Myburgh lights up Seddon Park, but Blackcaps win again

Dutch Netherlands
Netherland's Michael Rippon plays a shot watched by New Zealand's wicketkeeper Tom Latham during the first one-day international (ODI) cricket match between New Zealand and the Netherlands at the Bay Oval in Tauranga on March 29, 2022. (Photo by Michael Bradley / AFP) (Photo by MICHAEL BRADLEY/AFP via Getty Images)

New Zealand duly completed its three-nil victory over the Netherlands at Seddon Park, Hamilton on Monday, winning by 115 runs, maintaining its unbeaten Super League record and moving up to eighth place on the still-inchoate table.

The gap in quality and experience between the world’s highest-ranked ODI country and their Associate challengers was fully in evidence through most of the game, but there were again passages of play when the Dutch were genuinely competitive: although they did not create the havoc they had on Saturday, Fred Klaassen and Logan van Beek were again impressive with the new ball; the Blackcaps were briefly rocked back on their heels as Van Beek, Aryan Dutt and Clayton Floyd claimed four wickets for 14 runs in the space of twelve deliveries; and Steph Myburgh, in his final ODI innings, took the New Zealand attack by the scruff of the neck as he smashed a 43-ball 64 to put his side ahead of the game.

For the rest, however, the mature composure of Martin Guptill and Will Young, who laid the foundation the Blackcaps’ total of 333 for eight with a second-wicket stand of 203, and the superior incisiveness of the home side’s bowling were crucial factors in New Zealand’s comfortable victory.

Klaassen again secured an early breakthrough after Tom Latham had won the toss for the first time in the series and elected to bat, as Henry Nicholls was shown by a well-judged DRS review to have top-edged a bouncer to keeper Scott Edwards with the total on 12, but it would be nearly 34 overs before the Dutch had another success.

Guptill and Young played a few false strokes, but generally they were in complete command, picking off anything even slightly loose and running brilliantly between the wickets: Guptill was the first to three figures, his century coming off 119 deliveries and including eleven fours and two sixes.

Six balls later he, too, got a top edge to Klaassen and departed for 106, paving the way for the emotional, triumphal entry of Ross Taylor, playing his final match for the country he has served with such distinction.

Young soon emulated Guptill by reaching his hundred with a six, off Michael Rippon this time, having taken just 102 deliveries and including five fours and three sixes, and then there was a moment from the Ross Taylor songbook as he dismissed Van Beek over deep midwicket.

With nine overs left there were dreams of a remarkable final innings from the Great Man, but it was not to be: Van Beek had his revenge, deceiving him with a slower ball and taking a skied return catch.

In the next over Dutt was rewarded for some excellent off-spin with the wicket of Young, trapped in front for 120, and when Floyd removed Colin de Grandhomme and Michael Bracewell in the next, the latter very smartly stumped by Edwards, New Zealand were suddenly 267 for six and a total well in excess of 300 had receded into the distance.

But Latham and Doug Bracewell – the latter superbly caught by De Leede at deep midwicket – followed by cameos from Ish Sodhi and Kyle Jamieson, were equal to the challenge, and a punishing 65 runs came from the final five overs as the Blackcaps piled on the agony.

Everybody’s bowling figures suffered, but the fact remained that the spinners Pieter Seelaar, Floyd (two for 41) and Dutt (two for 49) had done a pretty good containing job, and Klaassen and Van Beek had worked hard all day for figures of two for 62 and two for 58 respectively.

334, with its echoes of Bradman, was an imposing target, but from the moment Myburgh despatched Matt Henry’s first ball to the backward point boundary it was clear that the left-hander intended to treat it as a mere bagatelle.

Two more boundaries, straight and through cover point, followed, and with two more coming from Jamieson’s first over Myburgh had raced to 23 from just eleven deliveries.

Things steadied a little after that, but by the time Doug Bracewell came into the attack for the seventh over Myburgh had proceeded to 43 from 24, and the Dutch were on 47 without loss.

He had a chance of posting the Netherlands’ fastest-ever ODI fifty, but although he just missed that mark the onslaught continued unabated until he pulled De Grandhomme to deep square and departed for a magnificent, defiant 64.

Max O’Dowd, mostly a silent witness to the mayhem at the other end, was trapped in front by Doug Bracewell in the following over, and the Netherlands were 82 for two, still well ahead of the rate but with their fragile middle order now exposed.

Vikram Singh and Bas de Leede raised hopes of another stand like that they had produced on Saturday, but when Henry returned to get Singh leg-before for 25, Edwards fell to Jamieson for 9, and De Leede and Seelaar departed to successive deliveries from Henry the Dutch were 144 for six and the game was effectively over.

Rippon and Van Beek put up some resistance, adding 33 for the seventh wicket, and after Rippon was well caught by Michael Bracewell off Sodhi and departed for a 23-ball 24 Van Beek continued to defy the bowlers, twice hitting Sodhi for six and adding one off Michael Bracewell into the bargain.

But two balls later the off-spinner trapped him in front for 32, and only three more overs were required to finish off the innings with the total on 218.

Fittingly, it was Taylor who had the last word, catching Dutt off Henry, who finished with four for 36.

The next opponents for the Dutch will be the West Indies, followed by England and Pakistan, and it will be interesting to see whether the lessons from this demanding series, together with home advantage, enable Ryan Campbell’s men to compete for longer periods during this enormously important summer for Dutch cricket.


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