South Africa sneak past Netherlands by 6 runs
Posted on Mar 27 2014 | IANS
Chittagong (Bangladesh), March 27 : South Africa survived a massive scare and kept themselves in the running for a place in the semi-finals after narrowly beating the Netherlands by six runs in a Group 1 encounter of the ICC World Twenty20 at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium here Thursday.
Netherlands, who have the distinction of having the lowest T20 score -- 39 all out in their previous match against Sri Lanka, almost pulled off a huge upset but suicidal shot-making cost them the match.
Ahsan Malik took his maiden fifer (5/19) as South Africa threw away a good start to be restricted to 145 for nine.
The Netherlands in response got off to a rollicking start reaching 63 for one in six overs. However, things turned sour for the Dutch as wickets began to tumble.
At 116 for five in the 13th over, the Netherlands were still favourites but their inexperience in handling pressure came to the fore and they were finally dismissed for 139 with eight balls remaining.
Stephan Myburgh was the standout batsman for the Dutch smashing 51 off just 28 balls, including eight fours and two sixes.
Leg-spinner Imran Tahir was the pick of the South African bowlers taking four for 21 runs in his four overs.
Earlier, South Africa put into bat, lost Quinton de Kock (0) in the very first over. Hashim Amla, though, more than made up for it smacking 43 off 22 balls.
Until the 13th over South Africa scored at almost a run a ball but lost wickets at regular intervals. That came back to haunt them as they failed to keep up the scoring rate with wickets tumbling all around, getting just 25 runs off the last five overs.