South Africa 145-9 (Amla 43, A Malik 5-19) beat
Netherlands 139 (Myburgh 51) by six runs
ICC World Twenty20 Group One, Chittagong
In a tense ICC World Twenty20 Group One match in Chittagong, South Africa beat the Netherlands by six runs and avoided a tremendous upset by a very thin margin.
At the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Imran Tahir’s four for 21 helped bowl out the Dutch for 139 runs in 18.4 overs.
This was after Ahsan Malik took five for 19 in his four overs and didn’t let the Proteas score more than 145 for nine in their allotted 20 overs.
Chasing a not-too-challenging 146 runs for a great victory, Netherlands started in blazing fashion.
Opener Stephan Myburgh smacked his third T20I fifty off only 25 balls, as the 50-run mark came up in the fifth over. In total he scored 51 runs off 28 balls, with eight fours and two sixes, falling in the eighth over. In between, his partner Michael Swart (8) was dismissed in the sixth over.
Myburgh had become the highest six-hitter in the tournament, with 11 to his name, but his dismissal knocked back any momentum the Dutch had gathered. In fact their middle order were just too rushed and lost their nerve in the middle overs, also losing their way and with it the match in the end.
It was Tahir who did the job for his team, picking up Wesley Barresi (14), skipper Peter Borren (13), Tom Cooper (16) and Pieter Seelar (2) in a spell that saw the Associate nation lose six wickets for 43 runs in less than seven overs. Among those to fall in this interim was also Ben Cooper (5), dismissed by Dale Steyn (2-19).
Mudassar Bukhar smacked 11 runs off 12 balls, with one four, as things still ran a bit close for comfort, but the Proteas bowlers somehow managed to save the day for them and continue to stay afloat in this tournament.
Lonwabo Tsotsobe (1-46) and Beuran Hendricks (1-16) were the other wicket-takers.
Earlier, the Netherlands won the toss and elected to field first. South Africa got off to a horrible start with young Quinton de Kock (0) failing cheaply once again, dismissed in the very first over.
Hashim Amla and skipper Faf du Plessis then added 42 runs for the second wicket, with the former taking the lead in scoring runs. Amla took 23 runs off the third over, one of his quickest innings in this format, as he scored 43 runs off 22 balls hitting seven fours and one six.
He was dismissed in the fifth over, becoming the first victim of the evening for Malik. He now leads the wicket-takers’ chart in the tournament with 12 wickets in five matches.
Meanwhile, there was another 39-run partnership, this time for the third wicket, as AB de Villiers joined du Plessis in the middle.
In the ninth over, South Africa were cruising at nearly 10 runs an over, when the game changed completely.
Tom Cooper (1-22) provided the breakthrough as du Plessis was dismissed for 24 runs off 14 balls, with three fours and one six. At the other end, Logan van Beek (1-14) struck two overs later to remove AB de Villiers, who made run-a-ball 21 runs with one four.
It opened the floodgates for the Dutch as wickets started falling at regular intervals, with Malik returning to wreck the Proteas innings.
He picked up Albie Morkel (5) in the 13th over, Steyn (5) in the 17th over, and then inflicted a double blow in the 19th over, removing Hendricks (3) and big-hitting David Miller (17) in the space of five balls.
In-form JP Duminy (12) couldn’t get going today, coming in lower down the order, as he was accounted for by Timm van der Gugten (1-28). Swart (1-26) was the other wicket-taker.
On Saturday, Netherlands next take on New Zealand, while in the later game that evening, South Africa will play their final Super 10 game against England.
© Cricket World 2014