Malaysia nearly pulled off an upset in Kathmandu against the Netherlands in the fifth T20I of the Three Nations Series, falling one run short of chasing the twice-reviewed DLS target of 92 in 10 overs. Vivian Kingma defended just seven runs in the final over to hold them to a dramatic tie.
Malaysia had looked almost in control of the game after early wickets and rain played havoc with Dutch pubs. Syed Aziz and Anwar Arudin took them to 56 without a loss before a six-yard second interception of the hunt, only for the Dutch steam attack counter-attack after the rain, wickets falling in all of ‘ the other four overs as the hunt failed. And Kingma held her nerve in the end to deny Malaysia’s victory.
Getting the Dutch into batting after winning the retrospective was a crucial throw away, Malaysia found early wins as Tobias Visee popped a spot to cover Pravandeep Singh’s fourth ball. Number three Ben Cooper would hit back taking the next 16 runs of Singh, but left shooter Muhammad Wafiq struck twice in three balls to eliminate Vikram Singh and Bas de Leede in the next. With senior players Max O’Dowd and Scott Edwards resting and the Netherlands already too low for this trip, Malaysia was not far away from revealing a relatively weak lower middle order.
Cooper and skipper Pieter Seelaar would stabilize the pubs as the Netherlands improved to 68-3 by the time the rain reached the 11th over. By the time the weather recreated the Dutch pubs would be broken down to just 13 overs however, and while the Dutch made good use of the remaining 16 balls, Cooper reached second half a century in a row with Seelaar and Tonny Staal backing them to 107-4 by the interval. The missing wickets before the interception meant that DLS would add just 12 runs to that total.
With less than 10 runs needed at the start, Malaysia’s opening pair put forward Aziz’s top cut Paul van Meekeren over a point for six on the first ball of the hunt to set the tone. Kingma would also come in for a penalty early as his first fight went for 15 runs, including a top edge from Arudin that flew away over Visee’s head (standing in over Edwards behind the stumps ) and all the way at six. A lesson learned and from then on the Dutch sailors took the speed off the ball, surrendering van Meekeren only two singles in the sixth before the rain returned, to keep the Dutch in the hunt.
Had the weather continued Malaysia would have claimed a victory of eight runs, but the rain would clear them leaving a revised target of 92, needing 36 off the last four overs. Sebastiaan Braat would take the ball for the first over after the interception, and he would claim the first wicket floating a slower ball past Arudin’s wild cut across the line into the bottom of the stumps, and only surrendering four runs in the over to pull the Dutch back into contention. De Leede would pull Aziz in the next, once again a slower ball rose this time into south Mey’s hands at the cover boundary, but Virandeep Singh would find the rope three times in the over to keep Malaysia from its front. Braat would also claim his wicket in the next as Singh nailed it long on the third ball, but Aminuddin Ramly would put the next ball over the top of the same fielder and rope.
When Kingma grabbed the ball for the final over with Shafiq Sharif on strike Malaysia needed just seven for the win. Yorkers wide of the plan, twice too wide in the first three attempts, three times producing a single, one dot and the equation was two of two balls. The trap set, Kingma caught Ramly as he walked across his sticks with a full straight ball dead on the stump to pin LBW. The Muniandy freshman had only one carry to face, but he couldn’t lay a bat on a perfect wide yorker. Visee collected but instead of risk demolitions would allow the pair to run a bylaw and claim the tie.
It wouldn’t be enough for Malaysia though, with no provision for Super Over in tournament play conditions the two teams share the points – enough to see the Netherlands through to the Final against Nepal on Saturday and to eliminate Malaysia from the strife. Nevertheless Malaysia will have a chance to claim a consolation victory against the hosts tomorrow in their final match.