UAE gun down 138 to down hosts Netherlands in thriller
As wickets tumbled and batsmen struggled elsewhere, UAE and the Netherlands, and two batsmen in particular, put on a show to savour at Kampong, with Nisha Aliâs 69 competing with Sterre Kallisâ unbeaten 88 before a frantic finish saw UAE squeak home.
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It was Nishaâs dismissal which raised the pressure of the occasion, after her 59-ball 69 looked to have sewn it up. Hers was one of two wickets claimed by Caroline de Fouw in an over which cost five, bringing the equation to 18 off two overs. The penultimate over was chaos, composure thrown to the wind as the Netherlands went for every run out and the UAE took on every arm.
With 11 taken off it, UAE were favourites, before another de Fouw wicket swung the pendulum back. Three balls later, Chamani Seneviratne swung the winning boundary away, the UAE players screams finally drown ing out a sizeable but stunned Dutch crowd; player of the match Nisha Ali only just managed to struggle through the post-match interviews with a lost voice.
Still, she was a deserved winner of the award for her spectacular innings. It came under huge pressure, with the Dutch having had by far the better of the opening two thirds of the contest.
Earlier, Sterre Kallis superb 88 not out had led Netherlands to 137/3. It is rare to see a batsman outstrip her partners as she did, scoring 11 of Netherlandsâ 14 boundaries and 64 per cent of their runs. She came into this tournament with a reputation as Netherlandsâ most talented player, and to their credit her teammates did their best to support her.
Notable in this regard was Denis Hannemaâs boundaryless 29-ball 23 which allowed Kallis to get back on strike. It was an innings of power and timing, with gorgeous cover-driven fours, powerful straight hits, and some furious running. By the end she was visibily tirin g, gathering herself between each ball, almost doubled over at times, but recovering to smash the next one.
UAE did well to retain their composure in the face of the assault with slow left-armer Heena Hotchandani claiming 2/18 to stem the late assault, and Nisha Ali restricting through the middle with a parsimonious four-over spell which cost just 17. Impressive as it was, her day was far from over.
Having been set 138 to win, the Netherlands had bowled exceptionally to restrict UAE to 36 from the first eight overs, with Robin Rijke especially miserly, conceding just seven runs from her first three overs. By that point Nisha had just 18 from 24 balls, before she exploded. From the next two overs flowed 29 runs, starting a steady stream of boundaries, striking powerfully and with impunity. Even Rijke was taken for 10 on her return, demonstrating the shift in the contest.
Then she was dismissed, and we wondered whether the innings, as good as it was, would be matc h-winning. It turned out it was, just.Add Fixtures to Calendar