Minnows Netherlands gave South Africa a major scare in their Group 1 league match at the Zahur Ahmed Chaudhury stadium in Chittagong in the ongoing World Twenty20. Chasing 146 to win, Netherlands scored 139 all out off 18.3 overs.
Batting first, South Africa began briskly despite losing Quentin de Kock for 0 to MA Jamil. Hashim Amla hit a barrage of boundaries and also hoarded strike, scoring 43 off 22 balls before getting out caught behind.
However, Faf du Plessis and AB DeVilliers kept up the pressure, scoring well over a run a ball - until Netherlands removed both batsmen within a span of eight balls. South Africa at this time had reached 92 in 10 overs, but were four wickets down.
However, the Netherlands bowlers, in particular pacer Ahmed Jamil kept striking repeatedly to halt the South African juggernaut. South Africa barely managed to last 20 overs, finishing at a disappointing 145/9. Jamil was the star, taking 5 wickets for just 19 runs from his 4 overs.
Like Amla before him, Netherlands opener Stephan Myburg dominated the strike and attack from the start, taking apart Morne Morkel and Tsotsobe before being bowled by JP Duminy for 51 off just 28 balls.
The opening partnership put on 58 for the first wicket, and by the time Myburg was dismissed, Netherlands were 80/2 off just 7.5 overs.
However, just like in the South African innings, the middle order could not consolidate the work done by the top order, and wickets began to fall in a hurry. Legbreak bowler Imran Tahir struck three times to uproot the Netherlands middle order, getting rid of Wesley Barresi, Peter Borren and Tom Cooper to bring the game to an even keel.
Though Netherlands needed less than four runs per over at this point, wickets kept falling regularly as the Netherland batsmen attempted to dig in. Eventually, the might of the South African attack proved too much for Netherlands, who were bowled out for 139.
South Africa however, must realise they nearly paid a heavy price for complacency, particularly with the bat, and look to pull up their socks in the coming games.