Latham birthday bash rallies New Zealand to second win over Netherlands

A captain’s knock from stand-in skipper Tom Latham saw New Zealand bounce back after an early scare in their second CWC Super League ODI against the Netherlands at Hamilton. The Dutch seamers reduced the hosts to 32-5 in the powerplay before Latham’s unbeaten 140* (the highest ever score by a batter on their birthday) entirely reversed the momentum, his lone hand lifting his side to 264-9 by the break, a total that would prove well beyond the Dutch.

The Netherlands found the surface no easier to bat on as the already tacky pitch began to take turn. Youngsters Bas de Leede and Vikram Singh were the only Dutch bats to pass thirty as the visitors slumped to a 118-run defeat.

New Zealand’s innings started promisingly enough, Matin Guptill and Henry Nicholls seemingly in control as they punished anything short to add 22 in quick time before Fred Klaassen found the breakthrough — Guptill driving on the up on the first ball of the fifth and well held by de Leede diving to his left at cover. From thereon, an extraordinary collapse ensued as the Dutch persistence with the occasional short ball would bear remarkable fruit.

First, Will Young was dismissed in unusual fashion by Logan van Beek, walking across and missing the pull, and the ball deflecting off pad and glove before rolling into leg stump. Pressure building, Nicholls reacted with increasingly rash shot selection eventually mistiming a pull off van Beek and popping up a simple catch for Singh at midwicket. A score of 30-3 after eight overs became 31-4 when Klaassen found a little extra bounce and pace to have Taylor fending to van Beek at point in the next over. And then to 32-5 as Bracewell too misjudged a pull, top edging van Beek and finding Klaassen on the rope at deep backward square.

It might have been six down in the next over, Klaassen’s bounce again finding the splice of de Grandhomme’s bat, the ball just dropping short of Brandon Glover coming in from mid-on. De Grandhomme would survive, however, and together with Latham would set about rebuilding the innings. The pair would first double the score, seeing out the next ten overs without further loss, Latham driving the scoring with good use of the feet as Pieter Seelaar turned to spin. It would be the Dutch captain himself to break the partnership, with de Grandhomme succumbing to temptation after an uncharacteristically sedate 16 off 40; his first attempt to find the rope took a top edge and Edwards with plenty of tine to collect.

Latham completed a fighting fifty pulling Klaassen away square on the final ball of the 30th over to take his side to 111-6. It was rather against the run of play when Bracewell stepped down to heave Seelaar over the sight-screen in the next over, but it would signal a shift in momentum in favour of the hosts for the first time in the game. The pair added 90 for the seventh wicket with increasing fluency until Michael Rippon found the grip and turn to take the ball away from the middle of the charging Bracewell’s bat, the miscued drive well held by Glover coming in from long on. Ish Sodhi would provide his skipper with admirable support, taking New Zealand past the 200-mark in the 43rd over before Latham brought up his sixth ODI century off his 101 deliveries, knocking Rippon into the on side for one.

Sodhi would go top-edging on the heave off Klaassen looking to hit out at the death, but Latham would keep the momentum with his side, and outrageous rolling slog sweep off van Beek for six in the 48th. Latham might have been out LBW to Klaassen had he not spotted that Seelaar had just three men in the circle, so instead he would remain unbeaten having struck 140* of his side’s total of 264-9.

On a two-paced wicket that was beginning to turn the eventual 265-run target would be tall order even for a full strength and in-from batting line-up, and the Netherlands had neither. Not did they have an encouraging start, as both openers again fell cheaply. Stephan Myburgh’s sole scoring shot brought a four through point before popping a leading edge back to Bracewell in the first over, and Max O’Dowd went in the next for a golden duck edging Kyle Jamieson to slip.

It would fall to Bas de Leede and Vikram Singh to rebuild, and the pair would duly dig in. Singh took fully 19 balls to get off the mark, but once he got going looked to put the hosts back under pressure. While de Leede and Singh were together, the Dutch looked well in the game as the pair punished anything wide or loose, Singh bringing up the fifty partnership in the 11th over driving Tickner hard and straight for four and celebrated with another boundary through midwicket.

Ish Sodhi’s introduction rather put the brakes on, neither Singh nor de Leede picking him, but it was de Grandhomme who broke the partnership at 77, Singh looking to pounce on a low full toss only to pick out Sodhi on the long on boundary, leaving the Dutch on 81-3 after 16. From there, the innings rapidly unravelled as Scott Edwards chased a short ball from Tickner and was caught at midwicket. Michael Rippon started positively, ramping Tickner for six and then driving for four to take the Dutch to 99-4 after 20 overs, but the wickets would keep coming.

De Leede’s impressive stay came to an end when he flicked Sodhi off his pads to Michael Bracewell at midwicket for a 59-ball 37, before Bracewell himself ran through the lower order, bowling Seelaar through the gate after an enterprising run-a-ball 17 before accounting for Rippon (stumped for 22) and Logan van Beek (edging to second slip). In the space of 14 overs, 81-2 had become 129-8, and from there the tail could only edge the score up to 146 before Ish Sodhi wrapped things up. Brandon Glover was the last man out, caught at slip while trying to leave a legbreak as the Dutch slumped to a 118-run defeat.

The win sees New Zealand maintain their unbeaten run in the Super League, which they will seek to extend in the final ODI of the series at the same ground on Monday.

Brief Scores: New Zealand 264/9 in 50 overs (Latham 140*; van Beek 4-56) beat Netherlands 146 in 34.1 overs (Bas de Leede 37; Bracewell 3-21) by 118 runs

Updated: April 3, 2022 — 10:31 am

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