South Africa’s Victory Over Netherlands in T20 World Cup Nail-Biter Led by David Miller

South Africa broke their Netherlands jinx in a thrilling low-scoring encounter at the T20 World Cup 2024.

The match, held in New York on June 8, 2024, showcased South Africa’s resilience, particularly led by David Miller and Tristan Stubbs, as they overcame early setbacks to clinch a crucial win.

South Africa’s Victory Over Netherlands in T20 World Cup Nail-Biter Led by David Miller
David Miller celebrates defeating a formidable challenge from the Netherlands. ICC/Getty Images

Netherlands 103 for 9 (Engelbrecht 40, Baartman 4-11, Nortje 2-19, Jansen 2-20) lost against South Africa 106 for 6 (Miller 59*, Stubbs 33, Kingma 2-12, van Beek 2-21) by four wickets.

In an ICC competition, South Africa made a lot of noise about a modest chase in New York, but David Miller and Tristan Stubbs dug deep to keep them from losing to the Netherlands for the third time in a row.

They were down to 12 for 4, but Miller and Stubbs put on 65 for the fifth wicket to pull them up. The pitch wasn’t as awful as the scorecard indicated; they took 13 of the 15 wickets that went to them and were also responsible for two run outs.

Miller may have had flashbacks to Adelaide 2022 as he came out to bat, when his wicket, with 47 needed off 28 balls, put an end to South Africa and gave Netherlands a 13-run victory. Miller persevered and reached 59 on Saturday, remaining undefeated. In the last over, when South Africa needed 16 off 12, he unleashed his finest six-hitting effort.

Qunton de Kock was out before he could face the ball. Logan van Beek hit a peach that angled in and straightened to strike the top of off for Reeza Hendricks. When Vivian Kingma choked Aiden Markram down the thigh to send him out of South Africa 3–0, it was the first of a double. And given the recent outcomes between the two teams at ICC events, Netherlands dared to dream—or perhaps just expect the expected—when Heinrich Klaasen’s bloodlust had him spotting Tim Pringle trying to drag off Kingma.

Miller and Stubbs are both natural hitters who enjoy taking on bowlers. However, they walked out into a crisis, not a situation for that kind of batting. A slip-up could have resulted in the end. They therefore opted for prudence, ending the powerplay without causing any further damage and hitting just two more boundaries until the tenth over, which meant that South Africa needed to score 72 runs in the final ten overs.

At this time, Stubbs was struggling to force the tempo, especially when the ball was dug into the pitch. He was on 9 off 21. It was also challenging for him to hit out due to a tinge of grip for the spinners. Thus, Stubbs handed Bas de Leede the initiative when he entered the field in the eleventh over and was rewarded with a huge piece of luck when a thick inside edge sailed over the midwicket defender.

Miller also had some good fortune. South Africa still needed 57 from 50 when Pringle, a left-arm spinner, made a huge knock down the ground that narrowly avoided the long-on fielder in the 12th over.

With a hoick for six off Vikramjit Singh, Stubbs was able to finally release the strain that had been building around him. Three balls later, he blasted van Beek down the ground to turn the tide in favor of South Africa.

Also Read: Australia’s Dominance and Zampa’s Brilliance Shake England’s T20 World Cup Defence

South Africa’s Victory Over Netherlands in T20 World Cup Nail-Biter Led by David Miller
Sybrand Engelbrecht scored a valuable 40. ICC/Getty Images

From there, it ought to have been easy sailing, with South Africa requiring 29 off 30. There was one more twist, though. Paul van Meekeren gave Miller a maiden over to begin with, and the pressure was evident when Stubbs holed out off Bas de Leede to deep midwicket in the next over. Then, in the eighteenth, following a six-figure blowout from Miller, van Beek returned to remove Marco Jansen.

However, de Leede erred in line, with South Africa needing 16 off of 12. Miller finished the game with a sequence of 2, 0, 4, and 6, which prompted an exclamation and ferocious fist pumping. Miller started the penultimate over by delivering a half-tracker over fine leg. The Adelaide 2022 monsters had been subdued by Miller.

Only recently did Sybrand Engelbrecht, who played for South Africa at the 2008 Under-19 World Cup, make his debut for the Netherlands. He led the way with a 45-ball 40 on a surface where the next best score among the top seven was 12.

Netherlands was put to bat at the toss, presumably so that South Africa could take advantage of the early conditions. They were bowled out for 32 for 4. At that point, Marco Jansen’s four-pronged pace attack from South Africa was scorching, with velocity and bounce off the ground to help.

Ottneil Baartman and Anrich Nortje made sure there were no freebies, continuing South Africa’s animosity. As a result, Netherlands tried to invent strokes, much like Scott Edwards did when he successfully completed a reverse scoop for six, but they were unable to produce enough.

To get them into three figures, it took Englebrecht’s persistent knock and his 54-run partnership with van Beek. Although that would have been insufficient on most days, Netherlands should be proud of themselves for turning it into a win that kept Group D wide open.

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