Netherlands 291 for 7 (O'Dowd 59, van der Merwe 57, Edwards 44, Seelaar 32*, Williams 4-43) beat Zimbabwe 290 for 6 (Raza 85*, Ervine 84, Taylor 51) by three wickets
Zimbabwe came into this game after getting a proper beating. But nearly all of their key players stood up to change the narrative. Sikandar Raza played finisher to perfection, making 85 off only 68 balls and remaining unbeaten so that the effort of his team-mates higher up the order - Craig Ervine scored 84 and Brendan Taylor struck a fifty as well - yielded a solid total. At the innings break, 290 for 6 looked a winning score. And that perception only grew when Sean Williams too four wickets with his left-arm spin.
Netherlands were 167 for 5 in the 33rd over. They had never chased a target as big as this in ODI cricket before. But fast forward to the 49th and they were gifted the winning run off a wide.
Much of the recovery had already been done, with Roelof van der Merwe striking a composed 57 off 54 balls and the wicketkeeper Scott Edwards keeping pace despite scoring only three boundaries in his unbeaten 44. Eventually though that sixth-wicket partnership at nearly run a ball gave way to one that was pure mayhem.
The Netherlands captain Pieter Seelaar came out with the equation reading 62 off 42 balls and completely broke the game. He faced only 15 deliveries but sent six of them to the boundary to ensure his team set a new national record.
A big chase usually needs a good opening stand and Netherlands had that too. Tobias Visee, who will be opening the batting with Chris Gayle at the Global T20 Canada, batted in a matter befitting that as he whacked 41 off only 33 balls. His partner, Max O'Dowd who scored a half-century on debut on Wednesday followed it up with another, but when he fell to Williams, the game seemed to tilt towards Zimbabwe and the series was set to be shared 1-1.
Then everything changed.
Roelof van der Merwe
Zimbabwe (and Rhodesia)
Zimbabwe vs Netherlands
ZIM in IRELAND and NL