O’Dowd, Van der Merwe power Netherlands to 2-0 series win

A crucial half-century from Roelof van der Merwe helped Netherlands seal the series © Getty

Max O’Dowd and Roelof van der Merwe scored half-centuries to help Netherlands complete their highest run-chase in ODIs, and register their first series win over Zimbabwe as they clinched the second ODI by three wickets in Deventer on Friday (June 21). Set 291 to seal the series, O’Dowd and van der Merwe kept the team in the hunt before Scott Edwards and Pieter Seelaar provided the late flourish to take the side over the line in the final over.

Tobias Visee and O’Dowd scored 46 runs for the first wicket to get the chase going before the former fell for an impressive 33-ball 41. Zimbabwe struck two more blows as Netherlands slipped to 85 for 3. O’Dowd’s gritty knock kept the hosts going and he was well supported by Wesley Barresi with the duo scoring 47 for the fourth wicket. O’Dowd, however, fell in the 33rd over with the scorecard reading 167 for 5.

Read: Debutant O’Dawd leads clinical run chase as Netherlands go 1-0 up

At that stage, van de Merwe took over and put the pressure back on Zimbabwe with timely boundaries. He struck five fours and one six before falling for 57 and his wicket in the 43rd over gave Zimbabwe another chance to smash the door open. Edwards and Seelaar, however, scored 52 in the next five overs to kill the chase and shut the door on the visitors. Sean Williams bagged four wickets, picking up four of the top five, but his efforts were nullified by the seventh wicket stand.

Earlier, Craig Ervine (84) and Sikandar Raza (85 not out) did the bulk of the scoring as Zimbabwe posted a challenging total. After opting to bat, Zimbabwe slipped to 42 for 2 before they were propped up by Ervine and Brendan Taylor (51), who scored 83 for the third wicket to take the score past 120. Taylor fell soon after his half-century to Seelaar and that led to another rebuilding phase.

The fact that Williams was able to manage just two also didn’t help as Zimbabwe found themselves in a lot of trouble at 130 for 4. Raza and Ervine scored 94 for the fourth wicket to lay the platform for a late assault. Brandon Glover dismissed Ervine but Raza continued to attack and lifted the side close to 300. He scored at a strike rate of 125 during his 68-ball knock, though it went in vain.

Brief Scores

Zimbabwe 290/6 in 50 overs (Sikandar Raza 85*, Craig Ervine 84; Fred Klaassen 2-53) lost to Netherlands 291/7 in 49.2 overs (Max O’Dowd 59, Roelof van der Merwe 58; Sean Williams 4-43) by 3 wickets.

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