Netherlands cap T20 World Cup qualification with win in final against Papua New Guinea
Seven-wicket victory at Dubai International Stadium marks memorable campaign for Dutch
Netherlands added gloss to their T20 World Cup qualifying campaign as they beat Papua New Guinea in the final at Dubai International Stadium on Saturday.
The final stages of the Qualifier had been low key in comparison to the serious business of attempting to seal a place at the main event in Australia next year.
However, the Netherlands were happy to prove they were the dominant side in the competition as the beat PNG by seven wickets on Saturday night.
Ben Cooper top scored with 41 off 33 balls, as the Dutch chased their target of 129 to win with six balls to spare.
Brandon Glover, the Dutch fast bowler, continued what he had started against the UAE earlier in the week. He had undermined the national team’s qualification chances as he took four wickets to set up victory in the play-off on Tuesday.
He took 3-24 this time around, to stunt the PNG middle-order, while left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe was miserly with 2-15 from his four overs.
The main reason PNG had something to bowl out was down to a last-over salvo by Jason Kila.
He took Paul van Meekeren, who was the most threatening bowler for the Netherlands in this competition, for 22 off the final over of the innings. That nudged PNG up to 128-8.
It proved to be short of a winning score, though, once Cooper had set the platform for the run-chase with clean striking at the top of the order for the Dutch.
Although he fell with victory still 45 runs off, the Dutch were never under threat, as Ryan ten Doeschate and Colin Ackermann marshalled the chase.
Ten Doeschate sealed the win in style as he hit the last ball of the penultimate over from Nosaina Pokana for six.
Even before the match started, the Dutch had been given a ringing endorsement from the side many expected to push them closest in this tournament.
The Netherlands had sealed their place in the final a day earlier with a comfortable win over Ireland.
After Ireland beat Namibia to claim third place, their captain Gary Wilson said he expects Netherlands to be well equipped to cause an impact in Australia in 12 months’ time.
“I think the Dutch are a very strong side,” Wilson said, after his side had beaten Namibia by 27 runs in Dubai.
“They have all bases covered. I think if I was to pick one side who will go well in Australia next year, I think they will go pretty well.
“They have guys who can bowl upwards of 85mph, which will be useful on Australian pitches, and Roelof van der Merwe is a very good left-arm spinner.
“I know they have a young leg-spinner [Philippe Boissevain] waiting in the wings as well, so they have most bases covered.
“And they are strong with the bat. But we will be there or thereabouts ourselves.”
Wilson said he was “satisfied” with his own side’s efforts in the UAE over recent weeks, chiefly because they had achieved their goal of making it to the World Cup.
He said the primary aim of the side had been to win the competition, but that inexperience had counted against them.
“A year to 18 months ago we were 18th, maybe even 19th in the world,” Wilson said.
“We have come a long way, but if you look at the history of Irish cricket in this tournament, traditionally we have been in the final almost every time.
“OK, we didn’t get to the final in 2015, but every time we have played in the UAE, I think I’m right in saying we’ve got to the final.
“I think we’ve come a fair way. We didn’t rock up here thinking it was going to be easy, or that we deserve this or we deserve that because we are a Test nation.”
Updated: November 2, 2019 11:16 PM