Roelof van der Merwe’s breezy undefeated 39-ball 75 laid the platform for Netherlands’ comfortable 49-run victory in the first T20I of the two-match series against Zimbabwe. The visitors, in response, were bundled out for just 150 in pursuit of a target of 200.
The home side, who were inserted into bat, had a poor start losing Tobias Visee for just five. Max O’Dowd (30) and Ben Cooper then (54) set the platform for a substantial total with a second-wicket stand of 81. However, O’Dowd’s dismissal resulted in a mini-collapse as Netherlands soon slid to 93 for 4.
At that stage, the hosts needed someone to play an innings of substance and that was provided by the experienced van der Merwe. He also upped the ante by smacking eight fours and three sixes to propel the hosts to a sizeable score. It was mostly a one-man show, capsulised by the fact that the all-rounder amassed 75 of the last 106 runs added by his side. Meanwhile, Chris Mpofu picked up a couple of scalps for Zimbabwe.
Max O’Dowd and Roelof van der Merwe scored half-centuries to help Netherlands complete their highest run-chase….
The trio of Brandon Glover, Fred Klaassen and Pieter Seelaar then backed up the efforts of van der Merwe by sharing nine spoils as Zimbabwe were snuffed out in the final over. Craig Ervine (59), batting at number 3, top-scored for the tourists, but didn’t get the required support from his teammates.
The second and final game of the series will be played in Rotterdam on June 25.
Netherlands 199/6 in 20 overs (Roelof van der Merwe 75*; Chris Mpofu 2-38) beat Zimbabwe 150 in 19.5 overs (Craig Ervine 59; Brandon Glover 3-20) by 49 runs.