The Netherlands claimed their first victory of the T20 World Cup Super 12 stage on Wednesday when they beat Zimbabwe by five wickets to all but eliminate the African team.
The Dutch bowled out Zimbabwe for 117 in 19.2 overs and then, led by Max O’Dowd’s 52, achieved their target with 12 balls to spare.
Zimbabwe, who just have one win from their four matches, need a mathematical miracle to make the semi-finals as one of the top-two teams in Group 2, currently led by South Africa who next play Pakistan on Thursday.
O’Dowd and Tom Cooper, who made 32, put on a second-wicket stand of 73 to guide the team home as the fans poured in for the evening match of the Adelaide double-header between India and Bangladesh.
Stephan Myburgh fell to Blessing Muzarabani for eight in the fourth over before O’Dowd and Cooper began to score freely chasing a modest 118-run target.
Luke Jongwe had Cooper caught out to end a 29-ball knock, which included two fours and a six.
O’Dowd raised his fifty with two straight boundaries but soon got out to Muzarabani and Richard Ngarava sent back skipper Scott Edwards but Bas de Leede stood firm to hit the winning four.
The Netherlands bowled out Zimbabwe, who elected to bat first, in 19.2 overs despite a 24-ball 40 by the in-form Sikandar Raza.
Van Meekeren bowled Wesley Madhevere for one with the batsman playing all over a fast and straight delivery.
The quicks kept up the pressure with disciplined bowling and Brandon Glover got Zimbabwe skipper Craig Ervine caught for three. Zimbabwe soon slipped to 20-3 in six overs.
Raza hit back with a six and a four in a 14-run ninth over from Glover and put on 48 runs with Sean Williams, before Van Meekeren broke through.
The left-handed Williams made 28 off 23 balls but got out to Van Meekeren, caught in his attempt to ramp up the scoring.
Raza, an all-rounder who starred with the ball in his team’s shock win over Pakistan in Perth, revived Zimbabwe and smashed Glover for a huge six over mid-wicket.
De Leede, who bowled with a bandaged cheekbone after he was hit by a nasty bouncer from Pakistan’s Haris Rauf in the team’s previous loss, got Raza’s prized wicket in the 15th over.
Zimbabwe laboured past 100 as none of their batsmen made double figures apart from Williams and Raza.
Glover, De Leede and Logan van Beek took two wickets each while pace spearhead Fred Klaassen returned figures of 1-17 from his four overs.
© Agence France-Presse