New Zealand recovered from an early scare in their second CWC Super League ODI against the Netherlands at Hamilton thanks to the captain’s knock from stand-in skipper Tom Latham. The Dutch bowlers reduced the hosts to 32-5 on the powerplay before Tom Latham’s unbeaten 140* (the highest ever score by a batsman on their birthday) completely turned the tide. His lone hand lifted his side to 264-9 at the break. The total would prove too much for the Dutch to handle.
As the already sticky pitch continued to turn. The Netherlands found it difficult to bat on. Bas de Leede and Vikram Singh were the only Dutch batsmen to reach thirty as the visitors were defeated by 118 runs.
The strong start of New Zealand’s innings
New Zealand’s innings began promisingly enough. With Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls appearing to be in command as they punished anything short to add 22 runs in quick time before Fred Klaassen struck Guptill driving on the up on the first ball of the fifth and being well held by de Leede diving to his left at the cover. From there, the Dutch patience with the occasional short ball would bear astonishing fruit, resulting in an extraordinary collapse.
Will Young was first removed in an odd manner by Logan van Beek, who walked across the field and missed the draw. The ball rebounded off the pad and glove before rolling into the leg stump. With the pressure mounting, Nicholls reacted by selecting more risky shots, eventually mistiming a pull off van Beek and giving Singh a simple catch at midwicket.
After Klaassen found a little additional bounce and velocity in the next over, Taylor fended to van Beek at point, bringing the score to 31-4 after eight overs. Bracewell, too, botched a pull, top-edging van Beek and finding Klaassen on the rope at deep backward square, bringing the score to 32-5.
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The remarkable innings by Tom Latham
On the final ball of the 30th over, Tom Latham completed a battling fifty, driving Klaassen away square to lift his team to 111-6. When Bracewell stepped down to throw Seelaar past the sight-screen in the next over, it went against the grain. However, it would indicate a shift in momentum in the game’s favor for the first time.
Michael Rippon got the grip and turn to pull the ball away from the charging Bracewell’s bat, the miscued drive well saved by Glover coming in from long-on, as the pair added 90 for the seventh wicket with growing fluency. Ish Sodhi would back up his skipper admirably, guiding New Zealand past the 200-point milestone
Sodhi would try top-edging on Klaasen’s heave in the 48th, looking to strike out at the death, but Latham would keep the momentum going with an incredible rolling slog sweep off van Beek for six.
If Tom Latham hadn’t noticed that Seelaar only had three men in the circle, he might have been out LBW to Klaassen, but he would have remained unbeaten, having struck 140* of his side’s total of 264-9.
Brief Scores: New Zealand 264/9 in 50 overs (Latham 140*; van Beek 4-56) beat Netherlands 146 in 34.1 overs (Bas de Leede 37; Bracewell 3-21) by 118 runs