Dubai. Twenty-two-year old Netherlands’ right-arm pacer Brandon Glover wrecked UAE at the Dubai International Stadium with a spell of 4 for 12 and win the first play-off of the qualifiers by eight wickets and book a place in the ICC World T20 World Cup in Australia. So clinical was Netherlands’s bowling on UAE team’s home ground that the hosts were restricted to 80 for 9. Glover was well backed by Paul van Meekeren and Timm van der Gutgen with two wickets each.
Chasing the small target, Netherlands raced to victory in 15.1 overs through opener Ben Cooper’s unbeaten knock of 41 and won the match with 29 balls to spare.
UAE, winning the toss and electing to bat first, produced an awful batting show. Their batsmen fell one of after the other, starting from the fifth ball of the first over when their opener Rohan Mustafa, on one, miscued a shot, which went up in the air for bowler Fred Klaasen to take a return catch.
The second over was even more disastrous for the UAE team. Rameez Shahzad fell to the fifth ball of the second over by edging van Meekeren into the gloves of wicketkeeper Scott Edwards for a duck. Mohammad Usman, who cracked 89 and emerged the hero of their last match win against Canada, fell to the next ball, edging to wicketkeeper.
More trouble was to follow when Darius D’Silva fell leg before to the second ball of the third over to Glover for the third duck of the innings. Four wickets down for four runs in 2.2 overs shocked the host team. Half the side was back in the pavilion even before reaching the double figures when at the score on 9, Zawar Farid pulled Glover into the hands of skipper Pieter Seelaar at midwicket for 5.
Waheed Ahmad and Mohammad Boota put on 35 runs for the sixth wicket. At the score on 44, Ahmad hit Glover to van Meekeren at fine leg for 19. Five balls later, Boota too departed, trying to pull Glover and edged to wicketkeeper for 16.
Skipper Ahmad Raza, with support of Sultan Ahmad, took the score to 79 when Ahmad hit Timm van der Gugten to Colin Ackermann for 11. Raza was the last to fall when he swung at van der Gugten and got bowled for 22, which also happened to be the top score of the innings.
Chasing the score, Netherlands lost an early wicket when opener Max O’Dowd on 5, going for an off drive off Mustafa, missed the line and the ball hit his off stump to the first ball of the second over. Opener Ben Cooper and Ackermann played cautiously and put on 51 runs for the second wicket. Zahoor Khan ended the partnership by forcing Ackermann to cut in the air to Junaid Siddiqui at third man for 18. Cooper steered the team to the target through his patient unbeaten knock.
UAE will now play Scotland in the play-off 3 match on Wednesday at 2pm. The home team’s hopes of making to the World Cup now depends on beating Scotland that will help them qualify for the fifth and sixth place contest on October 31. Six teams from the qualifiers will make the grade in the World Cup.