Six-run win over UAE gives Dutch WCLC lead

Netherlands 216 (Sielaar 49, Barresi 42, Guruge 3-41) beat UAE 210 (Anwar 71, Usman 52, van der Gugten 3-44) by six runs

File photo: Pieter Seelaar top-scored for Netherlands with a crucial 49 © Peter Della Penna

Late innings resiliency with both bat and ball ensured Netherlands escaped with a six-run win over UAE at Abu Dhabi on Friday to wrap up a two-match WCL Championship sweep for the visitors on Friday. The latest victory vaulted Netherlands past Hong Kong to the top of the WCLC table with 10 points to Hong Kong’s nine. The Dutch are currently undefeated in six games with 10 points coming from four wins and two no results.

Netherlands scratched their way to 216 after being sent in thanks to Pieter Seelaar, whose 49 at No. 7 helped the Dutch rebuild after the double-blow of losing Roelof van der Merwe and Wesley Barresi in the space of three overs reduced the visitors from 108 for 4 to 112 for 6 in the 30th. Seelaar added 76 for the seventh wicket with Michael Rippon in the biggest stand of the innings and hung around until the final over before he was ninth man out but not before giving his side a defendable total.

In reply, UAE were cruising at 158 for 3 after 37 overs, needing 59 more to win at a little more than four per over, when Timm van der Gugten shifted momentum in the match by removing Shaiman Anwar for 71, ending a 103-run partnership with Mohammad Usman. Van der Gugten struck again later in the over to nab Saqlain Haider for 1 and Usman was dislodged for 52 by Mudassar Bukhari off the first ball of the 42nd to make it 178 for 6.

Still, UAE only needed 39 to win off 53 balls, but the run rate was choked successfully by Bukhari, Rippon and Ahsan Malik. In his first tour back since being reported at the World Twenty20 Qualifier for a suspect bowling action, Malik’s impact continued to show as he claimed 2 for 18 in his second spell of 3.3 overs at the death.

Entering the final over UAE needed 13 to win with the last pair of Rohan Mustafa, on 21, and Manjula Guruge at the crease. A dot was followed by a six from Mustafa to bring UAE within one shot of leveling the score but Malik struck on the next ball, having Mustafa caught by Bukhari to end the match.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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