CHITTAGONG: Brendon McCullum hit a robust half-century to steer New Zealand to a comprehensive six-wicket win over the Netherlands in a World Twenty20 Super-10 game in Chittagong on Saturday. McCullum hit a punishing 45-ball 65 with three sixes and four boundaries to make easy work of a 152-run target which New Zealand chased down in 19 overs. McCullum also became the first man to reach 2,000 runs in Twenty20 cricket when he cleared 21 in his 67th match.
The victory gives New Zealand their second win in three games while the Netherlands, the only associate side to qualify for the second round, crashed out of the event with three defeats in as many games. McCullum added 42 for the second wicket with Kane Williamson (29) and another 46 for the fourth wicket with Corey Anderson who made an unbeaten 20. McCullum holed out in the 17th over off paceman Timm van der Gugten who took 3-30 in his four overs. But there was no support from any other Dutch bowler as New Zealand’s strong batting line-up was too good for them.
Both South Africa and Sri Lanka have two wins in three games while England have one win in two matches. “Definitely, Netherlands put up a really good fight,” said man-of-the-match McCullum. “There was a lot of talk about their game against Sri Lanka (Netherlands out for 39), but we had a lot of respect for them and we were focused.” The losing captain Peter Borren said McCullum made the chase easy. “Brendon got them through, but if we’d got him early something could have happened.”
Earlier Borren made 49 and Tom Cooper an unbeaten 40 during their 60-run fourth wicket stand off just 35 balls to steer their team to 151-4 in 20 overs. Borren hit seven boundaries and a six off 35 balls to improve on his previous best T20 score of 38 not out made against Afghanistan at Sharjah last year. Cooper knocked two sixes and four boundaries off 23 balls to help his team add 43 in the last five overs.
The Netherlands were off to a steady 34-run start with opener Stephan Myburgh hitting a boundary and a six before he holed out to paceman Trent Boult, who replaced Tim Southee in the team. New Zealand also brought in all-rounder Jimmy Neesham for Colin Munro from the line-up which beat England on Saturday. Michael Swart made a run-a-ball 26. The top two teams from both groups will qualify for the semifinals. India have already qualified for the last four from Group Two.
It is all very well to try and tell yourself captaining your country in an ICC Cricket World Cup is ...