The Netherlands 134-3 (Cooper 41, ten Doeschate 30, Vala 1-15) defeated PNG 128-8 (Siaka 39, Bau 29, Glover 3-24) by 7 wickets
The Netherlands have claimed the T20 World Cup Qualifier trophy, defeating PNG by 7 wickets. It’s the first time the Dutchmen have claimed the title outright, after sharing the trophy with Scotland (2015) and Ireland (2008) previously.
Assad Vala won the toss and elected to bat at the Dubai Sports Complex, sticking to a winning formula that saw his team claim automatic qualification. In a show of continuity in their campaign PNG also named the same eleven for the eighth straight time at the tournament. The Netherlands made one change from their semi-final victory over Ireland, picking an extra batsman in Tobias Visee, replacing Fred Klaassen.
The innings began with Roelof van der Merwe handed the new ball, as the Dutch briefly moved away from the fast-bowling stocks that had brought success in the Power Play during the rest of the tournament. Tony Ura jumped on a ball straying too far down the leg side, but met his end two balls later, trying the same sweep shot to a ball pitching on a middle and off-stump line. Struck in front, umpire Sam Nogajski had little hesitation in raising the finger.
Paul van Meekeren started operations at the other end, complementing van der Merwe with a tricky line and length, though Brandon Glover – who bowled the third over – released the pressure with five wides down the leg-side. Lega Siaka took a liking to Colin Ackermann, hitting him for three boundaries, with dexterity through leg side play.
Ahsan Raza was tested with a direct hit from Tobias Visee, and his decision to give Vala out was a good one after closer inspection, with the PNG skipper centimetres out of his ground.
Charles Amini was undone by Timm van der Gugten, the fifth bowler used by the Netherlands in just the sixth over. Scooping an off-drive to Ben Cooper, Amini fell inside the Power Play, as PNG stumbled to 30-3 at the six-over mark.
Lega Siaka led a solo charge for the Barramudis, eventually accompanied by Sese Bau who grew slowly into his innings.
The pair added 43 for the fourth wicket, before Siaka tried to swipe a full van der Merwe delivery too square into the onside. Out bowled, it was a sloppy end to what was an innings of craft from Siaka, pushing into gaps and squeezing every possible run out of the Dutch.
Kiplin Doriga fell soon after, in a dismissal he himself would have appreciated. Hit on the gloves by the fittingly-named Brandon Glover, Doriga was fell after keeping counterpart Scott Edwards dived full stretch to his right to complete a good catch.
Despite the Dutch dominance, a Jason Kila flurry at the end of the innings gave his PNG side a little more to work with. Finishing with
Free of inhibition, Tobias Visee’s game was showcased, albeit for an over in an innings of 10 off 6 balls. Throwing his hands at everything in the first over bowled by Nosaina Pokana, Visee hit two boundaries on the off-side, before miscuing an off-drive to Norman Vanua.
Pokana caused headaches for Max O’Dowd in his next over, finding the outside edge of the VOC Rotterdam man who survived with no slip in place.
Vala turned to spin, deploying Charles Amini and his leg-spin, though Vala reaped rewards utilising his own off-breaks. What looked like an innocuous delivery turned into a wicket ball, as a ball short of a length was bunted in the direction of Amini, who took an athletic catch to his left.
The Dutch looked in relative control in their chase, and despite the dismissal of Ben Cooper pulling to Siaka in the deep, they cruised home. Ackermann and Ryan ten Doeschate ticked things along, with two sixes from ten Doeschate evaporating any hope of PNG stealing victory. Ten Doeschate hit a third six to finish off the match.
Brandon Glover was crowned Player of the Match for his 3-24, with Namibia’s Gerhard Erasmus named Player of the Tournament.
A scorecard of the match can be found here.