Rain washes the Dutch into the T20 final

Netherlands advance to the final thanks to a washout. (Photo credit: Cricket Netherlands on X)

Any hope Namibia might have had of squeezing into Tuesday’s tournament final was washed away at the Tribhuvan University ground on Sunday, with their match against the Netherlands nicely poised when the rain came down.

The Eagles had recovered from a perilous 35 for three to reach 98 for four with five overs remaining when the players were forced from the field, with Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton and Zane Green having laid the foundation for a total which might have had some prospect of putting the Dutch under pressure, even if overcoming their net run rate deficit seemed likely to be beyond them.

JP Kotze and Malan Kruger gave their side a decent start after Scott Edwards put them in, but Viv Kingma again bowled an impeccable initial spell, and had his reward when Kotze tried to pull him and feathered a catch to the Dutch skipper.

Jan Frylinck creamed a glorious boundary through the covers to get off the mark, but in the following over spooned the easiest of return catches to Timm van der Gugten, and when Kruger was bowled by Roelof van der Merwe’s first ball for an 18-ball 24 Namibia had lost three wickets in twelve balls.

JJ Smit struck Van der Merwe for a four and a six, but boundaries were otherwise at a premium, and drinks, as so often, claimed a wicket when three balls after the break Smit tried to hit Dutt over midwicket and could only find Noah Croes in the deep.

That brought Green in to join Loftie-Eaton and he cut his first delivery behind point for four; it was, however, Loftie-Eaton who went after Michael Levitt, and then struck Van der Gugten back over head for six as the weather closed in.

38 runs had come from 27 deliveries, but no further play was possible, and the point for the No result was sufficient to keep the Dutch at the top of the table, ready to face Nepal in the final on Tuesday.

Kingma was again the pick of the Dutch attack with one for 12 from his three overs, but Van der Gugten was not far behind with one for 18 and Levitt provided good support in the middle overs; Dutt and Van der Merwe again bowled better than their figures suggested.

So the stage is set, the Katmandu weather permitting, for an enthralling final.

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