Rath and Khans send the Dutch on voyage home
Bertus de Jong
A rapid 59 from Nizakat Khan and and impressive all-round display from Anshuman Rath sent the Netherlands crashing out of the Desert T20. Khan's combatitive innings set the platform for a daunting 183-run total, with Rath and Waqas Khan piling on at the death. The Netherlands never looked in the contest, stumbling out of the gate to 3-32 and eventually collapsing to 93 all out, Rath the principle architect of the collapse with support from Ehsan Khan.
Having won the toss and elected to bat, Nizakat Khan announced his belligerent intent immediately with three fours off the first three balls of the innings, and aided by some sloppy fielding that saw him dropped first off van der Merwe three balls later and then by van der Merwe off van der Gugten, Khan raced to his half century in just 26 balls.
The loss of partner Aizaz Khan, run out for 14, did little to slow Nizikat down as Hong Kong plundered 66 runs in the powerplay. Khan brought up his fifty with a four over point off van der Merwe on the first ball of the 8th, eventually falling victim to another mix up in the middle having made 59 off just 33 balls.
The Dutch managed to slow down the scoring somewhat in the middle overs, Max O'Dowd claiming the wicket of Babar Hayat - the only bowler to find such reward for the first 117 balls of the innings - and Michael Rippon's four overs went for just 20 runs.
But Anshuman Rath and Waqas Khan bided their time, punished anything wayward and kept the scoreboard ticking over before cutting loose at the death. Rath would perish looking to scoop van Meekeren on the antepenultimate ball of the innings having made a 26-ball 44, but by then the damage was well and truly done. The pair had put on 77 runs in 7 overs, the final three going for 44 runs as Hong Kong posted a daunting 183-4, Waqas finishing unbeaten on 33.
With the big-hitting Stephan Myburgh still seemingly benched, Peter Borren and Michael Rippon opened for the Dutch, but the chase was all but still-born. Rippon was trapped LBW by Nadeem Ahmed first ball and Borren was run out in the following over without scoring. Ben Cooper looked to revive the chase taking three boundaries of Ehsan Khan's first over, but he would not survive the powerplay either, Khan getting his revenge in the 6th over clean bowling Cooper on the sweep.
From there the Dutch fell spectacularly to pieces. Wesley Barresi skied Ehsan Nawaz to cover two overs later, van der Merwe followed him next over, and Anshuman Rath struck with his first two balls to remove Seelaar for 1 and Visée for a second duck.
Rath then did for van der Gugten in his next over to finish with figures of 3-6 in 2 overs, and Max O'Dowd lost his off stump two balls later to Nadeem Ahmed for 13 leaving last pair Paul van Meekeren and Ahsan Malik an implausible 121 runs to get from 47 balls.
The pair elected to go down swinging, putting together the Netherlands' best partnership of the match. Van Meekeren hit a pair of sixes and Malik cleared the ropes as well as the pair put on 29 in 3 overs, but it was not to last. Van Meekeren eventually holed out off Ehsan Khan for 18 with the Dutch only half-way to the total, all out for 92.
The defeat sends the Dutch crashing out of a tournament for which they were second-favourites, whilst Hong Kong keep their hopes of progression alive, needing only an emphatic Scottish win over Oman to seal a spot in the last four.
DESERT T20 TOURNAMENT
At Dubai International Cricket Stadium
HONG KONG 183/4 (20 overs; Nizakat Khan 59(33), Anshuman Rath 44(26), Waqas Khan 33*(25); MP O'Dowd 1-15)
NETHERLANDS 92/10 (15.3 overs; BN Cooper22(19), PA van Meekeren 18(11); Anshuman Rath 3-6, Ehsan Khan 2-17)
Hong Kong beat the Netherlands by 91 runs