Miller's fifty helps South Africa overcome Netherlands scare - Cricket News | Cricket Updates | Match Report

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Saturday, June 8, 2024

Miller's fifty helps South Africa overcome Netherlands scare

 David Miller hit an unbeaten 59

David Miller hit an unbeaten 59 © AFP

David Miller's unbeaten half-century helped South Africa avoid a scare against Netherlands in the low-scoring thriller at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York. Having limited Netherlands to 103/9 courtesy Ottneil Baartman's four-fer, South Africa stuttered early in the chase. However, a 65-run stand between Miller and Tristan Stubbs ensured that South Africa clinched their second win of the tournament.

The difference: Middle overs

From being reduced to 12 for 4 in the powerplay to securing a win with seven balls to spare, it all boiled down to the middle phase in South Africa's batting innings where David Miller and Tristan Stubbs bailed the side out with a half-century partnership. Netherlands too had given their innings a sense of semblance in the middle period, but the two teams were separated by 13 runs and three wickets during this period.

At the toss: Aiden Markram won the toss and elected to field. Both teams came unchanged into the contest.

Netherlands

Powerplay: Jansen's brilliance rips apart the top order

NED: 20/3 (RR: 3.33; 1x4s, 0x6s)

South Africa asserted their dominance early on with the moving ball. A good deal of credit goes to the fielders who forced the captain to take a review for a caught behind in the first over even when the bowler, Marco Jansen, wasn't convinced. It led to the dismissal of Michael Levitt and the start of Netherlands' worries. The moving ball troubled Vikramjit Singh as well before Jansen eventually had him cleaned up. As the number of plays and misses rose, the Dutch batters also panicked and attempted to change the lengths by stepping out, and in a moment of harakiri, Max O'Dowd slashed at an away moving delivery and Jansen took a fine diving catch at slips.

Middle overs: Netherlands look to push, but kept in check

NED: 46/3 (RR: 5.11; 1x4s, 1x6s)

South Africa struck early after the Powerplay as Anrich Nortje's bouncer sent back Bas de Leede. Scott Edwards and Sybrand Engelbrecht attempted to counter-attack and the latter even reverse-swept Kagiso Rabada for a six. However, the promising partnership was cut short by Adrian Markram's fine effort to run out Edwards. Despite picking up their scoring rate, Netherlands remained on the backfoot.

Death overs: Baartman 4-fer limits counter-attack

NED: 37/4 (RR: 7.40; 4x4s, 1x6s)

Logan van Beek and Engelbretch took the attack to the South African bowlers in the death overs, putting on a handy 54-run stand in 44 balls. It promised a late flourish but Ottneil Baartman's slower balls in the last over proved effective as he picked the last three wickets to bundle out Netherlands to a below-par total.

South Africa

Powerplay: Kingma, van Beek dent SA early in chase

SA: 16/4 (RR: 2.67; 0x4s, 0x6s)

Led by a disciplined bowling and fielding performance, South Africa were put on the backfoot in the run chase. Vivian Kingma and Logan van Beek struck as South Africa were reduced to their worst Powerplay performance in T20Is. A mix-up led to Quinton de Kock's run out off the first ball, Reeza Hendricks was cleaned up with an angling in delivery that straightened after pitching, Markram edged a delivery down the leg to the 'keeper and Heinrich Klaasen pulled to backward square leg.

Middle overs: Miller, Stubbs revive chase

SA: 59/0 (RR: 6.55; 3x4s, 2x6s)

Led by a half-century stand between David Miller and Tristan Stubbs, South Africa were able to resurrect the run-chase. After a fairly slow start to their respective innings, the duo started picking up the pace and by the end of the phase, brought the required rate to less than run-a-ball. It took South Africa 50 balls into their run chase to find their first boundary. Even as the slow outfield and a tricky pitch made boundary-scoring difficult, the duo effectively used the wind to their advantage and also ran hard between the wickets to give the innings a much-needed impetus, especially past the halfway stage.

Death overs: Netherlands fight back but Miller takes SA over the line

SA: 31/2 in 3.5 overs (RR: 8.86; 1x4s, 3x6s)

Paul van Meekeran started out the final period with a maiden over against David Miller, the third of the innings - the most played by South Africa in T20s. It made the climax more exciting than it seemed for a while. It put pressure on Stubbs who was forced to hit against the breeze and was caught at deep mid wicket. Soon enough, Marco Jansen was also cleaned up and the pressure started to reverse as the Netherlands bowlers kept challenging the batters to play against the breeze. However, Miller clubbed Bas de Leede for two sixes and a four in the 19th over to complete the chase.

Brief Scores: Netherlands 103/9 in 20 overs (Sybrand Engelbrecht 40, Logan van Beek 23; Ottneil Baartman 4-11, Anrich Nortje 2-19) lost to South Africa 106/6 in 18.5 overs (David Miller 59*, Tristan Stubbs 33; Vivian Kingma 2-12, Logan van Beek 2-21) by 4 wickets

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