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David Miller Guides South Africa To Four-Wicket Victory Over Netherlands

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David Miller made a mind-over-matter fifty on a tough pitch as South Africa survived some anxious moments to beat their bogey team Netherlands by four wickets in the T20 World Cup on Saturday. This was South Africa’s second consecutive win as they had defeated Sri Lanka by six wickets in their opening Group D match. After SA elected to bowl, pacer Ottneil Baartman registered his best bowling figures of 4 for 11 as South Africa produced a fine bowling effort to restrict Netherlands to 103 for nine. Despite some early hiccups, Miller (59 not out off 51) played a gem of an innings to guide South Africa home with a ball to spare. It was a torrid start to the run chase for South Africa as they lost Quinton de Kock in the first delivery via a run out. It came after a terrible mix-up with Reeza Hendricks.

Hendricks too didn’t last long as he was castled by Logan van Beek in the next over.

If that was not enough, skipper Aiden Markram nicked a Vivian Kingma delivery to Scott Edwards behind the stumps in the next over.

The situation turned worse for South Africa when Henrich Klaasen was caught at deep backward square-leg by Tim Pringle off Kingma as SA slumped to 12 for 4 in the fifth over.

When the going was tough, experienced Miller and young gun Tristan Stubbs forged a crucial 65-run fifth-wicket partnership to keep South Africa in the race.

The duo played to the occasion and mostly tried to negotiate the bowlers, while Miller picked up a few boundaries and a six in between to keep the asking rate in check.

Despite losing wickets at the early stages, South Africa had the wherewithal to overwhelm the paltry target as Miller and Stubbs played according to the situation, without taking too many risks.

Stubbs and then Marco Jansen departed in quick succession but Miller hammered Bas de Leede for two sixes and a four in the final over to apply finishing touches to the game.

Earlier, Baartman returned with impressive figures, while Jansen (2/20) and Anrich Nortje (2/19) picked up two wickets apiece.

South Africa made a bright start, getting the first breakthrough in the third ball of the innings.

Jansen induced an inside edge from Michael Levitt, which wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock picked up even as the bowler and umpire failed to realise the snick. De Kock instantly went for the review and was successful.

It could have been two down for Netherlands in the third over. Vikramjit Singh’s outside edge off a short delivery from Jansen was snaffled by De Kock but the bowler had overstepped by a long way.

The Dutch batters found it difficult to negotiate South African bowlers on the tricky New York pitch as they kept losing wickets.

Baartman registered his name in the wickets column when he dismissed Max O’Dowd but the credit should go to Jansen who took a one-handed blinder at first slip.

Vikramjit failed to cash in on the reprieve as he soon departed in the next over with Jansen disturbing his timbers.

De Leede too found it difficult to handle the uneven bounce of the pitch as he ballooned one to Miller at point from a back of a length delivery from Nortje.

Netherlands skipper Edwards showed some early aggression, scooping Nortje for a six but his SA counterpart Markram found him short of the crease with a direct hit at the non-striker’s end.

It was raining wickets for South Africa as Nortje dismissed Teja Nidamanuru in the same over as the batter spooned one to Klaasen at deep third man.

Sybrand Engelbrecht (40 off 45) and Van Beek then shared 54 runs for the seventh wicket to bring some respectability to Netherlands total.

But once Engelbrecht and Tim Pringle departed in the final over, the writing was on the wall for Netherlands as they could only muster a below-par total.

 David Miller made a mind-over-matter fifty on a tough pitch as South Africa survived some anxious moments to beat their bogey team Netherlands by four wickets in the T20 World Cup.    

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