Final day impact built on improved depth and experience - Netherlands tournament review
Most runs – Max O’Dowd (242)
Most wickets – Bas de Leede (13)
What went right
Netherlands stunned South Africa on the last day of the Super 12 stage to send their friendly rivals crashing out of the tournament despite having had one foot firmly planted in the semi-finals.
While a semi-final berth was already out of reach for the Netherlands heading into their clash with South Africa, they clearly relished playing in such a high-stakes contest and stepped up to have a significant impact on the tournament.
They also accounted for Zimbabwe comfortably and pushed Bangladesh close in the Super 12 stage, to go with victories over Namibia and the UAE in the First Round.
Bas de Leede proved to be an exciting young talent with 13 wickets from the seven innings he bowled in, with only India holding out the 22-year-old.
The all-rounder also scored 93 runs at an average of 18.6 but would want to lift his strike rate from the 79.48 at this T20 World Cup.
Opener Max O’Dowd made a solid start in most of his eight innings and with two half-centuries put together the second-most runs in the tournament ahead of the Final.
After a barren First Round that yielded only 17 runs in three innings, Colin Ackermann lifted as the standard rose in the Super 12 matches with another 148 runs for the fourth-most in that stage.
Paul van Meekeren (11 wickets), Fred Klaassen (eight) and Brandon Glover (seven in three T20Is) each had an impact with the ball to build a threatening pace quartet with de Leede.
What went wrong
While Netherlands will rightly be proud of progressing from the First Round and winning two Super 12 matches, they will rue the loss to Bangladesh in their opener to the latter stage.
Bangladesh set a modest total of 144 but Netherlands were always unlikely to reach it after two golden ducks, a diamond duck and another wicket left them 15/4 after 3.4 overs.
Ackermann blasted 62 to give Netherlands some hope but he gradually ran out of partners as they fell nine runs short.
Netherlands lacked a spinner to consistently control the middle-overs at this T20 World Cup, but with 20-year-old left-armer Tim Pringle and 19-year-old leggie Shariz Ahmad gaining valuable experience, better options are already emerging.
What the future holds
Netherlands have played 15 T20Is since March - as well as ODI series against Pakistan, England, West Indies and New Zealand - and the growth in experience is shining through.
They have a strong core in their mid to late 20s, including skipper Scott Edwards (26 years old), much of the middle-order and their pace attack, so can afford to give youth like de Leede, Pringle, Ahmad and opener Vikramjit Singh time to develop.
After failing to win a match in the First Round of last year’s T20 World Cup, this time they won four matches - for a 50 percent win-loss record - to suggest they are on the path to playing more pivotal matches in the future.
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