About the Match
Netherlands secured a convincing win against UAE in their first qualifying match and will now face Zimbabwe on Mar 19th at Sylhet. While the Dutch have two points in their kitty, Zimbabwe is yet to open their account as they had suffered a loss against Ireland in their first outing. This will be a crucial match especially for Zimbabwe if they want to keep their hopes alive whereas Netherlands will also be eager to continue on their winning momentum here.
It was a brilliant all-round effort against UAE that earned them a victory in the opening qualifier; while Swart and Gugten provided the early breaks, Cooper took 2 crucial wickets in the 11th over that put the pressure back on the opponents. Jamil’s 3-16 was the most economical spell and together, the bowlers restricted UAE to 151 runs that the batsmen ensured to chase successfully. Stephan Myburgh has been in good form and it continued today as he posted 55 off just 36 balls that saw him smash 7 boundaries and a couple of sixes on the way; his partnership with Swart yielded a 69-run opening stand, which was then strengthened by the all-round performance of Cooper who scored 34 runs and Barresi’s 24 off 21 deliveries. It was a focused approach by the players that kept them on the right track and led to their victory; the team has a good mix of all-rounders and a tight bowling unit that boasts of consistent performances. However, they need to tread cautiously against Zimbabwe, which is hungry for a win here.
Though the batsmen showed spirited efforts, they struggled against the Irish spinners and easily gave away their wickets trying to go for the big runs; while openers Masakadza and Sikandar Raza got off to a good start, it was the captain Brendan Taylor’s 59 off 46 balls that built the foundation. However, the rest of the batting line-up faltered in these conditions and they ended with 163 to defend. Though it was a good total and the bowlers maintained the pressure on the opponents, the Irish found some loopholes and took advantage of them to snatch away the game. Panyangara was the leading wicket-taker with 4 wickets while Chatara and Williams took a wicket each but they couldn’t contain the Irish from reaching the target; the team needs to pull up its socks and fight harder; use their tremendous experience to their advantage if they want to win both the remaining matches and keep their campaign alive.
Zimbabwe might have started the tournament on the back foot but they have good resources that can help them bounce back; Netherlands on the other hand has the psychological advantage with their win in the first match and will only try to bolster its chances of making it through. While the contest will be fought hard by both sides, Zimbabwe looks ready to make a comeback with a win here.
Zimbabwe, 1.44 @ Bet365