Netherlands’ bowling unit rebounded after a thunderous start by George Munsey to restrict Scotland to 153, before chasing down the target with one ball and seven wickets to spare in the Quadrangular T20I Series opener. A Dutch record opening stand of 100 by Tobias Visee and Stephan Myburgh ensured a stress-free chase.
Having been sent in, Scotland put on 33 for 0 after two overs as Munsey clattered five fours and two sixes. He had hammered 71 off 34 balls to set up a record total of 221 the last time these two sides met, in Amstelveen in June last year. But Netherlands held the Scots to 120 off the final 18 with a fightback sparked by Fred Klaassen.
Given the nod over Paul van Meekeren in the starting XI, the left-armer justified his inclusion by taking the key wicket of Munsey, lbw in the fourth over. Combined with Kyle Coetzer’s dismissal at backward point in the previous over off Shane Snater, momentum shifted dramatically back in favour of the Dutch, and they never relinquished it.
Netherlands were sharp in the field early as well, with Max O’Dowd taking two catches at deep square leg. One of them was a sensational diving effort when Richie Berrington couldn’t keep a sweep down against Pieter Seelaar’s spin, to make it 44 for 4.
Calum MacLeod survived an early chance on 9 and then again on 47 when O’Dowd spilled a comparatively easy chance at deep square leg before the reigning ICC Associate Player of the Year upper-cut his seventh four over third man to reach his half-century. MacLeod added 53 for the fifth wicket with Craig Wallace and eventually top-scored with 53 off 45 balls. In the 18th over, he was bowled shuffling across his stumps to scoop Timm van der Gugten, negating Scotland’s best chance of a late surge.
Visee struggled early in Netherlands’ reply, taking seven balls to get off the mark, but a sliced four over the slips in the second over helped ease his nerves. In nine previous T20Is, his best score was 25 but by the eighth over he was on 37 and proceeded to drive Michael Leask for six, cover drive and sweep him for four and bring up his maiden T20I fifty off only 29 balls.
Normally the aggressor in any opening stand for Netherlands, Stephan Myburgh was content to ride shotgun until he flicked Leask to deep square leg in the 12th over to signal the century stand. Visee was bowled a few deliveries later for 71 by Safyaan Sharif but Ryan ten Doeschate and Wesley Barresi saw Netherlands home with an unbeaten 33-run stand to give the Dutch an early advantage in the quadrangular series.