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CRICKET-LEAD Miller helps South Africa get past The Netherlands – Group D – Caribbean Times

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EAST MEADOW, New York, CMC – A skillful, unbeaten half-century from David Miller enabled South Africa to survive a shaky start and clinch a four-wicket win against The Netherlands in their ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup on Saturday in the United States.

The 34-year-old left-handed cracked three fours and four sixes in 59 not out off 51 balls, and the South Africans ended on 106 for six, in reply to The Netherlands total of 103 for nine, in their second Group D match of the tournament at the Nassau County Stadium.

The Proteas were left reeling on 16 for four at the close of the Power Play after Quinton De Kock was run out off the first ball of the chase, Logan Van Beek bowled opener Reeza Hendricks for three, and pacer Vivian Kingma struck in successive overs.

South Africa were three for three when Kingma got their captain Aiden Markram caught behind for a third-ball duck, and the pacer got Heinrich Klaasen caught at deep backward square leg for four in the fifth over.

Tristan Stubbs came to the crease and, together with Miller, revived the South Africans’ chances with a fifth-wicket stand of 65 before he was caught at deep mid-wicket off Tim De Leede for 33, with the Proteas requiring 29 from 22 balls.

“I think in that situation [12 for four], it’s not a great situation chasing 100, and we know the wickets; I think it was, like I said, a lot better than the previous game we played,” he said.

“In that situation, the only thing you can control, which I’ve learned over the years, is the very next ball. You can quickly fall under a lot of pressure because there’s still 90 or 80 to get, and we’re under pressure. You can’t get those in one ball, so it’s just one ball at a time.”

He added: “I was just trying to concentrate on the things that I could control, my breathing, my body language, and facing the next ball, so it’s those key things and then obviously feeding a lot of confidence off your partner.

“Stubbs was phenomenal out there. He always comes with a lot of energy. He’s young and powerful, and I know that in our batting lineup, we’re boundary strikers, so it was just about managing the singles, getting off the strike, rotating the strike, and changing the momentum through that.”

Earlier, The Netherlands, too, were under early pressure when beanpole left-arm pacer Marco Jansen struck twice. They stumbled to 20 for three in the Power Play and failed to make much headway at the halfway stage of the innings when they were 35 for four.

Like the South Africans, Sybrand Engelbrecht scored 40, and Logan van Beek, batting at eight, made 23. They shared a 54-run partnership for the seventh wicket to get the Dutch past 100.

Pacer Ottneil Baartman was the pick of the Proteas bowlers with four for 11 from his allotted four overs, and fellow pacers Anrich Nortje and Jansen ended with two apiece.

“I think we fought well throughout the game,” Engelbrecht said. “Being four down for very little, it was always going to be difficult to get to a half-decent score, so I think we were a couple of runs short, but a fight from us, so I think we can be proud.”

Group D continues when South Africa faces Bangladesh on Monday at the Nassau County Stadium. At the same time, the Netherlands meets the same opponents this coming Thursday at the Arnos Vale Cricket Ground in St Vincent.

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