The Netherlands continued their unbeaten run atop the Group A table as neutral fan-favourites Singapore suffered a dramatic collapse—losing their last 9 wickets for 35 runs—to succumb to their first defeat of the tournament.
The Dutch were led by all-rounder Roelof van der Merwe, who finished with figures of 3-22 and chipped in with a quick-fire 19 to guide the Dutch home after they initially faltered in their chase of Singapore’s 101.
Earlier in the day, Rohan Rangarjan paid the price for a string of middling scores as Singapore opted for an extra spin bowling option in Aaahn Achar, who was named as an injury replacement for leg spinner Anantha Krishna just days ago. That pushed Tim David up to open with Surendran Chadramohan. And the two got Singapore off to a solid start with the men in crimson and black reaching 35/0 and the end of the Power Play.
Enter Roela. He bowled Tim David with a straighter one in the first ball after the Power Play as the Western Australian’s rough start to the tournament continued.
Surendran Chandramohan and swashbuckler Aritra Dutta then threatened to take the game away from the Dutch before the opener flat-batted Tim van der Gugten length ball to Colin Ackerman at mid off, who pulled off an impressive catch diving forward.
Manpreet Singh then lofted van der Merwe over extra cover for an elegant boundary before holing out to long off in an attempt to repeat the dose.
Singapore continued to lose wicket after wicket, failing to build any sort of meaningful partnership as the Dutch choked them with tight bowling and perhaps the best fielding performance of the tournament.
Navin Param, who walked in at 5 and saw partner after partner perish at the other end, decided to launch after playing himself in. Unfortunately, he could not clear a back-pedalling Scott Edwards with his patented hockey scoop, as the wicket keeper ran back to take one of the catches of tournament.
In reply, the Dutch were pegged back by two early wickets, being reduced to 16/2 after 3. This didn’t stop Max O’Dowd from playing his natural game as he took the attack to Singapore, stitching together a 39-run partnership with Colin Ackerman.
Just as it looked like the Dutch were attempting to finish things off before the rush hour traffic kicked in, O’Dowd charged at Aahan Achar only for the ball to spin past his outside edge as Manpreet Singh whipped the bails off.
Yet another brutal Janak Prakash yorker in the next over did for Ryan ten Doeschate before Pieter Seelaar chipped a Sidhant Singh full toss to Tim David at mid wicket.
At 65/5 in the 12th over, Singapore were in with a shout.
Enter Roela once again. Other than a back-hand flick from Tim David that narrowly missed the stumps (and would have left The Netherlands teetering at 78/6), he looked unperturbed throughout his cameo as he combined with Colin Ackerman to knock off the rest of the runs.
With games against PNG and Bermuda and the struggling Scotland to follow, Netherlands are in with a huge shout of topping the group and progressing straight to Australia.
Despite yet another collapse, Singapore can take comfort from yet another solid bowling display, as they get ready to square off against Kenya on Wednesday.