A collective batting effort, spearheaded by an unbeaten half-century from opener Max O’Dawd, powered Netherlands to a comfortable seven-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the opening game of the two-match ODI series.
Barring Bas de Leede, all the Netherlands batsmen chipped in, providing ideal support to debutant O’Dawd who anchored the run chase with a composed innings to get his side across the line.
After opting to bat, ZImbabwe didn’t have the best of starts as they lost early wickets and it was senior man Brendan Taylor who arrested the slide with a workmanlike half-century. A slight burst of rain in between meant that the game was reduced to a 47 overs-a-side fixture. Taylor found very little support at the other end as the Netherlands pace-spin duo of Paul van Meekeren and skipper Pieter Seelar squeezed the scoring rate with a mix of aggression and accuracy.
Fred Klaasen’s new ball spell was also quite effective as he got the ball in the right areas to create pressure from the outset. Tailenders Donald Tiripano and Kyle Jarvis weighed in with handy contributions down the order and these knocks were instrumental in getting Zimbabwe past the 200-run mark which was always a below-par total on a surface where a total of around 250 would have been par.
In the chase, O’Dawd stitched valuable partnerships, first with fellow opener Toby Visee and then with Ben Cooper to calm the nerves in the Netherlands dressing room. At 110 for 1 in the 23rd over, the hosts were cruising along before left-arm spinner Sean Williams removed Cooper and de Leede in rather quick succession to ignite the Zimbabean hopes. O’Gawd was unfazed though, and in the seasoned Wesley Barresi, found an able ally as the pair closed out the game with ease.
Zimbabwe 205/8 in 47 overs (Brendan Taylor 71, Kyle Jarvis 32, Paul van Meekeren 2-30) lost to
Netherlands 209/3 in 42.4 overs (MaxO’Gawd 82*, Wesley Barresi 39*, Sean Williams 2-38) by 7 wickets.