Netherlands v NZ, World T20, Group 1, Chittagong March 28, 2014

New Zealand wary of 'rocks or diamonds' Netherlands

The Preview by Karthik Krishnaswamy

Play 01:51
Crowe: New Zealand should win easily

Match facts

March 29, 2014, Chittagong
Start time 1530 (0930GMT)

Big picture

Things couldn't be tighter in Group 1, where the big four sides have cancelled each other out in a neat little cycle: New Zealand beat England beat Sri Lanka beat South Africa beat New Zealand. With little to separate the sides, net run-rate could become exceedingly important. But before that can happen, two more teams have to get past Netherlands.

Sri Lanka cleared that hurdle with ridiculous ease; South Africa nearly tripped themselves up. Which Netherlands are New Zealand going to draw? The Netherlands who froze in the glare of Sri Lanka's headlights or the Netherlands who, according to their captain Peter Borren, should have beaten South Africa "pretty comfortably" if they had played "anywhere near 100 per cent"?

"The way the Dutch are playing, I think it's incredibly courageous, rocks or diamonds, so to speak," New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said. "They're either going to come off or they're not. It takes balls to play like that, and it's why they're a dangerous team to play against.

"They don't fear the losing side of things or if it doesn't work out, playing that style, so we've prepared well today and we'll see what we come up with tomorrow. Hopefully, if we play well, we should be strong enough for them."

On Thursday, South Africa played some casual shots, promoted an allrounder who has been in and out of the team ahead of their most in-form batsman, lost their way in the middle and late overs, and put themselves in a position where defeat seemed imminent.

In short, they showed New Zealand how not to approach this match. New Zealand will want to win, win big, and raise their net run-rate, but they won't want to start the match with that outcome foremost in their minds. To use a couple of clichés, they will need to focus on the processes and play it one ball at a time.

Form guide

(completed matches, most recent first)
Netherlands LLWLW
New Zealand LWWWL

Watch out for

After Thursday's game, New Zealand are likely to view Netherlands with vigilance, and look to iron out any casualness from their play. In the other two formats, this should be enough for the gulf in quality and experience between the two sides to shine through. In T20, even one player can have a disproportionate influence on the result. For Netherlands, that player is Stephan Myburgh. Their batting fortunes could well revolve around how long he stays at the crease.

One of New Zealand's interesting strategies at this tournament has been their choice of Kane Williamson as opener. Williamson isn't the first name that will spring to mind when you're asked to name a dangerous Twenty20 player, but he's shown great form so far, scoring an important quickfire 24 in the rain-interrupted chase against England and a career-best 35-ball 51 that set his team up nicely to go after a big target against South Africa.

Team news

New Zealand will go into the game having enjoyed a four-day break. There is no news of any fitness concerns in their camp, but they might want to think of a couple of names that haven't featured on their team-sheets so far. Their bowling attack is heavily seam-oriented, and while that makes sense considering the likelihood of dew in case they field second, they lose out on variety if they need to change things around. With this in mind, they might think of including left-arm spinner Ronnie Hira or spin-bowling allrounder Anton Devcich. Jimmy Neesham is another option, if they want another seam-bowling allrounder in place of a specialist batsman in Colin Munro.

New Zealand: (likely) 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Kane Williamson, 3 Brendon McCullum (capt), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Colin Munro/Jimmy Neesham, 6 Corey Anderson, 7 Luke Ronchi (wk), 8 Nathan McCullum, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Kyle Mills, 11 Mitchell McClenaghan

Netherlands have been unchanged throughout the tournament, and it's unlikely they'll make a change now, after their performance against South Africa.
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

Stats and trivia

  • Brendon McCullum needs 21 runs to become the first batsman to score 2000 runs in T20 internationals.
  • Ahsan Malik is the highest wicket-taker in T20Is in 2013-14. He has 18 wickets at an average of 11.05, and has an impressive economy rate of 6.45 this season.


"We had our chances and we didn't take them, so philosophically, so be it, we can't be too upset about it. We got ourselves in a very strong position to win that game, and the percentages were firmly in our favour and we coughed up that opportunity, so that's disappointing, but we can't do anything about it now, so we've got to focus on what's in front of us, that's Netherlands tomorrow and Sri Lanka a few days after."
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum isn't dwelling on the heartbreaking defeat to South Africa

"We just really want to get a win or an upset at this tournament. We had a really good opportunity today [against South Africa], we've got two more opportunities and I really hope we can take one of those."
Netherlands captain Peter Borren wants to knock over one big team before going home

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • jared on March 29, 2014, 6:52 GMT

    if neesham doesn't play the next two games you would have to question the coaches and captains brain capacity, but i would also like to see devcich in the side, his hitting down the order could be very valueable, it was sorely missed against south africa, as was neesham, dont think devcich's bowling will be all that effective against srilanka who destroy part time spinners but he shouldn't have to either with all the other options we have. my xi for the next two games. 1.williamson 2.guptill 3.mccullum 4.taylor 5.anderson 6.neesham 7.ronchi 8.devcich 9.n.mccullum 10.mills 11.mcclenaghan, usually would have southee ahead of mcclenaghan but he has been well short of his best, looks out of form so the xi above looks the best team to me

  • Dummy4 on March 29, 2014, 5:31 GMT

    we saw hail storm ,gayle storm,hopefully today its mccullam or cooper storm in lightning bangla........finger cross for netherland victory or its casual game for NZ...wish all the 22 players have a blast..................#best game

  • Hashan on March 29, 2014, 5:13 GMT

    Newzealand better focus on the win,because in boosting the runrate if you lose this match,srilanka will be almost through with their superior runrate is not going to be a factor in this group as two big mathes coming up in this group on today and Monday are virtual quarter finals as we can't expect a surprise by Netherlands.anyway as a srilankan fan I would like to see srilanka go through today itself with out on time match pressure taking a pounding on our heart beats on Monday.

  • Sam on March 29, 2014, 3:40 GMT

    NZ XI: (Neesham in, Munro out, B McCullum should open) 1 B McCullum (C) 2 Williamson 3 Guptill 4 R Taylor 5 C Anderson 6 Ronchi (WK) 7 Neesham 8 N McCullum 9 Southee 10 Mills 11 McClenaghan.

  • Android on March 29, 2014, 3:27 GMT

    I think dutch guys are going to give tough time to Kevis..

  • Jordan on March 29, 2014, 0:43 GMT

    I think the Natherlands have shown they have a problem again spin bowling, (getting tattered by SL and Tahir taking 4 wickets with a very good economy in the SA game) So i think bringing Devcich in would be wise.

    My starting 11: Guptil, Williamson, McCullum, Taylor, Anderson, Ronchi, Neesham, Devcich, Nmac, Mills, southee/Mcleneghan.

    I was tempted to have Devcich opening for Guppy but decided that'd change the team around too much. Having Devcich lower down will give our lower order another all-rounder in case we find ourselves in an average position.

    Like i said, having Devcich there i think is a must considering Hollands poor form against spin in the last 2 matches. That gives us 3 spin options (including Willy) And 4 Seamer options.

    I don't think Southee or Mcleneghan have earned a selection on current form so giving Neesham a go in my lineup, but i'm being quite flexible in my lineup, i just don't think we need another specialist seamer.

    Thank you Cricinfo :)

  • yuvraj on March 28, 2014, 23:21 GMT

    IF Myburgh gives a good start again then they have a chance to beat Kiwis.

  • Dummy4 on March 28, 2014, 21:50 GMT

    OH and congrats to this journalist (author of article) and hopefully the Black Caps' management (if they follow suit) for suggesting what the fans have known all along since Neesham's finishing prowess versus West Indies, India and in the CLT20 a year ago... and his classy dbut test hundred versus India to save the series with McCullum in arguably one of NZ's finest tests in our history..... THAT NEESHAM SHOULD BE STARTING ALL TWENTY TWENTY MATCHES FOR NZ - MAYBE ANY COUNTRY!!! Munro, a displaced South African, with limited, domestic-level technique, a reverse sweep to hid the inability to cut or square drive the ball, who does not bowl.... CANNOT play ahead of Neesham who is a true all-rounder. And Corey is too low at number 6!!!!! It is twenty overs Hesson!! Play Corey at 5 and Jimmy Neesham at 6 and Ronchi at 7.... Honestly Black Caps management, you have read too much into warm-ups (Neesham is a big game player and has been since he was 12)... when Munro cared but was still crap.

  • Dummy4 on March 28, 2014, 20:27 GMT

    Do anyone know why Ryan ten Doeschate is not playing for Netherlands in this tournament?

  • Dummy on March 28, 2014, 19:02 GMT

    Hollanfd z a poor team they cant win...if dey have beaten africa...den dere willl be 5 teams 4 semifina contention

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