Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent @PeterDellaPenna
Netherlands 206 for 3 (O'Dowd 58, Cooper 58, Ackermann 43*) beat Bermuda 114 for 9 (Leverock 31, van Meekeren 3-26, Seelar 2-10, van der Merwe 2-23) by 92 runs
A Dutch record T20 opening stand between Max O'Dowd and Ben Cooper laid the foundation for their highest ever team total as Netherlands walloped Bermuda by 92 runs on Saturday afternoon in Dubai to clinch a playoff berth and keep pace with PNG at the top of Group B on eight points.
After Netherlands won the toss and chose to bat, O'Dowd and Cooper batted together until the 13th over in searing heat. The closest the stand came to being broken before it reached three-figures was in the eighth over when Kamau Leverock fooled O'Dowd with a slower ball to induce a prod back that was dropped at chest height on 35. Otherwise, the pair targeted straight boundaries for the bulk of their runs. Both raised their fifties in the 12th over, O'Dowd off 37 balls with a single behind square, before Cooper drove straight for back-to-back fours to reach his in 32 deliveries.
The stand finally ended when O'Dowd drove Delray Rawlins to extra cover where George O'Brien took a sharp catch diving right. Cooper fell an over later to a tired slog across the line to Rodney Trott's offspin. Ryan ten Doeschate and Colin Ackermann kept the momentum going for the Dutch though with a 52-run stand in just 29 balls. Ten Doeschate showed his ingenuity, reversing through third man with the back of the bat blade for a boundary during his 28 off 18 before he was caught at long-off in the penultimate over. Ackermann carried on to the finish to take Netherlands past 200 before hitting the last ball over square leg for six to end the innings.
Bermuda were never realistically in the hunt of chasing down the target after ending the Powerplay at 36 for 3. The biggest blow was struck on the final ball of the phase when Delray Rawlins went too far across his stumps trying to scoop Paul van Meekeren for a second boundary of the over through fine leg but was done in by a slower ball and bowled for 16.
At 65 for 5 in 12, Kamau Leverock provided another burst emulating his knock against Scotland, driving two sixes and flicking a third over fine leg in his 31 off 15 balls before falling to a skied drive to long-off against Timm van der Gugten at the end of the 16th. Van Meekeren followed up his wicket of Rawlins from the sixth over with two more scalps in the 18th, getting Okera Bascome driving to long-on before bowling Derrick Brangman. Bermuda's last wicket pair survived the last 13 balls after Pieter Seelaar spilled a return chance in the 19th over, ending on 114 for 9.
Netherlands trail top-placed Papua New Guinea on net run rate by +.208 heading into each team's respective final match. PNG plays Kenya on Sunday morning while Netherlands play Scotland on Sunday afternoon in Dubai.