Wed, 20 Mar 2019

Van der Merwe and Cooper combine to knock out Oman

ESPNCricInfo
15 Feb 2019, 20:42 GMT+10

3:00 AM ET

Netherlands 167 for 2 (Cooper 50, Visee 44, Goud 2-136) beat Oman 166 for 4 (Jatinder 63, Khurram 58, van der Merwe 2-14) by eight wickets

A resilient Dutch bowling unit, led by a clever spell from Roelof van der Merwe contained Oman to 166 for 4 before Ben Cooper's half-century anchored a successful chase as Netherlands beat the hosts by eight wickets with seven balls to spare on the second day of the T20I Quadrangular Series at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground. The result moves the Dutch into pole position - with two wins in as many games - to claim the series heading into their last match against Ireland while Oman are out of the running, having lost both their matches so far.

Netherlands sent Oman in as the hosts paced themselves conservatively over the first 10 overs to reach 46 for 2. Jatinder Singh was on 31 off 34 balls at that stage playing the anchor role after Khawar Ali and Aamir Kaleem both fell cheaply in the first eight overs, the latter missing a sweep to Player of the Match van der Merwe who had been building pressure through a series of dot balls.

But Khurram Nawaz spurred Oman to 120 off the last 10 overs after coming in at No. 4. Two drives wide of mid off in the 11th for a pair of fours were followed by a vicious pull for a six off Shane Snater in a 14-run frame. Another cover drive for four off Pieter Seelaar in the 13th was followed by a six creamed over midwicket to take him to 37 off 22 balls.

Two overs later, Jatinder finally kicked his innings into gear facing Paul van Meekeren with a drive over mid-off and a whip off his legs over backward square for six to take him to a 47-ball half-century, the first time he was above a run-a-ball scoring rate in his innings. The 89-run stand finally ended when Jatinder drove Snater to Ryan ten Doeschate at long-off in the 17th to make it 122 for 3 with 22 balls left.

A much more decisive blow was struck by van der Merwe in the following over. Nawaz had brought up his 50 off 30 balls in the 16th and his rampage showed no signs of ceasing, but he showed his hand too soon with a premeditated charge down the pitch. Van der Merwe darted in a quicker ball on a full length as Nawaz yorked himself to be bowled for 58. Having entered the over with figures of 1 for 12 off his first three, the left-arm spinner conceded just two runs while bagging the big scalp of Nawaz to limit the Omanis. Even after 28 were conceded off the final two overs, van der Merwe's spell ensured the hosts total was well under par.

Tobias Visee and Stephan Myburgh nearly replicated their 100-run opening stand from two days earlier against Scotland, tallying 80 together off the first nine overs. At the same time, the Omanis definitely replicated their horrid fielding performance from the loss to Ireland as Visee was dropped three times in the space of three overs, the first time on 24 when Kaleem called off the wicketkeeper Naseem Khushi on a top-edged pull swirling behind the wicket only for Kaleem to muff the chance.

Visee and Myburgh fell within nine runs of each other for 44 and 34 respectively, the briefest hiccup in the Dutch chase. Ben Cooper and ten Doeschate added an unbroken 78 to ice the match on a warm day in the desert. Cooper was ruthless behind square on both sides of the wicket, cutting Fayyaz Butt for three fours in the 16th before eventually bringing up his 34-ball half-century in the 19th with single down the ground. The final ball was a microcosm of the week for Oman so far as ten Doeschate scooped Bilal Khan through Nawaz's outstretched fingertips at short fine leg for the winning boundary.

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