Deventer: While the cricket watching public are binging on the World Cup, Netherlands made a serious statement by totally outplaying Zimbabwe, with opening batsman Max O'Dowd batting through the innings to ensure a chase of 206 was as straightforward as possible. The 25-year old was on ODI debut and made 82 off 116 balls.
Such was their dominance that Netherlands sealed victory with seven wickets and 26 balls to spare in a 47-over game.
Tobias Visee kick-started the chase with six fours in a knock of 28. But he was dismissed by Ainsley Ndlovu, who became the 26th player in ODI history to pick up a wicket with his first ball.
O'Dowd took control from there on, moving smoothly past fifty, and though Netherlands stumbled from 110 for 1 to 117 for 3, his presence at the crease denied Zimbabwe any further chances to get back in the game.
There were several other highlights for the Dutch as well, namely their Fred Klaassen (2-29), Paul van Meekeren (2-30) and Pieter Seelaar (2-32) restricting Zimbabwe to a manageable total. They combined so well together that only one opposition batsman crossed 35.
Brendan Taylor tried his best, making 71 off 85 even as wickets fell all around him. He walked in with the score on 39 for 2 and watched the innings unravel to 127 for 6. But through it all, he stayed firm, hitting seven fours and two sixes, finally falling in the 40th over. At that time, Zimbabwe were 159 for 7 but Kyle Jarvis and Donald Tiripano hoisted them up over 200.