NETHERLANDS VS NZ, 1ST ODI
De Leede scored a 53-ball 64. © Getty
A defiant half-century from Bas de Leede at his home ground was not enough to deny New Zealand victory in the first T20I at Voorburg. The tourists comfortably defended a somewhat below-par total of 148-7 by 16 runs, bowling out the Dutch in the final over. De Leede was the last to fall for a 53-ball 64.
The match was the first men’s T20I to be played on a hybrid wicket, and the surface proved a difficult one for the visiting bats to get in on, the home side having the better of the early exchanges. Left arm spinners Tim Pringle and Clayton Floyd both struck in the powerplay as New Zealand struggled to 33-2. The Dutch continued to hold their catches as frustration took its toll on the Kiwi middle order. Martin Guptill was caught off Ryan Klein at deep backward square for 45 off 36 with the score at just 85-4 in the 14th.
James Neesham turned the momentum however, seeming comparatively comfortable with the wicket as the runs began to flow. Neesham targetted Logan van Beek in the 17th over, twice taking him for six, first driving high over long on and then putting him even further back over midwicket. Van Beek had his man on the next ball however, with Neesham falling to a spectacular catch on the midwicket rope from de Leede for 32 off 16.
Ish Sodhi ensured there was no respite for the hosts though, doing a number on Floyd’s figures in the penultimate over. He put away the final three balls for six, four and six over the leg side. Van Beek came back well in the final over, giving away just four runs and having Sodhi caught at deep backward square for a 10-ball 19, but on a low, slow deck the 42 runs off overs 17 and 19 came back to haunt the hosts.
A target of 148 would have anyway taken some getting on a true but sluggish track but the three early wickets immediately put the Dutch on the backfoot. New Zealand opted to open with pace in the powerplay and it quickly paid off as Blair Tickner struck with his first ball, getting Stephan Myburgh caught down leg. With the first ball of his next over, Tickner clean-bowled Max O’Dowd who jumped outside off looking to scoop and lost his footing.
De Leede, in at three, lost another partner five balls later as Tickner had Tom Cooper, edging a short ball behind to bring Scott Edwards to the crease. The Dutch skipper’s 20 off 16 was as much support as de Leede got through the rest of the innings.
After Edwards was brilliantly caught by Glenn Phillips at deep square off Santner, the lower order rapidly folded. Ben Sears took 3-22 as the hopes for the hosts receded. De Leede played a defiant hand, going to fifty flicking Tickner effortlessly over the square rope into a cheering crowd for six on the last ball of the 17th. With 39 still needed from the last three and Ryan Klein seeing the ball well the Dutch were still in with a shot, but the Kiwi seamers proved to good.
Klein’s cameo ended at 11 off 6, miscuing Sears to mid off. Shariz Ahmed was run out by a direct hit from Guptil in the next over, and the 23 needed off the last proved too much for the Dutch. Tickner returned and was hammered through cover by de Leede for a four first ball, but two balls later de Leede, looking to clear long on, got too much height and not enough distance, with Mitchell taking the catch to end a cracking innings and the match.
The two teams meet again tomorrow, the second T20I having been moved forward from Saturday owing to a flight change for New Zealand.