Black Caps beat the Dutch to stay alive

HAMISH BIDWELL
Last updated 02:13 30/03/2014

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The Black Caps are still alive at the World Twenty20 tournament.

Needing 152 to beat the Netherlands in this morning's Group 1 match, at Chittagong's Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, New Zealand got there with an over and four wickets to spare, with Corey Anderson (20) and Jimmy Neesham (seven) not out at the end.

It was hardly a complete performance from the Black Caps, but they got the two competition points they needed and they can progress to the tournament semifinals, provided they beat Sri Lanka in their final group match in two days' time.

It had been the sort of fearful chase that's not uncommon against associate sides, like the Netherlands.

Some of the Dutch bowling would've been more at home in club cricket. Little pace, nibbling around, it was the sort of stuff that international players hate.

And the Black Caps played it accordingly. They stopped batting on instinct and thought too much.

Martin Guptill (nine off 15), Kane Williamson (29 off 22) and Ross Taylor (18 off 11) all played ordinary shots in getting out to undemanding deliveries. Each of them had batted themselves into little holes and went for a shot they hoped might relieve some of the pressure.

It made the chase unnecessarily stressful.

Brendon McCullum didn't look at his most fluent, but he was gutsing it out. That was until on 65 (45 balls) he holed out to cover, with his team 134 for four in the 17th over.

He and Corey Anderson had already taken 11 from the over and, again, the dismissal was an example of some thoughtless cricket.

Given the inexperience of the lower order, one of New Zealand's top four needed to see the chase home. McCullum had got the team most of the way, but his dismissal was further evidence of his team making harder work of winning than they needed to.

Earlier, New Zealand had been workmanlike in the field, with good bowling interspersed with bad and good saves spoiled by sloppy stuff.

Williamson's now bowled two overs for 30 at this tournament, and probably shouldn't be called upon again. Anderson went for 19 off two, while bowling at the death slightly spoiled the figures of Kyle Mills and Trent Boult.

This was Boult's first Twenty20 international since February last year. His last over tonight went for nine, but he finished with one for 25 off four and looked the part.

Mills, who often bowls out early, came back to deliver the 18th over and conceded 12. But one of 20 off three was still a good return.

As ever, Nathan McCullum (one for 20) and Mitchell McClenaghan (one for 29) impressed.

Cantabrian Peter Borren again hit the ball well for his adopted nation. The Dutch captain made good use if the short leg side boundary on one side, by shifting across the crease and clubbing balls to and over the fence.

His 49 from 35 balls was Holland's top score and not without luck. Nathan McCullum shelled a very sharp caught and bowled opportunity when Borren was on seven, before Mills made hard work of a chance at long leg 10 runs later, then Boult failed to catch the Dutch skipper when had made it to 38.

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They weren't poor pieces of cricket from the Black Caps, but certainly helped reinforce the belief that they weren't at their absolute best.

It also meant that the Netherlands were able to kick away to a useful total and one that New Zealand were going to be unlikely to overhaul in short enough time to significantly boost their net run rate.

- Fairfax Media

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