Home Sport Cricket Stubbs and Miller combine as Proteas finally beat the Dutch

Stubbs and Miller combine as Proteas finally beat the Dutch

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With South Africa stunned at 12/4 in their pursuit of just over 100 to win, Stubbs and Miller joined forces to first absorb the pressure before finding their stride.

Tristan Stubbs of South Africa bats during the ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup against Netherlands at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium on June 08, 2024 in New York, New York. Picture: Robert Cianflone, Getty Images via AFP

Tristan Stubbs and David Miller rescued a contest the rest of their top order conspired to sabotage, as South Africa beat the Netherlands by four wickets in their T20 World Cup Group D clash in New York on Saturday.

With South Africa stunned at 12/4 in their pursuit of just over 100 to win, Stubbs and Miller joined forces to first absorb the pressure before finding their stride.

The fifth wicket partnership of 55 saw Stubbs (33) and Miller (59 not out) score the majority of the runs in their chase, with 27 still needed once their stay in the middle was broken.

Though all-rounder Marco Jansen (3) did not last long, Miller was able to steer his side to the triumph as he reached an invaluable half-century in the process.

The decision to bowl first seemed an excellent choice as South Africa struck in the first over of the Netherlands innings. The wickets would continue to fall as the entire Proteas attack were miserly on the bowler-friendly wicket.

In fact, the only partnership of substance came when the Dutch fell to 48/6. It brought together the pair of top-scorer Sybrand Engelbrecht (40) and Logan van Beek (23). The duo would go on to put on a vital 54 for the seventh wicket, with South Africa only striking again in the final over of the innings as the Netherlands made 103/9 in their 20 overs.

Ottniel Baartman was the pick of the bowlers with incredible figures of 4/11, while Anrich Nortje (2/19) and Jansen (2/20) were both impressive.

Coming out in pursuit of the meagre 104 for victory, a dreadful mixup between the openers off the first ball of the innings resulting in the run out of Quinton de Kock for a duck, set the tone for the chase. In fact, it was just the second time in T20I cricket that an opener had been dismissed without facing a ball.

The wickets continued to tumble as Reeza Hendricks (3) was clean bowled and then skipper Aiden Markram nicked a ball going down leg as he made his reluctant march off the field as he too was out for a duck as his side were stumbling at 3/3.

Heinrich Klaasen (4) was next to fail, with a careless pull shot to be caught at deep backward square as South Africa crashed to 12/4.

Despite Stubbs skying a pull shot to depart with just under 30 runs needed for victory, for the remainder of the Proteas innings, it was the Stubbs-Miller show as South Africa fought back to earn an encouraging or concerning victory, depending on how you look at it.

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