Netherlands v SA, World T20, Group 1, Chittagong March 27, 2014

Tahir spares South Africa embarrassment


South Africa 145 for 9 (Amla 43, Malik 5-19) beat Netherlands 139 (Myburgh 51, Tahir 4-21) by 6 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Play 04:51
Cullinan: SA thinktank not doing convincing job

They did it at Lord's in the opening match of the World T20 five years ago. Then, Netherlands stunned England to announce the Associate threat in the shortest format. They did not look anywhere close to do doing it three days ago, when they were skittled out for the lowest total in T20 internationals, and Sri Lanka highlighted the gulf between cricket's haves and have-nots in the most brutal way. But Netherlands almost did it again today.

Netherlands were on course to cull another giant after they restricted South Africa to under 150 and got the asking rate down to less than five runs an over in the chase, but then imploded at the end. They did almost everything right: they took an early wicket, put the squeeze on South Africa with a selection of slower balls and got their own chase off to a flying start. South Africa had not lost to an Associate in their history and Dale Steyn and Imran Tahir held their nerve to ensure that did not change.

The Dutch crumbled from 80 for 1 to 139 all out - losing 9 for 59 - and handed South Africa the two points they needed to stay in contention for the semi-finals. With two defeats, Netherlands only have a slim chance of advancing but are taking their own victories from this tournament. In this match, the biggest one was Ahsan Malik's performance. The Rotterdam-born seamer recorded the best figures by an Associate bowler against a Full Member - 5 for 19.

Malik did not make the first incision - that honour went to Michael Swart, who had Quinton de Kock caught at square in the first over - but he made a telling one. After Hashim Amla had made a statement to those who questioned his ability to accelerate and took 22 off Swart's second over, Malik offered him some width and Amla was caught behind. The nick was faint, so much so that Amla, a walker, did not move at first, but it was there and it dented South Africa's positive start.

Amla had almost single-handedly taken South Africa to 43 in the fifth over, a sign that net run-rate was on their minds. Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers were in less of a hurry but were gifted low full-tosses by Logan van Beek and Pieter Seelaar to keep them going. They posted 39 for the third wicket before du Plessis tried to flick Tom Cooper over deep midwicket but found the fielder.

That was the first of South Africa's careless dismissals, which suggested they were taking their opposition too lightly. De Villiers picked out deep cover; Albie Morkel, who was promoted to No.5 to give him more time in the middle gave deep mid-wicket a catch; and JP Duminy was caught down the leg side. Those four batsmen fell in the space of 45 deliveries in which South Africa did not manage a single boundary.

Van Beek, Malik, Mudassar Bukhari and Timm van der Gugetn took pace off the ball and the Dutch ground fielding gave South Africa as little as they could. Before South Africa knew it, Dale Steyn was batting and their innings was in danger of not lasting the full 20 overs.

David Miller barely had any opportunity to show off his finishing skills and was bowled as he played around a full delivery from Malik. Despite losing seven wickets for 51 South Africa were not bowled out and, according to Tahir, thought their total was enough at the break.

They would have revised that opinion by the end of the third over. Stephan Myburgh, from Pretoria, started as he did in the Dutch chase against Ireland, with aggression and intent. South Africa opened with Albie Morkel instead of JP Duminy for the first time in the tournament and Mybugh took a boundary off him. They had the relative rookie Beuran Hendricks on at the other end and Swart helped himself to a four off him too but it was when Lonwabo Tsotsobe was introduced that Netherlands tucked in.

Myburgh gorged himself with 18 runs off Tsotsobe's first, a slap over point, a clip to long leg, a swing over fine-leg and a swat over mid-off to get the Dutch run-rate up to 10 an over after three. Steyn pulled it back but Tsotsobe took more punishment. His second over cost 15 runs.

Netherlands almost completed the perfect powerplay until Swart, who had mostly been a spectator, tried to clear mid-off but a diving du Plessis gave Steyn his first wicket of the game. Still, the Dutch were 63 for 1 when the fielding restrictions were lifted and well on target.

They were cautious against Tahir at first but took on JP Duminy and it cost Myburgh. After taking 12 runs off the first four balls of Duminy's first over, no other risks had to be taken against him but Myburgh went down the track and inside-edged onto his stumps.

That wicket proved the game-changer and sparked the Dutch collapse. Wesley Barresi was out lbw sweeping Tahir, although replays showed the ball was missing leg-stump, and Peter Borren went the same way. His dismissal was correctly judged.

By the time the captain was dismissed, Netherlands were 96 for 4 and still had Tom Cooper in the middle. His brother Ben went attempting to evade a Steyn bouncer but it was when Tom was bowled trying to pull a quicker Tahir delivery that the chase folded. Although the Dutch needed less than a run a ball, their tail was in and the pressure was too much.

Pieter Seelaar was caught at long-on in the same over and van Beek run-out. Although Bukhari survived Steyn he gave it away off Tsotsobe and was caught at long -on which left van der Gugten and Malik, nursing a niggle, to score 12 runs off 14 balls.

Van der Gugten was dropped off the first of those, by Steyn at midwicket, but the mistake did not cost South Africa. The last pair scored five between them before van der Gugten was caught behind to leave Borren wondering what was worse: to be rolled as they were against Sri Lanka or to have come so close, only to fall so far.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 29, 2014, 22:55 GMT

    SA did well to win. Nd did even better to lose.

    SA play such an outdated form of T20, but admitedly they are still in it ... no doubt cos their team has such great natural ability.

    SA has improved their line up but its hard to see it getting better still cos if they fail again, they'll be out.

  • Altaf on March 28, 2014, 14:41 GMT

    Wish SA realize what they have lost so far by ignoring Tahir in shorter format of the cricket, and still ignoring allowing fasters/seamers to open the bowl on spinner friendly conditions and spinner friendly format of the game as he was introduced after 6 overs (60 runs). His six in last ball of danger Malinga shows he can play quick runs in demanding conditions and so should be sent before Tsotsobe, Morne. In WC 11, he was outstanding and Botha broke his finger intentionally seeing his place as spinner in danger. Wish he be regular part of all 3 forms of the cricket for SA.

  • Altaf on March 28, 2014, 14:35 GMT

    This group is completely open now. Even performance from Netherland against SA, and Ireland shows they can play role to make the team out of the tournament, so group is even more open now.

  • Altaf on March 28, 2014, 14:32 GMT

    SA deserved loss. They not only play bad, they could not sense the conditions in the tournament. All venues are helping spinners a lot, 9 out of top 10 T20I bowlers are spinners, yet they included only one spinner and that too was introduced after 6 overs when Nedherland already scored 60. It was very critical to get wickets early as possible as 145 wasn't big score, they should have given Tahir from first over. Even Steyn was introduced after Albie, Henrick and Tsotsobe which both mistakes costed them not only bonus RR but also might have a match. Miller could not play in both matches when he was supposed to finish, first against SL and now Nedherland. Wish Parnell or Robin Peterson be included in place of in-experienced Henrick when Alex Hales already showed way for hale to SL. Nedherland played really well, they bowled well and than batted except last wickets unnecessarily thrown away when required RR was even less than 5 in last 8 overs. From 39 allout to win might be moral boost.

  • Dummy4 on March 28, 2014, 7:27 GMT

    @klusenercronje :absolutely true

  • ashish on March 28, 2014, 7:08 GMT

    My analysis:SA are poor players of spin bowling,don't adapt to conditions and match situation,make poor match tactics including team selection,Extremely inflexible and fearful about losing the game and not performing well even before the matches start.They need to overcome this fearfulness and play with calm mind as the match situation demands.I advise the SA team to go for a bungy jump before the semifinal game(if they qualify and if there is any in Bangladesh)to overcome their fear.

  • saumitra on March 28, 2014, 6:10 GMT

    I think SA should realize after Tahir's and Amit Mishra's performances that spinners hold the key in this tournament. Tsotsobe might be good bowler outside subcontinent but under this conditions he gets reduced to a gentle medium pacer who is easy to pick. SA cannot win with pacers here like they do otherwise. Faf needs to include Phangiso moving ahead. Also they need atleast two of their main batsmen to fire. I think Morne is always a better option than Tsotsobe here because he has got pace and bounce. Good luck SA for the ENG match !

  • Wesley on March 28, 2014, 5:31 GMT

    Based on domestic form the team should be;

    Reeza Hendricks/Quinton De Kock Hashim Amla AB De Villiers Rillee Roussouw David Miller Faf Du Plessis Robbie Frylick Beuren Hendricks Dale Steyn Dane Piedt Tahir


    Khaya Zhondo Stiaan Van Zyl Warne Parnell Chris Morris Kyle Abbott. De Kock/ Reeza Hendricks.

  • Mohsin on March 28, 2014, 4:49 GMT

    NED shows inexperience otherwise SA could easly beaten..

  • Rajarathinam on March 28, 2014, 4:48 GMT

    Hope This match becomes an eye opener for FAF. He has to make changes to the team and should be quick to make sure they qualify. oops.. That was indeed very hard to note that SA was almost going for an UPSET.


    1. Tsotsobe( i am finding to even pronounce his name properly) has to be removed. He needs more time to practice in Domestic and then he can make a come back. He is useless bowler. 2. Miller's position has to be changed. His talent is being wasted by FAF. 3. Albie should only be played for his batting and certainly he is not an all rounder. Now i understood Albie Himself was so surprised when he got picked up again in SA Squad. 4. Abd and Duminy should be playing well ahead of other players as they are better hitters and need your best man first. 5. Bowling - Tahir, Hendricks, Steyn, Morne, Duminy , Parnell should be the bowlers ... No more research please.

  • No featured comments at the moment.