McCullum steers NZ's best World T20 chase
New Zealand 152 for 4 (McCullum 65, van der Gugten 3-30) beat Netherlands 151 for 4 (Borren 49, Cooper 40*) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Netherlands competed gamely for 34 overs in Chittagong, but Brendon McCullum struck an unruffled 65 from 45 to drive New Zealand's highest successful World Twenty20 chase, which was completed with six wickets and an over to spare. New Zealand needed 56 from the last six overs, before McCullum whipped a flat six over deep square leg to ease the final charge in motion. Had the man on the fence been right back on he rope, he might have caught McCullum to give Netherlands a chance, but McCullum would maul 30 from his last 12 balls, leaving Corey Anderson and Jimmy Neesham with a short skip to the finish.
Peter Borren and Tom Cooper had put on Netherlands' best stand against a Test nation, hitting 60 together towards the end of their team's innings, but though New Zealand only took four wickets, their discipline caged the opposition. Borren, who top-scored with 49, felt his team were about 20 runs short on a decent batting pitch. New Zealand's calculating chase confirmed as much.
Netherlands had had the best starts of the tournament before this match, averaging a run rate of 9.13 in the Powerplay, but managed only 37 for 1 in the first six overs, thanks largely to Trent Boult's parsimony. Boult replaced Tim Southee for this match, and his control at the outset delivered him the wicket of Stephan Myburgh for 16, when the batsman attempted an aggressive pull following a sedate start.
Borren's best T20 knock gave shape to Netherlands' middle overs, as he ventured calculated strikes against bowlers he fancied. Kane Williamson's solitary over disappeared for 17, after Borren advanced to deposit him over long on, before hitting two more fours in the over. Anderson would also suffer by his blade.
A reverse-swept boundary off his fourth ball suggested Tom Cooper had lost none of his form following two mediocre innings, and he would go on to wallop an unbeaten 40 off 23, reclaiming the top place in the tournament's run-scorers' table. Netherlands had been poised for a late blitz at 141 for 4 after 18 overs, but excellent death bowling ensured the final overs would wrest back momentum. Neesham - who had replaced Colin Munro for this match - sent down wide yorkers to concede only one run in the 19th, although three of them were very close to being called wides. Boult kept the final over to nine.
New Zealand's start had as been as restrained as the opposition's, but that was largely a result of a less ambitious outlook. McCullum would progress at not much better than a run-a-ball for much of his innings, as top-order teammates made starts and got out around him. Timm van der Gugten was the best of Netherlands' bowlers, taking 3 for 30 in four overs of lively, accurate seam, but Ahsan Malik's cutters were less effective in this match, despite the dry surface.
Malik's third over - the 16th of the innings - would bring the definitive shift for New Zealand, as McCullum lofted a six over deep extra cover to complete his 13th T20 fifty and Anderson bludgeoned a four down the ground to plunder 16 from the over. He had also become the first man to 2000 T20 international runs during the innings. McCullum departed in the next over, but with 17 needed off 19, he left the match firmly in New Zealand's hands.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here