CHITTAGONG: Captain Brendon McCullum’s 65 powered New Zealand to a six-wicket win against the Netherlands and kept their hopes alive for a semifinal spot from Group One in the World Twenty20.
The Kiwis reached their 152-run target with an over to spare to bring up their second victory in three matches in the super 10 stage.
McCullum, the most prolific run-scorer in the shortest format of the game, hit four boundaries and three sixes during his 45-ball knock, also bringing up his 13th half century in T20 internationals.
The 32-year-old, who became the first batsman to cross 2,000 international runs in the format, stitched together meaty stands with Kane Williamson (29), Ross Taylor (18) and Corey Anderson (20 not out) to make it a comfortable chase for his side.
Paceman Timm van der Gugten took three wickets for 30 runs for the Netherlands.
Earlier, captain Peter Borren compiled his highest T20 score of 49 to anchor the Dutch innings and take them to 151 for four wickets after being put in to bat.
The 30-year-old hit seven fours and a six during his 35-ball knock and added 60 for the fourth wicket with Tom Cooper (40 not out) to give the Netherlands some momentum after a slow start.
Cooper hit four boundaries and two sixes during his 23-ball unbeaten stay at the wicket but New Zealand pulled things back with some miserly bowling in the death overs.
BRIEF SCORES: New Zealand 152 for 4 (McCullum 65, van der Gugten 3-30) beat Netherlands 151 for 4 (Borren 49, Cooper 40*) by six wickets
WHAT THEY SAID
It was a reasonably comfortable chase for NZ. Saying that it wasn’t the easiest wickets to start on. Brendon got them through, but if we’d got him early something could have happened. [Batting circumspectly] I don’t really know how to do that myself, I just play a lot of hockey shots. The bowling was decent, but we may have bowled a little too full tonight. Obviously, we’ve competed alright, but we were not favourite to win it. I reckon we still could get in one performance and I think it could be a replay of the 2009 win,”
Definitely, Netherlands put up a really good fight,” says Brendon McCullum the Man of the Match. The surface was different than what we saw earlier and the way we bowled in the last two overs pulled their total back. We let things slip against South Africa. There was a lot of talk about their game agiainst Sri Lanka, but we had a lot of respect to them and we were focused. Did my back in the 15th over while fielding, will go see the physio and hopefully I’ll be alright. Our last game could end up a quarter final and hopefully we’ll have things in our hands to progress.