Scotland 148 for 7 (Berrington 38) beat Netherlands 141 (Rippon 42, Davey 4-34) by seven runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
In the match of the tournament, Scotland pulled off a stunning heist in defence of 148 to defeat Netherlands by seven runs. Only two of the first eight matches have been won by the team fielding second and on both occasions Scotland has been the one to do it, but this victory was particularly remarkable considering the positions they clawed back from in both innings.
Sent in to bat, Scotland ended the first six overs at 17 for 3, the worst start in the first six by any side in this event. The middle order led the rescue effort as Richie Berrington and Calum MacLeod added 57 for the fourth wicket. Scotland were seven down though by the end of the 18th over but Netherlands failed to land the knockout punch and paid the price. Safyaan Sharif hit two sixes among the 27 runs that came off the final 12 balls, including one off the final ball of the innings.
Netherlands' batting script was almost a 180-degree flip from the Scotland innings. They raced away in the Powerplay to reach 49 after five overs. Man of the Match Josh Davey sparked Netherlands' slide by getting Ben Cooper out pulling to deep square leg for 24 and then nailed Tobias Visee on the crease three balls later. An hour later, Davey came back to take two more - Max O'Dowd pulling a bouncer to deep midwicket and Pieter Seelaar lacing another short ball straight to point - and Netherlands were on the verge of a complete meltdown entering the final over needing ten to win with two wickets in hand. Berrington and Sharif then teamed up for run outs off back-to-back balls to seal a memorable escape for Scotland.
MacLeod-Berrington déjà vu
The two middle-order batsmen put on a Scotland T20I record 127-run stand for the third wicket against Oman on Saturday. In that situation, they were piling on to the robust start provided by George Munsey and Kyle Coetzer. On Tuesday night, the scenario was far more perilous with both openers plus Matthew Cross all dismissed on 4.
Paul van Meekeren had claimed Coetzer and Cross, but Berrington took him on in the 10th, cracking a four through midwicket off a no ball and then used the free hit to smash him past mid-off to spark the Scotland revival. MacLeod targeted Michael Rippon's left-arm wrist spin, sweeping him both ways for a pair of boundaries until his innings ended in fluke fashion when he chopped the bails off the stumps going back to cut. The pair had done the dirty work to dig Scotland out of the early hole though and give them a fighting chance through the rest of the match.
Netherlands looked like they were running away with victory behind Cooper and Rippon's opening partnership. Davey may have struck twice in the sixth to thwart the stand, but it was left-arm spinner Con de Lange's four-over spell that turned the tide Scotland's way. He gave up just two off his first over, then struck on the second ball of his second by inducing Wesley Barresi to drive in the air to long-off.
Borren swept him in the air barely wide of short fine-leg in his third over for the only boundary he conceded but he bounced back at the start of his final over, beating Rippon's charge down the wicket to bowl the opener for 42. De Lange never takes big hauls, but the deft brushstrokes he paints on a match canvas via clever flight and control leave a distinct impression on the opposition.
Timm van der Gugten was the man on strike to begin the final over bowled by Sharif. Berrington, arguably Scotland's best all-round fielder, was positioned at long-on. Tasked with defending ten runs, Sharif was honed in on the blockhole to near perfection.
Van der Gugten dug out the first ball back down the ground and it rolled gently to the edge of the circle at mid-on. Van der Gugten was desperate to stay on strike and called Malik back for a desperate second. Berrington charged and fired to Sharif over the stumps to put Scotland one wicket away from victory.
Van Meekeren replaced Malik at the non-striker's end with nine needed off five balls. Sharif ran in again and the sequence that followed was a virtual carbon copy of the previous delivery. Full and straight, chipped down the ground, Berrington locking in like a cyborg to scoop and throw almost all in one motion, Sharif with a clean take and break of the stumps. The second decision for the umpire wasn't nearly as close as the first as Van Meekeren's bat got stuck in the turf while his body momentum continued forward. A theatrical tumble to the ground ensued, providing a symbolic ending to the series of Netherlands' missteps that led to defeat.