India will play the Netherlands in what will be the second Super 12 match for both sides at the Sydney Cricket Ground on October 27th. The match is due to begin at 6 pm local time.
Indian fans are still celebrating after their team pulled off an improbable last ball victory over their arch enemy Pakistan at the MCG in Melbourne.
The Dutch elation at qualifying for this stage of the tournament behind Sri Lanka did not last beyond their opening match with Bangladesh, which they lost by 9 runs.
Head to head
The two teams have never met before. India is the only Full Member nation that the Dutch have never played in T20 cricket.
They did, however, meet in the longer form of the World Cup in 2011 in Delhi, India winning by five wickets on that occasion.
India still basking after Pakistan win
India are still basking after their dramatic win over Pakistan on Sunday, with victory snatched from the jaws of seeming defeat thanks to the brilliance of Virat Kohli who made an unbeaten 82, which he himself has described his greatest ever innings in this format of the game. They were given a considerable helping hand though, by the inability of Pakistan spinner, Mohammad Nawaz to cope with the pressure of bowling the final over. The two wides he bowled and subsequent free hits he conceded, ultimately proved decisive.
But, given that was arguably India’s toughest test in this stage of the competition, confidence in the camp will be very high of them reaching the knock-out stages at least.
The performance was not perfect. Kohli’s innings helped paper over some cracks in the batting line-up, whilst arguably the bowlers had allowed the Pakistanis to score more runs than necessary in the death overs.
But, given the context and the background of the match, the win was the most important thing..
Dutch out-played by Bangladesh
The Dutch had won their first two games in the first group stage, beating the UAE and Namibia, before they were defeated by Sri Lanka, to whom they finished second in the group.
Some commentators had made them favourites going into their match against an inconsistent Bangladesh side, but in the event, their batting let them down.
They had won the toss and chose to field first in Hobart, and, despite the Bangladeshis making a fast start, the Dutch bowlers did a good job of reining them in, with both Paul van Meekeren and Bas de Leede both taking two wickets.
A final Bangladesh total of 144/8 was not the most challenging they could have faced.
However, their innings never recovered after the first four wickets were lost with just 15 on the board. Colin Ackermann, almost singlehandedly tried to restore their fortunes by making 62 off 48 balls, but it was left to last man van Meekeren, to bring some respectability by making 24.
The final score of 135 all out suggests that the match was closer than it was in reality,
Both sides are likely to field the same teams as featured in their opening matches. The Dutch do not have the strength in depth to make many replacements, whilst India will want those who did not perform so well against Pakistan to find some form in a low risk match.
If the Netherlands were to win this match, it would arguably rank among the biggest shocks in the history of the World Cup. The chances of that happening are slim in the extreme, though, with India’s biggest potential threat being complacency. They need to avoid taking their foot off the gas, even at this stage, just because they are facing relative minnows.
That is unlikely to happen, though, and instead the emphasis will be on winning by a convincing margin. Although they are now favourites to make the knock-out phases, having a healthy Net Run Rate is a useful insurance policy, in the event that they suffer a setback in their remaining group matches.
As for the Dutch, they can regard this match as a free hit. Nobody expects them to win, so they can play without any pressure and enjoy themselves.
Sometimes miracles do happen.
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