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|RE Van Der Merwe||37||26||3||1||142.31|
|Bas de Leede||6||12||0||0||50.00|
|RE Van Der Merwe||4.0||0||24||2||6.00|
|Paul Van Meekeren||4.0||0||33||1||8.25|
The first match of the Netherlands Tri-Nation T20 series got off to an exciting start as Ireland almost managed to pull off a miraculous win. In the end, though, the Netherlands had just enough runs to be able to withstand the late onslaught and end up victorious. There is less than a day between matches and the two teams will be locked into battle once again. The short turnaround time does not give any time to the two teams to make any significant changes and the emphasis will have to be on execution.
Can Ireland stem its spate of poor T20 results or will the Netherlands continue to dominate them in this form of the game?
We had to wait until the very last second before we knew the final playing eleven for the Netherlands. As things turned out, their experienced players on county duty could not make it to the match, making the victory even more creditable.
Remember now that the Netherlands is playing against a test nation and to beat them should be considered an upset. The hosts actually lost the toss and were put into bat. We are sure that they would have chosen to field themselves had they won the toss but batting first was not a bad thing at all.
It allowed the Netherlands batsmen to bat without any pressure and build up to a decent total. A fast start provided by Visee and O’Dowd was squandered away as the Netherlands slipped to 52 for the loss of 4 wickets in the seventh over.
Intelligent and conservative batting by Seelaar and de Leede helped the Netherlands reach 144. The score was about 15 runs short of par but never the less gave them something to bowl at.
While the batting looks weak for the upcoming match, we would want the Netherlands to stick with the same side and allow its players some time to settle down. Cooper and O’Dowd showed enough form to be considered front-runners to get a big score while Visee will be tasked with taking the game to the opposition.
Things look much better on the bowling front as the Netherlands put in an exceptional performance. Led by the skipper, each and every one of the bowlers put in a disciplined performance that promises better things in the future.
Seelar took three wickets, Snater took 2 on debut, and van Meekeren was very economical eventually delivering pinpoint yorkers at the death. The Netherlands does not have the depth in its squad that some of the other teams have but it has certainly come prepared to fight.
We think that the team should try and replicate the same template of batting first, getting a decent total, and then trying to defend it in the next match as well.
Tobias Visee, Max O'Dowd, Ben Cooper, RE Van Der Merwe, Bas de Leede, Pieter Seelaar, Sikander Zulfiqar, Scott Edwards, Shane Snater, Fred Klaassen, Paul Van Meekeren.
Having been promoted to the status of a test playing nation comes with plenty of responsibilities. While Ireland managed to play a creditable match against Pakistan on test debut, this loss to the Netherlands in the opening fixture of the T20 will rankle.
In fact, if it were not for Simi Singh's heroics which made the game extremely close, Ireland was at risk of being humiliated by a member of their former associate brethren. T20 has continued to be a struggle for Ireland and the lack of young players coming through the system is not helping either.
We cannot expect the same players who have failed to adapt to T20 cricket for their careers to suddenly become adept at the game. So what can they do overnight to change things around?
Ireland has to look back at the game and see where they lost the match tactically. The bowlers did a decent job and had the Netherlands in trouble. Easy singles from there on in and playing a waiting game allowed the Netherlands back into the game.
Ireland must recognize that the Netherlands has a weak batting lineup and go for the kill. McCarthy, Simi Singh, Dockrell, and Thompson were all very disciplined but lacked the killer instinct. All things considered, Ireland and the Netherlands seem closely matched in bowling strength with Ireland just shading it in our opinion.
The real debacle for Ireland was its batting. A complete collapse of the top-order left Ireland reeling at 63 for 7 in the 14th over. That Simi Singh was able to bring Ireland within four runs of victory is remarkable.
Ireland was not chasing a huge total for it to panic and neither was the opposition bowling extraordinary. It was just a case of poor planning, failing to read the situation, and playing according to pre-determined ideas.
Ireland must ask itself if these are the best T0 players it has in its system right now. Apart from Stirling, Thompson, and maybe Kevin O’Brien, everyone else seems to be very uncomfortable in this format. A shift of the batting order to push up the players in form is recommended.
Ireland must try to forget this horror performance and start afresh in the second T20.
SR Thompson, PR Stirling, WTS Porterfield, GC Wilson, Kevin O'Brien, J Shannon, Stuart Poynter, Simi Singh, George Dockrell, Barry McCarthy, WB Rankin.
The team winning the toss is likely to field first
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
The pitch at Rotterdam was flat and a little bit slow. There were no real demons in the surface which allowed for the batsmen to get set and take full toll. A similar surface is expected for the second T20. We are hopeful of seeing bigger scores now that the players have had some experience of playing on the surface.
Intermittent showers have been predicted for match day. We are hopeful, though, that the rain will stay away for long enough that a full T20 game can be played out.
The Netherlands have now beaten Ireland in four out of the last five T20 matches that they have played. In fact, all the victories have come in the last four matches between the sides. The first match of this T20 Tri-Series also showed that Ireland is just not able to come to grips with the shortest format of the game.
We are going to continue to back the home team in this one.
Back the Netherlands to win.