Netherlands pip UAE by 3 wickets in low-scoring thriller

Netherlands’ lower-middle order held their nerves to eke out a three-wicket victory over United Arab Emirates with a ball to spare in a Round 1 group A match of the ICC T20 World Cup.

While UAE struggled to reach 111 for 8 in 20 overs, the total started looking menacing once the Netherlands were reduced to 76 for 6 by the 14th over before they gathered their bearings. It was Scott Edwards (16 not out) and Logan Van Beek (4 not out) who kept their cool in the final over bowled by medium pacer Zawar Farid as Netherlands scampered home for a single off the penultimate delivery of the match to start off on a winning note. It was Pakistan-born Junaid Siddique (3/24 in 4 overs), who dismissed Tom Cooper (8) and former South African-born IPL player Roelof van der Merwe in three balls to bring UAE back in the game.

But, Tim Pringle (15), son of former New Zealand seamer Chris, and Edwards added 27 runs in five overs to take the Netherlands team closer to victory.

Incidentally, neither Pringle nor Edwards hit a single boundary in their seventh wicket stand but the lack of scoreboard pressure allowed them to rotate the strike with mostly singles and occasional doubles. Earlier, when UAE batted, they could never really force the pace as Muhammad Waseem crawled to 41 off 47 balls. Deliveries worth more than 10 overs went in the account of dots as all the Netherlands bowlers were on the money.

Pacer Bas de Leede, whose father Tim had played the 1996 World Cup for the ‘Orange Brigade, was the pick of the bowlers with 3/19 in 3 overs while opening bowler Fred Klaassen (2/13) and Van der Merwe (1/19), with his slow left-arm orthodox, kept the total under check.

Brief Scores:
UAE 111/8 (Muhammad Waseem 41, Bas de Leede 3/19, Roelof van der Merwe 1/19).
Netherlands 112/7 (Scott Edwards 16, Tim Pringle 15, Junaid Siddique 3/24). PTI

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