Cricket: Dutch positives aplenty despite New Zealand series loss

Stephan Myburgh leaves the pitch after his final cap. Photo: KNCBcricket via Twitter

When the Netherlands’ skipper Pieter Seelaar and Stephan Myburgh last left New Zealand, after failing to qualify for the 2015 One Day International World Cup, they returned home not knowing what the future held. Eight years later, they will leave these shores without a win, but with plenty to look back on and forward.

The last of three ODIs saw Martin Guptill (106) and Will Young (120) score centuries apiece and forge a 203-run partnership for the second-wicket to lead New Zealand’s charge towards a huge total.

Captain Tom Latham (23) and Doug Bracewell (22) applied the finishing touches as the hosts racked up a mammoth first innings score of 333 for 8. Fred Klaassen, Logan van Beek, Clayton Floyd and Aryan Dutt shared two wickets apiece in an attempt to wrestle back momentum.

In reply, Myburgh, playing in his last One-Day International for the Netherlands, played with typical aplomb as he coupled aggression and elegance in his stroke-making to put the New Zealand bowlers under pressure. He brought up his fourth ODI half-century in just 33-balls, his fastest in the format too, but after his dismissal, the wheels came off quickly as New Zealand bowlers asserted their dominance on a slow and weary track.

Michael Rippon (24) and Van Beek (32) played brief cameos and helped the side breach the 200-run mark but eventually went down by 115 runs. For the hosts, Matt Henry was the pick of the bowlers with returns of 4-36 to send off Ross Taylor memorably into retirement.

Regardless of what the scoreline suggests, the Dutch will look to draw on plenty of positives. The fast bowlers, Van Beek and Klaassen, consistently used the bounce on offer to great effect and not only did they pick wickets but also kept the runs in check. Van Beek finished as the leading wicket-taker of the series, with 7 wickets, while Klaassen bagged 5 wickets at an economy of 4.65.

Left-arm spinner Floyd bowled with impeccable control as he regularly beat edges of the batters. Bas de Leede bowled smartly to go along with his pressure-absorbing knocks with the bat alongside Vikramjit Singh, aged 19, who looks set to have a long career with the Netherlands moving forward. The duo batted with technical correctness, calmness and composure that belied their young age.

‘The scoreline suggests we got dominated but I do think that at some stages, we played some good cricket and gave the Blackcaps a good run for their money,’ Myburgh said after the match.


‘The Blackcaps were also missing a few players due but they showed literally why they are the No. 1 ranked ODI side in the world. For our youngsters to play against them, it’s a massive learning curve. The one thing we can really take out of it for our youngsters is to see how they converted runs into hundreds. Unfortunately for Holland, we don’t get to play a lot of games. The more we play, the easier it will be for us to score those hundreds.’

The Dutch, battle-hardened, will now host West Indies, England, New Zealand and Pakistan in what promises to be their biggest home summer in their cricketing history.

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