VOORBURG: New Zealand bowlers displayed brilliance as they defended a below-par target to hand their side a narrow win over the Netherlands in the first T20I.
Set to chase 149, the hosts fell just 16 runs short as Blair Tickner-led New Zealand bowling attack bundled out the Netherlands for 132 in the final over.
Top-order Bas de Leede fought valiantly for the hosts with a gritty knock of 66 runs off 53 deliveries, laced with three boundaries and two sixes.
Wicket-keeper batter Scott Edwards remained another significant contributor as he scored 20 off 16, while the rest of the batters remained clueless against the Black Caps’ bowling attack.
Right-arm pacer Tickner led the way for New Zealand with 4/27, while Ben Sears followed back with three. Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi, on the other hand, struck out a batter each.
Batting first, New Zealand could only manage to finish at 148/7 in the allotted 20 overs as the middle-order failure halted the Black Caps from amassing a massive total.
The right-handed opening batter made sure to provide the touring side with a firm foundation as he top-scored with 45 off 36 balls with the help of four boundaries and a six, while left-handed all-rounder James Neesham’s quickfire knock down the order bolstered the side to a commendable total after middle-order failure.
The left-handed batter scored 32 off 17 balls, laced with two boundaries and as many sixes.
For Netherlands, Shariz Ahmed and Logan van Beek picked two wickets each, while Clayton Floyd, Tim Pringle, and Ryan Klein made one scalp apiece.