Harare: A fourth consecutive victory for the West Indies ensured they finished top of Group A but the Netherlands will be kicking themselves after sacrificing a promising position in their run-chase before the rains came to bring about a premature conclusion.
With rain in the air, the Netherlands were cruising at 142/2 in the 24th over chasing 310 for victory. They were ahead of the rate according to DLS calculations, before two avoidable run-outs checked their progress. Opener Wesley Barresi was the first to go, followed five balls later by the captain Peter Borren.
Two more wickets would fall in quick succession just before the heavens opened, leaving Ryan ten Doeschate marooned, unbeaten on 67, with the Dutch six wickets down and comfortably behind the required rate. The ground was duly drenched, and Netherlands' charge was curtailed for good.
The main beneficiary is the UAE, progressing to the Super Six stage from Group A along with Ireland and the unbeaten Windies.
The rain ruined a potentially classic finish to what had hitherto been a spirited contest. The match got off to a rollicking start. Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis opened up for the Windies in typically expansive style, matching each other stroke for stroke in an 85-run stand from just eight-and-a-half overs, before a muscular partnership for the sixth wicket between Marlon Samuels and Rovman Powell powered Windies to an imposing 309/6.
Lewis was on 34 from 21 balls when Roelof van der Merwe pulled off a stunning catch to send Gayle back off Paul van Meekeren. Going for one more big hit, Gayle managed to only send it high, and van der Merwe ran a fair distance from mid-off to send Gayle back for a 31-ball 46.
Lewis took charge after that, hitting Shane Snater, the medium pacer, for two fours and a six in the 14th over, and carrying on even as Shimron Hetmyer was out caught on the sweep off van der Merwe for 10.
The rain interruption came shortly after, reducing the game to 48 overs a side, and there was a quiet phase after that when the boundaries dried up. Trying to up the rate, Lewis hit Peter Borren well but Pieter Seelaar took a stunner at point to send the opening batsman back for a 92-ball 84, studded with six fours and four sixes.
Samuels then found an able partner in Powell, fresh from his heroics against Ireland. Together, the two of them pushed on, and though Powell was dismissed in the last over of the innings, Samuels carried on till the end, unbeaten on 73 from 84 balls.
The Dutch got off to a flyer and with ten Doechate joining Barresi in a rambunctious 113-run stand, all seemed possible. Heartbreakingly for Borren's men, a chaotic 20 minutes during which those four wickets fell saw their hopes of qualifying for the next stage dashed.