Home SPORTS Recent Match Report – Netherlands vs South Africa 15th Match 2023/24

Recent Match Report – Netherlands vs South Africa 15th Match 2023/24

Netherlands 245 for 8 (Edwards 78*, van der Merwe 29, Jansen 2-27) beat South Africa 207 (Miller 43, van Beek 3-60, van der Merwe 2-34, de Leede 2-36, van Meekeren 2-40) by 38 runs 43 overs a side

Scott Edwards’ rousing unbeaten half-century gave his bowlers belief and they shot for the stars, demolishing South Africa’s storied batting line-up to hand Netherlands a historic World Cup victory.

South Africa, having won both their games at the tournament prior to this by more than 100 runs, after posting totals of 428 and 311, had insisted in the lead-up that they had moved on from a group-stage defeat to Netherlands which ended their T20 World Cup campaign last year. Netherlands, meanwhile, had shown fleeting glances of what they might be capable of here with heavy yet spirited defeats to Pakistan and New Zealand. This match followed the script, until Edwards and Roelof van der Merwe – who shone with bat and ball – ripped it up to secure a 38-run win, Netherlands’ first against South Africa in ODIs.

Having slipped to 50 for 4 then lurched to 140 for 7, Netherlands piled on 105 runs from the last nine overs via Edwards, who finished on 78 not out off 69 deliveries, van der Merwe with 29 off 19 and Aryan Dutt with 23 off 9 to set a target of 246 that had seemed so unlikely when South Africa’s pace quartet of Kagiso Rabada, Marco Jansen, Gerald Coetzee and Lungi Ngidi set about their work.

Then van der Merwe took two wickets for three runs with his first eight balls in South Africa’s run chase as Colin Ackermann and Paul van Meekeren also snared early wickets to leave the overwhelming pre-match favourites reeling at 44 for 4.

Quinton de Kock attempted to paddle Ackermann, only to lob a catch to keeper Edwards via glove then shoulder, Temba Bavuma saw his stumps splattered by van der Merwe’s first ball, van Meekeren beat Aiden Markram’s defences with a shorter delivery which kept low and Rassie van der Dussen reverse swept van der Merwe straight to Dutt at backward point to put South Africa in all sorts of bother.

David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen looked like steadying things with a run-a-ball partnership of 45 but then Logan van Beek, back in the Netherlands side after missing the New Zealand clash with a hamstring injury, had Klaasen out spooning a short ball straight to Vikramjit Singh at fine leg. Miller hung around, but could only manage 43 from 52 balls as Netherlands kept chipping away at those around him and when he became the seventh wicket to fall, bowled by van Beek, the match looked over. So it proved, despite Keshav Maharaj and Ngidi putting on 41 runs for the 10th wicket, Maharaj edging van Beek to none other than captain Edwards to seal the result with one ball to spare.

After winning the toss in wet conditions which hung over Dharamsala to delay the start by two hours and reduce the match to 43 overs per side, South Africa predictably opted to bowl first to excellent effect, restricting Netherlands to 22 without loss before Rabada entered the attack in the seventh over and struck immediately. His first ball cramped Singh for space as he tried to pull and sent a top edge flying high for Klaasen to take an excellent diving catch after running a long way back from slip.

At the start of the next over, Jansen chimed in with the wicket of Max O’Dowd, caught behind by de Kock, although it took a South Africa review to affirm the dismissal.

By the end of the first powerplay, reduced to nine overs, Netherlands were 28 for 2 and the wickets continued to fall in a steady stream as South Africa’s seamers nailed their lengths and captain Bavuma used their reviews wisely, as evidenced again in Rabada’s lbw dismissal of Bas de Leede with a gem that nipped back off a length outside off stump and crashed into the pad just below the knee roll, ball-tracking revealing that the top of middle was in peril.

Coetzee, brought in to add pace at the expense of left-arm wristspinner Tabraiz Shamsi, removed Colin Ackermann, who dragged onto his stumps. Ngidi, forced to wait until his sixth over for his first wicket, had Sybrand Engelbrecht holing out to Jansen at deep fine leg, ending a 32-run stand with Teja Nidamanuru.

It remained Netherlands’ highest partnership of the match until Edwards and van der Merwe got things moving. Up to that point, Jansen’s fumble on the boundary at deep fine leg when Nidamanuru was on 14 was the only real blemish on South Africa’s performance and that in itself didn’t prove overly costly with Jansen trapping Nidamanuru for 20.

But it wasn’t long after that South Africa started hemorrhaging runs – and extras (an eye-watering 32 for the match) – and fielding errors crept in, allowing Netherlands to recover from the 82 for 5 they found themselves at when Edwards strode to the crease.

Van der Merwe helped himself to 15 runs off one Coetzee over, including six over deep third, Edwards having despatched Rabada over the fence at deep square leg a short time before as the pair put on 64 runs for the eighth wicket.

Ngidi did his best to put South Africa back on track with a slow bouncer that van der Merwe sent flying towards short third, de Kock stepping across to gather, but not before Netherlands had recovered to 204 for 8.

Dutt then teamed up with Edwards to continue Netherlands’ push, his unbeaten 23 off just nine balls comprising three sixes, over long on, deep midwicket and out of the ground beyond deep square, as the pair added an unbroken stand worth 41 and presented South Africa with a mountain to climb which proved as imposing as the Himalayas overlooking the stadium.

Valkerie Baynes is a general editor, women’s cricket, at ESPNcricinfo

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