Netherlands keep hopes alive with win over Canada
The Netherlands have kept their chances of progression to the playoffs alive with a six wicket win over Canada at Goldenacre. The Dutch chased down 173 in 17.3 overs, powered by Stephan Myburgh's 67 from just 30 balls.
Ruvindu Gunasekera had the Dutch on the back foot initially after the Canadians had been invited to bat, driving the scoring as he and Hiral Patel took 56 runs off the powerplay. Too much short bowling in the opening overs saw the Canadians off to a flying start, and despite losing Patel to the first of three comical run outs on the first ball of the 7th Gunasekera went on to bring up his fifty off just 44 balls.
Gunasekera's dismissal in the 8th over, caught on the boundary Bukhari off Michael Swart, brought a mini-collapse, Kumar edging a Rippon wrong-un to Myburgh at point and Dhindsa charging Swart only to be stumped off a leg side wide.
Rizwan Cheema made good use of a reprieve on the rope off Borren, smashing four sixes in an 18-ball 28, and Hamza Tariq picked up where he left off, taking advantage of some wayward death bowling to clear the ropes five times on his way to 42 off 30, including a monstrous straight drive over Bukhari's head, the rope and the dugouts to be put down next to the official's tent 30 yards over the rope.
The good work of the middle overs was rather undone at the death, five sixes and 34 runs in total coming off the last two overs, despite another pair of risible run outs and Tariq falling caught and bowled to van der Gugten off the last ball.
With 173 the target Canada will have been pleased at the break, but their sunny disposition will have lasted little longer than an interlude of Edinburgh sunshine as Stephan Myburgh and Wesley Barresi went to town on the Canadian attack in the opening powerplay.
Myburgh helped a wayward bouncer from Jeremy Gordon over th rope at deep backward point first ball, and Barresi put away three consecutive fours off the same bowler as the first over went for 19. The pair hardly slowed from there, putting on 65 for the first wicket in just 28 balls. Barresi's departure in the 5th over barely slowed Myburgh, who put on another 44 with Ben Cooper in the next 26 balls, of which Cooper contributed just 3.
With 109 on the board after just 8 overs with nine wickets in hand, a trademark improbable net run rate adjustment for the Dutch seemed entirely on the cards. Myburgh's departure however, trapped LBW by Nitish Kumar on the second ball of the ninth - and first half decent- over, seemed to suck all the momentum out of the chase.
Despite a commanding position and the potentially crucial role of net run rate in the group, the Netherlands seemed content to sedately finish off the game. Swart was sent out at four despite his struggling for fluency thus far this tournament, and the next five overs saw just one boundary as the run rate was pulled back under ten an over.
The result was nonetheless never in doubt, and Swart eventually found his eye to guide the side home in reasonably quick time with a 31 ball 34, but by the time Roelof van der Merwe finished things off with a cover drive for four in the 18th over the potential gains in net run rate had largely evaporated - the last sixty runs coming at little better than a run a ball.
With five teams all within a point of each other going into the final day, and plenty of weather about, it is almost certain that net run rate will influence the final rankings in some fashion, and very possibly determine who wins the group and who goes home. Despite a comprehensive win over Canada then, the Dutch may still come to view this match as a missed opportunity.