Dutch Six Feast Sends Them Into the Main Draw

Published: 22nd March 2014 08:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd March 2014 08:38 AM   |  A+A-

Netherlands_AP

In the most dram­atic fashion—even bizarre —the Netherlands progressed to the main draw. Requiring an im­­probable 190 in 14.2 overs ag­­ainst Ireland, they manag­e­d to surpass the equation in 13.5 overs, stalking the hopes of both Zimbabwe and Iri­­s­­h.

It was a further validation of the indispensability of the associate nation in a global event. Cricket needs them, for more reasons than one, for its base expansion and global game projection, that at a time when the ICC is deliberating on the possible reduction of their numbers so as not to dilute the competence-level of the event.

The backdrop to their World Cup wasn’t any convincing. It was disastrous in fact. For, post the surprise heist over England in the 2009 World Cup, they have do­ne trifle little to suffuse opti­mism. They lost all six ga­mes in the 2011 ODI World C­up. Consequently, their OD­I status, too, was revoked in February this year.

It only got worse, as Zimbabwe clung onto a thriller to jolt their main-draw aspiration. They seemed headed for further humiliation as Ireland clobbered 189 in 20 overs. It seemed beyond their reach, before they riposted as magically as one could imagine. There are few such parallels in the game.

Powering them to the ma­i­n draw was Stephan Mybu­r­gh, the South African-born all-rounder, who struck 63 off only 29 balls, the second fastest half-century in T20 int­ernationals.  Like Steph­e­n, most of them are from di­verse backgrounds. Wicketkeeper Wesley Barresi is So­uth African by birth, Tom Co­oper is a New South Wels­h­man, opener Michael Swart w­as bred in Perth and has pla­yed competitive cricket for Western Australia. Muda­s­sar Bukhari was born in Pa­­k­­i­stan, and hence it’s not su­­r­prising that he chose to bowl fast.

But the differences in roots and nationalities hardly matter for them. “Dealing with it (diversity) is not a probl­em, we are all representing Ho­­lland. Everyone knows ea­­ch other pretty well. We enjoy having peo­p­le from different places and different cultures,” observed skipper Peter Borren.

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