Cool Miller to the rescue as SA clinch tense win over Netherlands

cricket08 June 2024 18:09| © MWP
By:Neil Manthorp

David Miller spared the Proteas’ blushes with a cool, clinical and unbeaten 59 from 51 balls as they recovered from a shocking 12-4 to reach 106-6 and claim a tense victory by four-wickets with just seven balls to spare in their T20 World Cup Group ‘D’ match against the Netherlands at the Nassau County Stadium in Long Island, New York, on Saturday.

Miller was at his clinical, experienced best with three fours and four sixes including the winning runs.

Tristan Stubbs played beautifully for his 33 from 37 balls (1x4, 1x6) in a restorative partnership of 65 but unwisely heaved a short ball from Bas de Leede to midwicket with a tricky 29 required from 24 balls.

The Power Play was concluded with a barely credible score of 16-4 which included a passage of 11 consecutive dot balls and the first boundary of the innings did not come until the second ball of the ninth over when Miller drove Paul van Meekeren (4-1-13-0) over mid off.

Earlier, Ottneil Baartman claimed three wickets in the final over to finish with the remarkable analysis of 4-0-11-4 as South Africa restricted the Netherlands to what appeared to be an extremely modest 103-9.


But the run chase began catastrophically when Quinton de Kock was run out at the non-striker’s end without facing a ball in a schoolboy mix-up with Reeza Hendricks (3) who was clean bowled by Logan van Beek.

Aiden Markram (0) was caught down the legside glancing seamer Vivian Kingma (2-12) and Heinrich Klaasen (4) inexplicably pulled Kingma straight to the fielder at deep midwicket.

Former SA Under-19 batter Sybrand Engelbrecht had kept the Dutch innings afloat with a fighting 40 from 45 balls (2x4, 1x6) and added 54 with Van Beek (23) which took the Dutch innings from 48-6 to 102-7 at the start of the final over before two further wickets tumbled.

Jansen (2-20) struck with the third ball of the innings when Cape Town-born, 20-year-old Michael Levitt (0) inside-edged a drive into the gloves of De Kock who nonetheless needed a review to confirm the wicket.

Baartman had Max O’Dowd (2) sensationally caught, one-handed, by Jansen at slip while Vikramjit Singh (12) was bowled by Jansen having been given a life on seven when he edged a no-ball from the fast bowler to de Kock.

Anrich Nortje (4-0-19-2) was patently too fast for the Dutch batters with De Leede scratching his way to six from 16 balls before fending a short ball to Miller at backward point while Teja Nidamanuru suffered the ignominy of top-edging his first ball to Klaasen on the third boundary.

Netherlands skipper Scott Edwards (10) provided one of the few batting highlights with an extraordinary ‘reverse scoop’ against Nortje which flew over fine leg for six but opposite number, Markram, ran him out with diving, scrumhalf-style direct hit.

Engelbrecht’s brave innings came to end with a drive against Baartman to Jansen at cover and Baartman’s third came courtesy of Tim Pringle’s spliced pull shot to Markram at midwicket.

Both teams won their opening games with the Netherlands prevailing by six-wickets against Nepal in Dallas and South Africa beating Sri Lanka by the same margin in New York.

The Netherlands had beaten South Africa in their last two World Cup matches, in the last T20 World Cup in Adelaide, Australia and again at last year’s 50-over version in Dharamsala, India, and for long periods of a remarkable match looked like doing so again.

But Miller thought otherwise.

SOUTH AFRICA: Quinton de Kock (wkt), Reeza Hendricks, Aiden Markram (captain), Tristan Stubbs, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Ottniel Baartman.

NETHERLANDS: Michael Levitt, Max ODowd, Vikramjit Singh, Sybrand Engelbrecht, Scott Edwards (captain/wkt), Bas de Leede, Teja Nidamanuru, Logan van Beek, Tim Pringle, Paul van Meekeren, Vivian Kingma