by Rex Clementine

On bad wickets, the weaker team will always fancy their chances. The New York track is giving some teams headaches. Those teams are the stronger teams in the competition. In Dallas, we saw USA overcoming former champions Pakistan and Afghanistan beating pre-tournament favourites New Zealand in the Caribbean. Netherlands nearly stunned South Africa on Saturday in New York.

People tend to love high scoring games when it comes to T-20 cricket. But these low scoring matches are thrillers indeed.

Netherlands only made 103 batting first. You would have expected South Africa to cruise past that total and boost their Net Run Rate further. But this was some struggle.

Inside the Power Play they lost four wickets for just 12 runs. It was game on.

Tristan Stubbs reminds you of A.B. de Villiers all the time. He can go crazy clearing any boundary with little trouble. But this was more of a grind. He made 33 in 37 balls to steady the innings. The partnership with David Miller brought about sanity to South Africa’s innings.

There’s a reason why David Miller is nicknamed Killer Miller. He can tear apart even the best of attacks. Some say that he’s batting too low. But he’s there for one reason. When a rescue act is needed, he’s the man for it. Bit of Michael Bevan caliber. He showcased that on Saturday smashing 59 in 51 balls hitting four sixes.

South Africa will be glad that they held their own when tested. Tougher challenges are ahead in the second round. When you talk of their bowling, often you discuss Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje or Marco Jansen. But watch out for this Ottneil Baartman. He doesn’t generate genuine pace like others, but he’s on the money with his line and length. He’s kind of ideal for the demands of T-20 cricket.  

As for the Dutch, they are not done yet. With both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka struggling, it is they who could be going through to the second round. They’ve got two exciting games coming up in the Caribbean.