Netherlands Hold Off Spirited Malaysia With O'Dowd's Century > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Netherlands hold off spirited Malaysia with O'Dowd's century

Malaysia will nonetheless be fired up for their match against hosts Nepal tomorrow, having shaken off the label of rank outsiders for the tournament.

Malaysia will nonetheless be fired up for their match against hosts Nepal tomorrow, having shaken off the label of rank outsiders for the tournament.

Max O'Dowd struck an unbeaten 133 off 73 for the Netherlands as the Dutch held off a defiant Malaysia side, coming back from a heavy opening defeat against hosts Nepal yesterday to open their account at the Tri-Nations Series in Kathmandu. O'Dowd's century was the first for the Netherlands in men's T20 Internationals and only the second T20I in Dutch colours after Sterre Kalis's 126* against Germany in 2019. Despite a fighting effort led by Malaysian vice-captain Virandeep Singh, whose 87 off 53 in the reply was also a record for Malaysia, the Netherlands clung on to close out a tense 15-run win in the final over.

After winning the toss and electing to bat, the Dutch recovered from the early loss of Tobias Visee, who was bowled after backing away from one that went on with the arm of left-arm spinner Pavandeep Singh. O'Dowd and Scott Edwards took advantage of some wayward bowling to take the Dutch to 62 in the ninth over before Edwards fell LBW for 31 looking to sweep Anwar Rahman. Ben Cooper would supply the support for the rest of the innings, happy to feed O'Dowd the strike and eventually contributing just 20 to their unbroken partnership of 125. O'Dowd hit 15 fours and 6 sixes in his record-breaking knock, the highest-ever by an Associate batsman in T20Is and the fifth-highest overall in men's T20 internationals.

Facing a daunting target of 192, Malaysian openers Syed Aziz and Anwar Arudin came out with intent. Young offie Aryan Dutt, who had come in for serious punishment yesterday as his first over in T20Is went for 19 runs, was again called upon to open the bowling and was immediately under the pump. Aziz cut his first ball away for four through point before pushing a single off the next, which was then called a no ball. Arudin slog-swept the free hit for six. Dutt would hold his nerve, however, and the next four balls would bring two wickets for no runs, the first skidding on through the gate to take Arudin's off stump and the last seeing skipper Ahmed Faiz caught down the leg side.

Aziz would fall three overs later, popping a leading edge of Bas de Leede to his opposite number Pieter Seelaar at cover, but the early wickets did nothing to deter the Malaysians. Sharvin Muniandy joined Virandeep Singh and the pair would seize the initiative in the next over, Singh taking three consecutive boundaries off Sebastiaan Braat as Malaysia recovered to 56 for 3 by the end of an eventful powerplay. It fell to Seelaar to put the brakes on in the middle overs, his four overs of left-arm spin conceding just 20 runs in the end, but so long as Singh remained in the middle Malaysia were in the game. With the help of Muniandy and Aminuddin Ramly, both of whom struck quickfire twenties in support, Singh would take the game deep even as wickets continued to fall. Two consecutive sixes off the first two balls of the 19th reduced the equation from 37 needed off 12 to 25 off the last 10 before Singh finally succumbed to a slower ball from Braat, who would have his belated revenge thanks to an excellent catch from Visee deep in the off side. Vivian Kingma, who had been struggling with his run-up earlier, held his nerve in the final over to close out the match with a succession of wide yorkers, as the Dutch held on for a nervy win.

Malaysia will nonetheless be fired up for their match against hosts Nepal tomorrow, having shaken off the label of rank outsiders for the tournament. The Netherlands will be pleased to have points on the board at the second attempt, but will nonetheless have plenty to reflect on during their day off.