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T20 WC 2022, Gr 2, NED v ZIM: Van Meekeren's 3-29, O'Dowd's 52 push Zimbabwe to brink of elimination

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Super 12, Group 2, Zimbabwe vs Netherlands: Paul van Meekeren’s 3/29, Brandon Glover-Bas de Leede’s combined 4/43 and Max O’Dowd-Tom Cooper’s stand of 73 runs are top performances. Zimbabwe lose to the Netherlands to be virtually knocked out of the race for the semis

ICC Men's T20 WC 2022, Super 12, Group 2, Netherlands v Zimbabwe_ Paul van Meekeren's 3-29 helps Netherlands beat Zimbabwe_Walking Wicket (Source_ ©Sarah Reed_Getty Images)
Van Meekeren's 3-29 helps Netherlands beat Zimbabwe (Source: ©Sarah Reed/Getty)

Brief Scores: Zimbabwe 117 (Raza 40, Van Meekeren 3/29,D e Leede 2/14) lost to Netherlands 120/5 (O’Dowd 52, Cooper 32, Ngarava 2/18) by 5 wickets

Player of the Match: Max O’Dowd - 52 (47)

Zimbabwe, who were coming off a mixed tournament so far in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 where they have beaten Pakistan in a thriller and lost by the slenderest of margins to Bangladesh, came into the match against the Netherlands as favourites. The Netherlands, on the other hand, came into this game after having lost all their three games so far in the competition. The 34th game of T20 World Cup 2022 was played at the Adelaide Oval in Adelaide, which on Wednesday hosted its first game of this year’s mega event.

Before this match, Zimbabwe had won 3 and lost 1 in 4 T20I games against the Netherlands.

Putting behind three straight losses in the tournament, Netherlands came back strongly, putting up an all-round show to blank Zimbabwe. With the ball, they restricted Zimbabwe to a below-par total and then put up a strong batting display to beat the opponents. However, Zimbabwe didn’t go down without a fight. They made the Netherlands work hard for each run and took the game till the 18th over.

Netherlands bowlers make early inroads and restrict Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe skipper Craig Ervine won the toss and opted to bat first. Netherlands pacers were all over Zimbabwe top-order batters, restricting them to just 20 for the loss of 3 wickets in the first powerplay. Paul van Meekeren inflicted the first damage, getting Zimbabwe opener Wessly Madhevere bowled for 1. Brandon Glover then dismissed Zimbabwe captain Craig Ervine for 3, and Regis Chakabva for 5 to put Zimbabwe on the backfoot. Zimbabwe’s star batter Sikandar Raza played a counter-attacking innings of 24-ball 40 to resurrect the innings in the company of Sean Williams (28). But once Raza was dismissed in the 15th over with his side at 92/6, Zimbabwe’s innings folded for 117 in 19.2 overs.

Read More: T20 World Cup 2022, Gr 2, NED v PAK: Shadab's 3-22 hands Pak their first T20I win in Australia

Max O’Dowd leads the chase successfully

After losing opener Stephan Myburgh cheaply, Netherlands batted brilliantly, with second opener Max O’Dowd leading the chase in the company of Tom Cooper. The two batted sensibly, rotating the strike and hitting the odd boundaries in between to keep up with the required run rate. O’Dowd was dismissed in the 16th over with his side just 9 runs away from victory. He made a well-compiled 47-ball 52 which was laced with 8 fours and 1 six. Zimbabwe didn’t give any easy runs, and it was finally in the 18th over that the Netherlands got home to win the game by 5 wickets.

Let’s take a look at the top three performances from the game between Zimbabwe and Netherlands in ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022.