New Zealand 152-4 (B McCullum 65) beat
Netherlands 151-4 (Borren 49) by six wickets
ICC World Twenty20 2014 Group One, Chittagong
New Zealand maintained their hopes of reaching the ICC World Twenty20 semi-finals as they came through a nervous run chase to defeat The Netherlands by six wickets in Chittagong.
The Dutch, courtesy of impressive knocks from captain Peter Borren (49) and Tom Cooper (40 not out) set New Zealand a slightly under par yet still testing 152.
This was a total, which the Black Caps, despite certain hairy moments achieved with an over to spare thanks in no small part to Brendan McCullum’s battling 65 and an unbeaten 20 from Corey Anderson which saw them over the line.
The result means that the Netherlands' own very slim chances of reaching the semi-finals have now disappeared.
Put in to bat, the Netherlands showcased a greater sense of composure throughout than they had in earlier games, despite the initial power play over proving somewhat of a struggle.
Stephan Myburgh was unable to provide his customary rapid start and in the face of some tidy bowling he eventually perished to an excellent Martin Guptill catch in the sixth over with the score on just 34.
That catch though was as good as New Zealand’s fielding would get in an innings plagued by several dropped catches and missed run outs.
Wesley Barresi quickly joined Myburgh back in the pavilion, nicking behind off Mitchell McClenaghan, at which point there would have been significant worries of a Netherlands collapse.
Borren though, arrived to both steady the ship and inject much needed momentum, nonetheless he was significantly aided by two dropped catches in successive overs, with Nathan McCullum shelling a caught and bowled opportunity and Kyle Mills misjudging a catch the in the deep.
New Zealand did eventually earn another breakthrough with Michael Swart stumped off the reliable Nathan McCullum for 26. That only served to bring the excellent Tom Cooper to the crease and he together with Borren put on a quickfire 60 to transform the Dutch innings, the 15th over proving particularly profitable with 17 coming off it.
Borren eventually perished one short of a half century, a wicket which denied his side a strong finish, as new batsman Ben Cooper struggled to hand the strike to brother Tom which resulted in the final two overs bringing just 11 runs - arguably the difference between setting a decent score and an imposing one.
From the off New Zealand struggled for impetus; Guptill toiled throughout his brief stay before he fell victim to the lively Tim van der Gutgen for just nine off 15 balls.
Thankfully for them, Kane Williamson was finding things less taxing however he departed for 29 with New Zealand in a far from convincing position of 56 for 2 off 8.3 overs and with Brendon McCullum himself looking somewhat shy of his best.
An excellent running catch by keeper Barresi saw Ross Taylor fall a ball after hitting the first six of the innings as New Zealand continued to labour - at one stage they were left facing a difficult equation of 56 off 36.
The captain though, despite fighting a niggling back injury ensured that would be as tense as things got as he moved through the gears to take the required run rate to under a run a ball prior to his dismissal for 65 off 45 balls.
That was van der Gutgen’s third scalp however it was a wicket that came an over too late for the Netherlands and Anderson, who was also entering the contest short of touch guided his side home through some powerful blows.
New Zealand, following a challenging and beneficial workout, enter their final Super 10 match on Monday against Sri Lanka knowing a win will secure a spot in the last four, while the Netherlands despite an encouraging display now have only pride to play for when they face England on the same date.
© Cricket World 2014