Zimbabwe’s hopes of reaching the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup effectively ended on Wednesday after their five-wicket defeat by the Netherlands in Adelaide.
Craig Ervine’s team fancied a top two place in the group after stunning former champions Pakistan but were virtually eliminated after slipping to fourth place behind South Africa, India and Bangladesh.
They were all out for 117 in 19.2 overs after failing to vindicate Ervine’s decision to bat at Adelaide Oval.
For them, only Sikander Raza, who smashed three sixes in his belligerent 40, and Sean Williams (28) reached double digits in an otherwise sorry-looking scorecard.
Paul van Meekeren claimed 3-29 as the Dutch seamers dictated terms throughout the innings. Max O’Dowd led the reply with 52 and Tom Cooper made 32 as the Dutch, who have already crashed out, registered their first Super 12 win with two overs to spare.
“It’s awesome,” said Netherlands captain Scott Edwards. “We came here to win some games at the Super 12. Good to get the ball rolling after a rocking start.”
Zimbabwe, who just have one win from their four matches, need a mathematical miracle to make the semi-finals.
O’Dowd and Cooper put on a second-wicket stand of 73 to guide the team home as the fans poured in for the evening match of the Adelaide double-header between India and Bangladesh.
“I was quite scrappy at the start. It was important to adapt to the wicket,” said player-of-the-match O’Dowd. “Zimbabwe have some tall boys, so they have extra bounce.
I took time to adapt but eventually adapted well to bat as long as I could.”
Zimbabwe captain Ervine said: “It was one of those tosses where we were split, whether to bowl or bat.
“Credit to Netherlands for their power-play bowling to put us under the pump. Raza and Williams did really well to get us back into the game but unfortunately we couldn’t finish it off,” Ervine added.
“With the ball, we didn’t find enough movement.”