powerplay.

Roelof van der Merwe made the first breakthrough, Chirag Suri caught behind for 12. Despite Kashif Daud scoring a six off his second ball, the Dutch kept a lid on things and UAE were 59/1 at the halfway mark. Daud was bowled by Pringle, as the Emiratis failed to get beyond a run-a-ball in the middle overs.

But things got worse for UAE at the death. Muhammed Waseem was caught on the boundary in the 16th over, starting a collapse of 19/6 over 24 balls. Bas de Leede took three wickets in the 19th over to quash any hopes of the UAE accelerating. UAE stumbled to 111/8 in their 20 overs, containing only 6 boundaries, of which only two were after 7th over.

Sensing a chance to gain a Net Run Rate advantage, the Dutch attacked immediately, scoring 12 in the first over. Although Vikramjit Singh was bowled by Basil Hameed, Max O’Dowd frequently found the boundary against the UAE spinners. The Dutch raised a third of their target inside the first 4 overs.

But when the UAE returned to their seamers, the scoring ground to a halt. O’Dowd was bowled by Junaid Siddique for 23, after which no Dutch batter scored more runs, or with more than a 100-strike rate. Bas de Leede and Colin Ackermann both found the fence in the 8th over, but that would be the last time a boundary was scored in the match.

After 13 overs, the Dutch were 76/4 and still looked in control. But Siddique then provided the turning point, dismissing Tom Cooper and van der Merwe in three balls. Moments later, Tim Pringle was dropped by CP Rizwan in what might otherwise have been a decisive blow.

Pringle and Dutch captain Scott Edwards continued to battle against the UAE bowlers, as the required run rate climbed above 6 for the first time. Struggling for timing, the runs came mainly in singles, with the occasional two or three reliving some pressure. With 9 needed off 10 balls, Pringle was bowled by Zahoor Khan, offering UAE a glimpse of victory. However, Edwards, backed up by Logan van Beek, saw the Dutch over the line with a ball to spare. Bas de Leede won Player of the Match.

The Dutch sit 2nd in Group A after the first day, and will play Namibia on Tuesday afternoon. The UAE, 3rd, will tackle Sri Lanka later the same day.

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