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2nd ODI (D/N), Hamilton, April 02, 2022, Netherlands tour of New Zealand
(34.1/50 ov, T:265) 146

New Zealand won by 118 runs

Player Of The Match
140* (123)

Tom Latham's career-best helps New Zealand seal ODI series against Netherlands

New Zealand captain stroked 140* before bowlers rallied to bowl Netherlands out cheaply

Himanshu Agrawal
Tom Latham scored his ODI best of 140 not out  •  AFP/Getty Images

Tom Latham scored his ODI best of 140 not out  •  AFP/Getty Images

New Zealand 264 for 9 (Latham 140*, van Beek 4-56, Klaassen 3-36) beat Netherlands 146 all out (de Leede 37, M Bracewell 3-13, Sodhi 2-17) by 118 runs
Tom Latham cracked a career-best 140*, producing a batting masterclass in a near single-handed effort to take his side to 264 - and eventually a comfortable win - after they were 32 for 5 at one stage. New Zealand collapsed from 22 without loss to lose 5 for 10 inside six overs, as Netherlands sniffed a miracle only for the opposition captain to spoil their party.
On a day when his team-mates should have rather given him a gift, it was instead birthday boy Latham himself who was forced to do some favour to them. But his bowlers, led by allrounder Michael Bracewell, ensured that the total was safely defended, with all six of them taking at least a wicket each.
Netherlands' reply started with both openers gone inside the first two overs itself, after which Vikramjit Singh and Bas de Leede steadied the ship. The 77-run stand that followed looked like the only while during which the visitors were in the chase, as the pair kept finding the fence with repeated boundaries.
Vikramjit hit seven in his knock of 31, displaying an array of shots in the process: from the punch to the pull, from the slice to the slash. But once he deposited a Colin de Grandhomme full toss - a slower delivery bowled at 98kph - to long-on, the wheels soon started to come off for Netherlands.
What was 81 for 2 at one stage became 146 all out, with Michael Bracewell grabbing three of the wickets to fall, two of those with an offspinner's dream deliveries. He looped one up wide outside off to lure Pieter Seelaar to drive, as the Netherlands captain got forward only to see the ball turn back in sharply to hit off stump.
Michael Bracewell continued dealing with flight, dip and turn when he had Michael Rippon stumped off an identical delivery, with Latham behind having all the time in the world to whip the bails off.
But it was earlier in the day that Latham gradually dragged the game away from the bowling side. Watching from the dressing room, he saw Logan van Beek and Fred Klaassen rule with the ball after Netherlands had elected to bowl first on a brown-looking pitch.
Despite his side being in trouble, Latham kept ticking the scoreboard by rotating the strike as well as striking the occasional boundary in the company of de Grandhomme, who played a more sedate role. By the 23rd over, when the latter departed after a brief recovery for a 40-ball 16, Latham had already reached 37 off 42 balls, never allowing the Netherlands' bowlers to capitalise on the momentum by being content to just see them off and holding one end up.
He next got an able partner in Michael's cousin Doug Bracewell, who took after a quiet start of 9 from 23 deliveries. When he fell for a more-than-handy 41 off 51 balls in the 40th over, New Zealand still had only 179 on the board with just three wickets remaining.
But Latham was in no mood to give up. After having added 90 with Doug Bracewell, he put on 42 with Ish Sodhi, racing to his sixth ODI hundred on the way, which came from his 101st delivery. The last six overs yielded 61 for the hosts, with their captain pressing the accelerator by clobbering five sixes and a four.
All those maximums went over the leg-side boundaries, with three of those - where he fell on his back while smashing - a tribute to the modern expert Rishabh Pant's methods: the one off van Beek in the 48th over saw Latham step across to a wide delivery outside off, and swipe him over deep square leg; and when Brandon Glover was called upon to bowl the last over, Latham refused singles off the first three deliveries before ramping successive sixes past the short boundary over fine leg and jamming his bat down for four between short third man and point.
Who knew what kind of day his 30th birthday would turn out to be?

Himanshu Agrawal is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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