Best World Cup for low-ranked teams: Irfan Pathan on Netherlands win over South Africa

New Delhi [India], November 6 (ANI): Following Netherlands’ upset win over South Africa in their final Super 12 match of the ICC T20 World Cup which eliminated Proteas from the tournament, former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan, remarked that the ongoing edition of the global 20-over event has been the “best one for lower-ranked teams” and lauded the Dutch for their performances.

The Netherlands staged a massive upset in the ongoing T20 World Cup at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday after defeating South Africa by 13 runs in their last Super-12 encounter, ensuring India a place in the semi-finals.

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“This is theeeeee Best World Cup for lower-ranked teams. Solid cricket from Netherlands,” tweeted Irfan.

Irfan is not wrong here as this World Cup has seen some fine performances and thrilling matches involving low-ranked teams.

In the tournament opener, Namibia upset Asia Cup champions Sri Lanka by 55 runs in round one in their Group A match.

The round one also saw a thrilling match contest between UAE and Namibia, which the former won by seven runs.

In the Group B during round one, losses to Scotland and Ireland threw two-time champions West Indies out of the tournament. Both teams won comprehensively against the Windies, winning by 42 runs and nine wickets respectively.

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In the Super 12 stage of the tournament, rain played spoilsport in Group 1 match between England and Ireland and it was the latter who was adjudged as winners because their opponent was five runs behind the par DLS score.

Though Afghanistan lost to Australia by four runs in their final Group 1 match, they still managed to knock Australia out of the tournament because such a close match did not allow the defending champions to take advantage of their win in form of a better net run rate and it was England and New Zealand who became the semifinalists from Group 1 due to better NRR. Afghanistan’s fighting spirit and Rashid Khan’s knock of 48 while chasing 169 earned praises from and players.

In Group 2 as well, there was some good cricket played by lower-ranked teams. The Netherlands put a fight against Bangladesh and lost by nine runs while chasing 145 runs. The Dutch on Sunday also knocked out South Africa out of the tournament after clinching a 13-run win over them, in what was one of the biggest upsets in T20 history.

Zimbabwe also shocked Pakistan, clinching a thrilling one-run win against them to put Men in Green’s chances in semifinals at risk. Zimbabwe also put up a brave fight against Bangladesh while chasing 151, losing the match by 3 runs.

Coming to the SA-Netherlands match, India secured a place in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup after South Africa’s defeat, who ended their campaign with five points. Men in Blue are currently table toppers with six points.

The clash between Pakistan and Bangladesh has now become a virtual quarterfinal as the winner of the clash will join India in the semi-finals from group 2. Both of these sides have four points each and the winner will end with six points to earn a top-two finish and will remove SA from the second spot.

India could have eight points or six depending on their result against Zimbabwe on Sunday.

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Put to bat first by South Africa, the Dutch put up 158/4 in their 20 overs. Openers Stephan Myburgh (37) and Max ODowd (29) put up a fine stand of 58 runs for the first wicket.

Colin Ackermann top-scored with 41 off 26 balls for the Netherlands.

Spinner Keshav Maharaj (2/27) was the pick of the bowlers for Proteas. Anrich Nortje and Aiden Markram also got a wicket each.

Chasing 159, the South African batting line-up was up for a huge surprise by Dutch.

Netherlands bowlers dominated the proceedings right from the powerplay. Biggies like wicketkeeper-batter Quinton de Kock (13), Rilee Rossouw (25), Aiden Markram (17) and David Miller (17) failed to make an impact with the bat. Heinrich Klassen did score 21 runs, but that was not enough either as the team fell 13 runs short. At the end of 20 overs, SA could only score 145/8.

Pacer Brandon Glover was the pick of the bowlers for Dutch, picking up 3/9 in two overs. Fred Klaassen and Bas de Leede took two wickets each. Paul van Meekeren also took a wicket.

Ackermann’s knock of 41 earned him the ‘Man of the Match’ title.

Brief Score: Netherlands 158/4 (Colin Ackermann 41, Tom Cooper 35; Keshav Maharaj 2-27) vs South Africa 145/8 (Rilee Rossouw 25, Heinrich Klaasen 21; Brandon Glover 3-9). (ANI)

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