Netherlands v SA, World T20, Group 1, Chittagong March 26, 2014

SA's chance to boost net run rate


Match facts

March 27, 2014, Chittagong
Start time 1530 (0930GMT)

Big picture

This is the game South Africa have been waiting for. After tense finishes against two of the big guns in the group, they will see Netherlands as an opportunity to get through comfortably.

Faf du Plessis was respectful of Netherlands and even harked back to when they beat England at Lord's in 2009 but the truth is that the match against Sri Lanka cannot be ignored. Netherlands were made to look like the outsiders they are, an Associate among Test teams, and that kind of humiliation won't sit easily with any team.

That also means the only way for Netherlands is up. They know how much is on the line for them as far as reputation is concerned. It was them, ahead of Test-playing Zimbabwe and Associate darlings Ireland, who made it this far. To limp out in the manner they did against Sri Lanka would be a disservice to both those teams and themselves. Peter Borren said as much when the Dutch made it into the main draw and its time for them to justify that coup.

Qualification for the semi-finals will not be on Dutch minds but it will be etched into South African ones. The next two matches are must win for South Africa and even then, it could come down to net run-rate. They will want to win big against Netherlands to bolster theirs and to show they are serious contenders for a title that seems just out of their grasp at the moment.

Form guide

(completed matches, most recent first) South Africa WLLLLW
Netherlands LWLWW

Watch out for

Netherlands batsmen were reduced to stickmen by Sri Lanka's bowlers and what stood out about their collapse was their struggles against variation and mystery bowlers. Sri Lanka's attack is packed with them, seamers and spinners, South Africa's has just one who can be unpredictable. Imran Tahir is South Africa's second highest-wicket-taker in the tournament and has their lowest economy rate, of 6.62. He has proved difficult for the Sri Lanka and New Zealand batsmen to pick and is using his wrong 'un with more discretion than he used to. While Dale Steyn and Lonwabo Tsotsobe are dangerous, Netherlands will know exactly what threats they pose - pace, swing and an effective slower ball. With Tahir, they won't, which could see him come even more into his own in this match.

South Africa's weakness is that their batting line-up has struggled to get going early on which will make the roles of Ahsan Malik and Timm van der Gugten important. The pair have been the key protagonists for the Dutch in both the wicket-taking and run-restricting departments. Before the Sri Lanka match, Malik had an economy rate of 6.08 and his six wickets came at an average of 12.00. Van der Gugten conceded at 7 an over and had four wickets and a mean yorker to his name. Knowing South Africa's problems with pressure, if the Dutch can impose it early on, they may fancy their chances of an upset.

Team news

Wayne Parnell had a good chance of playing in this match, after the way Morne Morkel was manhandled by New Zealand, but his attendance at a court case in Mumbai has ruled him out. That could create opportunity for left-arm seamer Beuran Hendricks to play in Morkel's place.

South Africa may also bench their captain du Plessis. Although he came through the New Zealand match well after recovering from a hamstring issue, du Plessis and the team were fined for slow over-rates, and South Africa may not want to risk him being suspended for what could be a decisive group stage match against England on Saturday.

South Africa:(likely) 1 Hashim Amla, 2 Quinton de Kock (wk), 3 Faf du Plessis/JP Duminy 4 AB de Villiers, 5 JP Duminy/Farhaan Behardien, 6 David Miller, 7 Albie Morkel, 8 Dale Steyn 9, Morne Morkel/Beuran Hendricks, 10 Lonwabo Tsotsobe, 11 Imran Tahir

Netherlands have played the same XI in the four matches they've featured in so far but now some may see reason to change that. Borren hinted it is not likely, though. "We got bowled out for 39 and we can't make eleven changes. It would be tough on anyone to miss from that performance because everyone was responsible," he said. The Dutch only have on extra batsman in the squad, in Eric Szwarczynski but bringing him in may send the wrong message to the man benched.

Netherlands:(likely) 1 Stephan Myburgh, 2 Michael Swart, 3 Wesley Barresi (wkt), 4 Tom Cooper, 5 Peter Borren (capt), 6 Ben Cooper, 7 Mudassar Bukhari, 8 Logan van Beek, 9 Pieter Seelaar, 10 Timm van der Gugten, 11 Ahsan Malik


There are two clouds hanging over Chittagong, one literal and one figurative. At least the first one should not come into play. Despite storms lashing the city at night, Thursday is forecast to be sunny and clear with only a 10% probability of rain. The other one, how the surfaces will hold up after days of use, is yet to be seen. The stadium's seven surfaces are in rotation for this tournament to avoid any of them getting too tired and totals have remained high. Whether that will start dipping soon is what people will want to look out for.

Stats and trivia

  • South Africa and Netherlands have never played a T20 match against one another but they have met in four ODIs The Dutch have lost all of them with the smallest margin separating the two sides a gulf of 83 runs.

  • There are three South African born players in the Dutch squad: Stephan Myburgh, Wesley Barresi and Eric Szwarczynski. Of those, Myburgh and Barresi played in the South African structures but Szwarcynski did not.


    "The days of big nations rocking up and thinking there are easy games in T20 cricket are gone. The shorter the game, the more opportunity there is for one or two guys gave to take the game away."
    Underestimating the Associates is not something Faf du Plessis is willing to do

    "I believe in this team and I hope we can show that in the next three games. It certainly won't be a case of damage limitation. I want to put a lot of onus and responsibility on the top six and see how many overs we can bat, that's really important."
    Although Peter Borren was embarrassed by the Netherlands' defeat to Sri Lanka, he said the team will not skulk into the shells for the rest of their matches

    Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

  • Comments have now been closed for this article

    • Dummy4 on March 27, 2014, 8:48 GMT

      SA have big problems in this tournament as a result of being to reserved in how they pick their teams , i personally feel that ab should bat at 3 or higher to let him use his talent effectively and not come in under the pressures set by the top 3 failing . we also need to pick a bowler who can bowl in the last 5 overs if the game , Morne and Tsotsobe are to predictable to be effective in this format and as we saw vs NZ they can cost us games . the only solution i see is to pick kyle abbot who has proven himself in both domestic and the international format , he would also add the extra batting depth that we could of used against sri lanka , the same thing can be said about Parnell as he has won games for sa with just his bat , adding these two players could provided the "x" factor that we are missing and without the balance they can offer i doubt that we will get further then the semis ,

    • Dummy4 on March 27, 2014, 8:31 GMT

      I love Dale Steyn, he is my favorite bowler especially in test matches with exceptional out swing from a full length, but my heart was in my mouth when I saw him delivering length ball after length ball in the final few overs. SA simply got lucky that day. I don't know why SA bowlers don't understand the importance of yorkers in T20 cricket? There is no need to wait for the 17th or 18th over to bowl yorkers. They can be bowled anytime and always produce great results. Please convey this message to Allan Donald and bowlers like Morkel, Steyn, Tsotsobe and Hendricks. I have seen Morkel bowl excellent yorkers like he did in his final over. He should stick to it even in his first few overs, at least 2-3 deliveries near the blockhole.. If SA bowlers cant bowl yorkers they will not win the trophy once again.. Can't imagine what Dhoni would do to Steyn if he bowls length balls in the end overs. He would score 25 runs in the final over very easily.. SA should learn from Malinga, Kulasekara...

    • Jacques on March 27, 2014, 7:58 GMT

      @Shahed Ahmed. Then we all know that things are just as per normal.

    • Anubhav on March 27, 2014, 6:50 GMT

      The world cup always presents so many flavors...will England rise up again, can west Indies show what it was once and one of the most important, will South Africa this the match then? or semis as usual or may be finals this time?

    • Dummy4 on March 27, 2014, 6:45 GMT

      SAF is always my fav team after India .i think team selection is not good this time .henry davids will be in team for beherdien.he is an explosive batsmen and also provide a spin bowling option .parnell should be also given place in playing eleven .#fan from india .

    • Brian on March 27, 2014, 6:33 GMT

      I disagree that South Africa's batting is the problem, granted they could be slightly quicker off the mark, but my biggest concern is the bowling. Hopefully our other non-Steyn quicks get some form going.

    • James on March 27, 2014, 6:05 GMT

      Hey Ozcricketwriter, if u go by the ICC rankings then Pak beating the Ozzies is not the big upset as you would like to think.. oops

    • Abid on March 27, 2014, 5:32 GMT

      SA will be enough happy after Last dramatic Match win over NZ. What a last over from Dale Steyn. Waow! now Their moral hope will be v.v.v.high as Opposite 11 is weak side. Best of Luck SA IX. Amla at least make your Maidan Fifty Iin T20Is today. :)

    • Dummy4 on March 27, 2014, 5:19 GMT

      This NRR is going to effect the tournament. Some team is going to lose out in case the Dutch have a good day.

    • Dummy4 on March 27, 2014, 4:35 GMT

      @Asad Khan - Ten Doeschate is playing for Otago at the moment, because we are awesome (lolz) and getting ready for his IPL stint with the Kolkata Knight Riders.... on the match itself - SA v Netherlands, all I can say as a Kiwi fan is, make them work hard Dutch.... you know your connections.... make their run rate only slightly better... then we will know exactly what to do in our match vs Netherlands and only have to beat SL< rather than bet them with provisions. So, while our 'loss' to SA the other night was undeserved and our coaches responsible for it by not playing Neesham and playing Munro the "batsman and others.... we still have destiny in our own hands and the draw's chronology suits us. But we must lift... so, stay steady and unspectacular SA...

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