Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
McCullum saved his team with his match-winning knock of 65
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum smashed a beautiful half-century to lead his team to an important six-wicket win over the Netherlands in Chittagong.
New Zealand benefited from McCullum’s decision to bowl first as Netherlands opener Stephan Myburgh was brilliantly caught by Martin Guptill off the bowling of Trent Boult for 16.
Wicketkeeper Wesley Barresi only made four runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Mitchell McClenaghan.
Michael Swart managed to make 26 runs before he was stumped by Luke Ronchi off the bowling of Nathan McCullum.
Netherlands captain Peter Borren and Tom Cooper stabilised the innings with a 60-run partnership before Borren was caught by Williamson at point off the bowling of Kyle Mills.
Borren’s fantastic knock of 49 came off 35 balls and included seven boundaries and a six.
Netherlands managed to make 151/4 off their 20 overs thanks to Cooper’s brilliant innings of 40, which came off 23 deliveries and included four boundaries and two sixes.
Boult, McClenaghan, McCullum and Mills all picked up one wicket each.
Chasing 152 to win, New Zealand got off to a horrible start as Guptill was caught behind off the bowling of Timm van der Gugten for just nine runs.
Kane Williamson scored 29 runs before he was also caught behind, but only off the bowling of Logan van Beek.
Ross Taylor only made 18 runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of van der Gugten.
Brendon McCullum saved the day with his outstanding knock of 65, which came off 45 balls and included four boundaries and three sixes.
During his knock, McCullum became the first man to score 2,000 runs in Twenty20 Internationals.
McCullum was eventually dismissed in the 17th over when he was caught by Mudassar Bukhari in the cover region to become van der Gugten’s third victim of the match.
Corey Anderson and James Neesham scored the remaining runs with relative ease to give New Zealand a six-wicket win.
Van der Gugten was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while van Beek snapped up one.
Borren was disappointed with his team’s performance, and said: “It was a reasonably comfortable chase for NZ. Saying that it wasn’t the easiest wickets to start on. Brendon got them through, but if we’d got him early something could have happened. [Batting circumspectly] I don’t really know how to do that myself, I just play a lot of hockey shots.
“The bowling was decent, but we may have bowled a little too full tonight. Obviously, we’ve competed alright, but we were not the favourites to win it. I reckon we still could get in one performance and I think it could be a replay of the 2009 win.
“We need to adjust our lengths and if we had done that, we could have competed tonight. I won’t promise [anything]. It’s always a roller coaster with us and we’ll try and do our best.”
McCullum, who was named Man of the Match, congratulated Netherlands for putting up a “really good fight”, and said: “Definitely, Netherlands put up a really good fight. The surface was different than what we saw earlier and the way we bowled in the last two overs pulled their total back.
“We let things slip against South Africa. There was a lot of talk about their game against Sri Lanka, but we had a lot of respect for them and we were focused.
“[I] Did my back in the 15th over while fielding, will go see the physio and hopefully I’ll be alright. Our last game could end up a quarter-final and hopefully we’ll have things in our hands to progress.”