As expected, Netherlands did not progress into the semi-finals of the ICC World T20 2014. In fact, making it past the qualifying round was an achievement in itself for the Dutch. Their surprise win against England on Monday, their second against the opponent in the event, makes their performance ever more special. Undoubtedly, the Netherlands can go back from the event with their heads held high. Here’s a look at some stand out performers for Netherlands in the series.
Stephan Myburgh: The Netherlands opener was sensational throughout the series, and was one the key reasons why the Dutch ended up making a serious impact in the tournament. In seven matches, he finished with 224 runs, averaging 32 at a strike rate of 154. The 30- year-old began the tournament with 55 against the UAE, and it was his exceptional 63 off just 23 balls that led Netherlands into the main round of the event at the expense of the more fancied Ireland. After a duck in the disastrous game against Sri Lanka, the 30-year-old smashed 51 from 28 balls against South Africa, and almost helped Netherlands pull off a sensational win. He finished the tournament with 39 off 31 against England, as the Dutch shocked the Englishmen for the second time in the ICC World T20.
Tom Cooper: The 27-year-old lived up to his reputation of being among the most talented of Dutch batsmen. In seven matches, he finished with 231 runs, the top run-scorer till Monday, averaging 57.7 at a strike-rate of 137.5. Cooper made an unbeaten 72 against Zimbabwe, 45 against Ireland and 40 not out against New Zealand. Earlier in the series, he came up with an all-round effort against the UAE, picking up 2 for 18 and remaining unbeaten on 34.
Ahsan Malik: The medium pacer made a serious impression in the event. In 7 matches, he finished with 12 wickets at an average of 13.8 at an economy rate of 6.6 and strike rate of 12.4. Malik began the event on an impressive note, with 3 for 16 against the UAE, and followed it up with 2 for 26 against Ireland. However, his most special performance came against the South Africans, the match in which he has figures of 5 for 19. His scalps included Amla, Albie Morkel and David Miller. In the sensational win over England, he conceded only 14 runs in three overs.
Timm van der Gugten: The young medium pacer also stood out with his effort. In seven matches, he finished with 9 wickets at an average of 16.7 and economy rate of 6.7 while maintaining an excellent strike rate of 16. Gugten claimed 2 for 24 against Netherlands and 3 for 30 against New Zealand apart from claiming a wicket each against Zimbabwe, Ireland and recently England.
--By A Cricket Analyst