Netherlands 81 for 2 (Cooper 41*, Zahoor 1-12) beat UAE 80 for 9 (Raza 22, Glover 4-12, van der Gugten 2-10, ven Meekeren 2-13) by eight wickets
A relentless assault from the pace quartet of Fred Klaassen, Paul van Meekeren, Brandon Glover and Timm van der Gugten smothered the tournament hosts as the Netherlands restricted UAE to 80 for 9 on the way to an eight-wicket win in the opening playoff match at the men’s T20 World Cup qualifiers at Dubai International Stadium.
It’s the Netherlands’ third consecutive berth in the men’s T20 World Cup following trips to Bangladesh in 2014 and India in 2016.
UAE were 9 for 5 after five overs after choosing to bat first and, unlike Papua New Guinea against Kenya two days earlier, were never able to recover.
Coming back into the starting XI as an extra bowling option in place of struggling opening batsman Tobias Visee, Klaassen struck five balls into the match when he beat Rohan Mustafa for pace as the batsman attempted to pull a length ball that fluttered over the bowler’s head for a return catch taken next to the non-striker’s stumps.
That made it 2 for 1, but a pair of hammer blows were struck at the end of the second over by van Meekeren, which pretty much wiped out UAE’s chances. Sticking to a back-of-a-length mode of attack, van Meekeren had Rameez Shahzad fending an edge behind for a third-ball duck, and then Muhammad Usman, fresh off a sensational 89 not out against Canada, lasted just one ball. The bowler squared him up with one on a similar length angled across the fourth-stump channel to give Scott Edwards another catch behind as UAE were left reeling at 3 for 3.
Brandon Glover came on in the third over and trapped Darius D’Silva with a full-length ball playing around his pads for the third UAE duck before Zawar Farid miscued a pull to Pieter Seelaar on the ring at midwicket in the fifth for Glover’s second.
Waheed Ahmed and Mohammad Boota mostly nudged the ball around for the next eight overs in a 35-run stand, the first boundary coming from a top-edge over the keeper by Waheed off van Meekeren in the sixth. But Glover returned in the 14th to bounce out both. Waheed hooked to van Meekeren at deep fine-leg before Boota feathered an edge through to Edwards off a pull to make it 45 for 7.
After a brief flurry of sixes off Klaassen in the 19th by Sultan Ahmed and Ahmed Raza, van der Gugten stifled any further hopes with two wickets in the final over. Sultan slogged to cow corner before Raza was bowled way out in front of a slower ball in what ended as a one-run over.
UAE struck an early blow in the chase when Max O’Dowd waved through a gentle offbreak from Mustafa to be bowled for 5. But Colin Ackermann and Ben Cooper rebounded with a 51-run stand to put the Dutch on course for a smooth chase. The only further hiccup came in the tenth over when Ackermann slashed Zahoor Khan to third man for 18. Cooper and Ryan ten Doeschate knocked off the final 25 runs with ease, clinching victory with 29 balls to spare.