Netherlands stun West Indies with record-breaking tie and Van Beek’s Super Over at Qualifier

Logan van Beek of the Netherlands

Scott Edwards’ Dutch side pulled off perhaps the most extraordinary upset in the history of ODI cricket at the Takashinga Sports Club on Monday as they not only chased down the massive target set them by the West Indies, but then, after the match had ended in a tie, dominated the resulting Super Over.

It ended as a personal triumph for Player of the Match Logan van Beek, whose 14-ball 28 had completed an amazing, record-breaking Dutch run chase, before proceeding to plunder three sixes and three fours off Jason Holder’s Super Over and then claimed the wickets of Johnson Charles and Romario Shepherd to give his side the victory.

One could only feel for Shepherd, brought into the side for this game, who had the unique but unenviable distinction of becoming the first man to record a king pair in an ODI.

At the innings break it had seemed to most observers that the best the Dutch could hope for was an honourable defeat, after their bowlers had been despatched to all parts of the ground by a powerful West Indian batting performance.

Nicholas Pooran, who had struggled against the Dutch, and especially against Aryan Dutt, during the West Indies Super League series in Amstelveen last summer, exacted his revenge with an unbeaten 65-ball 104, including nine fours and six sixes, and his superb knock was built on the solid platform created by Brandon King and Charles, whose opening stand of 101 had come at a rate of almost six an over.

Saqib Zulfiqar, replacing Shariz Ahmad in the Dutch side, slowed things down a little by trapping King in front for 76 and then dismissing Sharmarh Brooks in similar fashion,  but Shai Hope contributed a brisk 47, adding 108 for the fourth wicket with Pooran.

Bas de Leede, who had suffered the most among the Dutch pace attack, bit back with the wickets of Hope and Jason Holder while Van Beek accounted for Shepherd as the West Indians lost three for 24 in less than three overs.

Pooran, however, whose fifty had come from 38 deliveries, needed only another 25 to bring up his third ODI century, but he was almost eclipsed by Keemo Paul’s 25-ball 46 not out, which saw the West Indies to a massive 374 for six, their third-highest ODI total ever.

232 of those runs had come in boundaries, 40 fours and 12 sixes, and they had piled on 118 runs from the last 10 overs, with Pooran and Paul adding 61 from the last five in an utterly ruthless display of hitting.

The Dutch bowling figures made sorry reading, Clayton Floyd’s none for 26 from six overs the most economical, and Saqib Zulfiqar’s two for 43 a worthy effort which prevented the damage from being even worse.

If the pundits were inclined to write them off at this point, Edwards’ men had other ideas.

Vikram Singh and Max O’Dowd got them away to a roistering start, and although both eventually fell to off-spinner Roston Chase for 37 and 36 respectively, they had done enough to ensure that the Dutch were ahead of the West Indies’ scoring rate for the first 20 overs.

Wesley Barresi and De Leede kept the scoreboard moving without launching into a full-scale attack, but once Akiel Hosein had removed both of them, Teja Nidamanuru and Edwards set about giving the West Indian bowlers the kind of pasting the Dutch had received.

Edwards set the tone by twice belting Hosein to the legside boundary and then taking two fours and a six off his next over, and Nidamanuru responded in kind, racing to a 40-ball half-century as the momentum started to build.

The required rate was now just over ten an over, but Edwards and Nidamanuru kept pace with it, the Dutch skipper bringing up his twelfth ODI fifty from just 33 balls.

Suddenly it seemed to be just about possible, Nidamanuru reaching his second ODI century from 68 deliveries with a succession of three boundaries off Alzarri Joseph, and 62 were now required from the final six overs.

Then, though, Edwards fell to Chase, hitting a return catch when he had made a 47-ball 67, adding 143 for the fifth wicket with Nidamanuru, and when Saqib was run out and Nidamanuru was caught by Chase at slip off Holder in the space of three deliveries the balance had once more swung back the West Indians’ way.

Nidamanuru’s 76-ball 111, with 11 fours and three sixes, had given his side a chance, but with 48 still needed from four overs and only three wickets remaining, a great deal remained to be done.

With two new batters at the crease Chase’s next over yielded just six runs, and 42 were required from three.

But Van Beek and Dutt were equal to the challenge, scurrying singles and twos and managing to extract 12 from Holder’s over, and then Van Beek went after Chase, smashing three fours and a six off the penultimate over to leave nine to get from Joseph’s last.

Van Beek hit the first ball for four and then took a single, leaving four needed from four, but Dutt tried to end it with one hit and was caught by Paul at long on.

Van Beek called Floyd through for a bye to get back on strike, and two runs off the second-last ball brought the scores level.

But then Holder flung himself to his right at mid-on to grasp the catch as Van Beek attempted to crack the winning run; it was, however, an effort which had taken his side into an historic Super Over.

Coach Ryan Cook and Edwards entrusted him with the task of setting the West Indies a new target and he took up where he had left off in the game itself, the 30 he smashed off Holder’s over giving Charles and Hope a near-impossible task.

Incredibly, he then took the ball himself, and after Charles had belted his first delivery over backward square for six, he restricted the batters to two singles before getting Charles caught by Saqib at deep midwicket and the unfortunate Shepherd snaffled by Edwards next ball.

It had been an extraordinary end to an extraordinary match, and arguably the most magnificent achievement in the Netherlands’ cricket history.

And it demonstrated once again the utter, short-sighted stupidity of the ICC’s decision to restrict the World Cup to 10 teams: this was a match, like Scotland’s last ball victory over Ireland last week, which should have been seen on the biggest stage of all.

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