About the Match
The second match between the Netherlands and Zimbabwe was much more competitive although the tourists won it pretty comfortably in the end. The series is in the bag for Zimbabwe, however, they will not want to lose even one match to the Netherlands and look to close this series out 3-0.
There was not too much more that the Netherlands batsmen could do as they racked up 291, a little over twice than what they managed in the first match, led by a fantastic opening partnership of 143. Netherlands will hope that Barresi and Myburgh get stuck into the opposition bowlers once again if they are to compete in the third match as well.
A measure of the impact these two had in the first match can be gleaned from the fact that Netherlands scored 143 in the first 22 overs and then only added another 148 in the remaining 28.
Cooper, Rippon and Van der Merwe all contributed but they all struggled to accelerate against the spinners and eventually ended just short of what would have been a match-winning total.
While there was a huge improvement in the batting department, the bowling left a lot to be desired. Snater and van Meekeren were both impressive in keeping the runs down however everyone else was ineffective and eased the pressure on the batsmen considerably.
It is difficult to build plans when the batsmen know that a poor delivery is always around the corner.
We were particularly disappointed to see a player of van der Merwe’s international experience keep on feeding boundary deliveries to the batsmen. Associate teams often struggle to put together a decent bowling attack on the park and that is currently the Netherlands chief predicament.
The first half of the match would have given Zimbabwe fans a lot to be scared about. They have been on the receiving end of some embarrassing defeats in the recent times and at 140 odd for no loss in just about 20 overs, all those memories could have come rushing back.
Heath Streak can be proud of his boys though in the manner with which they fought back. Zimbabwe picked broke the opening partnership and then used their spinners to excellent use. Yes, the Netherlands got a competitive score but the momentum had clearly swung the tourists way by the change of innings.
The Zimbabwe batsmen also approached the target with aggression and never let the rate get ahead of them. When the rain interruption came, Zimbabwe was sitting pretty with DLS on their side and eventually the corrected target was well within their reach.
The stars of this chase were Mire and Ervine. Both of them, along with Sean Williams have given the Zimbabwe middle order a real heft about it and fans would be hoping that they stay together for a long time to help Zimbabwe rise up in the rankings.
After a terrific opening match in which Mpofu and Chatara ripped through the Netherlands batting, the Zimbabwe pacers were low on energy in this match and that is something that the team will need to address ahead of the third match.
Pitch and Conditions
The third match of the series is going to be played at the Hague. This will be the first major ODI match being played there after 2011 and so it is difficult to predict how the pitch will behave. Early indications say that the pitch is a little on the slow side and will offer some lateral assistance to the seamers.
Rain is also expected to make an appearance once again.
Zimbabwe may have gotten a scare in the second match but they flexed their muscles at just the right time to come through. This third game might be a lot easier for them.
Back Zimbabwe to win