NED vs NZ: Mitchell Santner leads New Zealand to T20 series sweep over Netherlands
NED vs NZ: Mitchell Santner scored a career-high 77 runs off just 42 deliveries to lead his team to an easy victory over the Netherlands at Voorburg. The Blackcaps cruised home in just 14 overs thanks to the New Zealand captain’s promotion to three. The other outstanding batsman was Daryl Mitchell, who scored 51 off of 27 in a 123-run third-wicket stand. Despite Bas de Leede scoring his second consecutive half-century on a noticeably faster pitch, the Dutch were limited to just 147 for 7 thanks to a poor PowerPlay and some outstanding death bowling from New Zealand.
With just 147 on the board, a successful defence was never likely, but unlike the game the day before, the hosts did not assist themselves in the field with three receptions placed down in the chase. The tourists had the advantage in the PowerPlay early on, which put Netherlands at a disadvantage. Max O’Dowd inside edged onto the stumps in the opening over, and Blair Tickner had Vikram Singh Singh brilliantly caught on a drive by Santner coming across from mid off. As the field widened, the hosts only managed to score 37 for 2.
Soon after, Stephan Myburgh left. He was dropped by Neesham at deep midwicket off Santner on 24, but he only managed to ride his luck for the next delivery, holing out to deep square off Bracewell in the following over. Through the middle overs, De Leede and Tom Cooper drew the Dutch back into the contest. Cooper established the fifty-run partnership by scooping Neesham over fine leg and then uppercutting over gully while scoring primarily from behind the wicket.
Cooper drove Ish Sodhi through cover after pushing the hosts past the hundred-mark, but lofted the subsequent delivery toward deep extra cover. Moreover, Cooper sent back for 26 off 17 in the 14th over as Mitchell sprinted around from long off to capture the catch.
De Leede was joined by Scott Edrwads. But as the game entered its final stages, neither batter was able to produce many boundaries. Edwards and De Leede were unable to find any late acceleration, so Ben Sears bowled a brilliant 17th over, allowing only three runs. De Leede moved to fifty, driving Tickner sharply through cover for four in the penultimate over after finally afforded space to release his arms. The next over saw Edwards finally get one away as he reverse-scooped Sears for six over fine leg, but overall the New Zealanders did a great job of maintaining control of the innings.
The hosts’ 147/4 looked woefully inadequate given the flat, rather fast nature of the wicket. And the Dutch did not help themselves at the outset. Clayton Floyd’s miserly first over was undone in the following. Finn Allen hit the first ball, thrown low and full by Logan van Beek, for six. And Tim Pringle blasted the following one, drawn straight to deep square, from the rope.
The wickets did little to stop the scoring, with De Leede pinning Allen with his first ball. And Pringle making up for his earlier dismissal by removing Martin Guptill’s off stump. When Mitchell Santner moved up to position three, he more than justified the decision. By scoring fifty runs in just 29 balls, effectively putting the game to rest. Santner was already in trouble when Pringle dropped a swirling leading edge in the ninth over. That would have let him to have Santner caught and bowled on 43. The asking rate was less than one run per ball at 96/2 after 10 overs. And the hosts’ only option was to try to postpone what would eventually happen.
They didn’t wait very long. Santner saved once more on 56 after dropped over the rope at extra cover by Shariz Ahmad. But he failed to learn his lesson and kept searching for the rope. In the 13th, he discovered two more limits off van Beek, but there was insufficient area for a debut century. Instead, Mitchell seized the opportunity to reach a significant milestone, hitting Ryan Klien for back-to-back sixes down the ground. Before blasting the final pitch of the 14th over midwicket for four to secure his fifty and the game. With the victory, New Zealand ends their European tour with a perfect 11-0 record and seals the series 2-0.
Netherlands 147/4 in 20 overs (Bas de Leede 53*; M Bracewell 2-20) lost to New Zealand 149/2 in 14 overs (Mitchell Santner 77*, Daryl Mitchell 51*; Bas de Leede 1-13) by 8 wickets.
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