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Myburgh draws on 2014 memories ahead of WT20 Qualifier

Netherlands batsman says the team won't be happy with just qualifying, it wants to go all the way and win the tournament

Myburgh draws on 2014 memories ahead of WT20 Qualifier - Cricket News
Netherlands batsman says the team won't be happy with just qualifying, it wants to go all the way and win the tournament
One of the highlights of the ICC World Twenty20 2014 in Bangladesh was the Netherlands’ stunning chase of a 190 target against Ireland during a Group B game in the first round. Once Ireland had piled up 189 for 4, the Netherlands needed to chase it down in 14.2 overs or fewer to qualify for the main round, and the team did it in some style. Stephan Myburgh got the innings off to a cracker with 63 off 23, while Tom Cooper finished things off with 45 not out off just 15 balls as the target was overhauled in 13.5 overs.

Myburgh, who ignited that chase with his 17-ball half-century, retained fond memories of the tournament. “It was a little weird. It feels like such a long time ago. Certainly a tremendous feeling – something you can't describe to other people,” he said. “We just wanted to go through to the next round, and no matter what Ireland did, and no matter many runs they scored, we just wanted to chase it down. We wanted to play fearless cricket and just have fun.

“Everyone knew we had to score it in 13.5 overs, before the game started, so we were all hoping for 150 or less so that we definitely had a chance. 190 was a bit steep, but we actually walked into the change room and looked at each other and said that we're not going to leave anything behind. We really wanted to go hard and try and qualify.”

The Netherlands’ chase provided some of the best moments of the ICC World Twenty20, but the team topped that with a splendid show in the main draw that led to a victory against England. Netherlands began the second stage by being bowled out for 39 against Sri Lanka, but made South Africa (six runs) and New Zealand (six balls to spare) work for their victories.



Then came the 45-run victory against England. “To do well against the Test nations at a World Cup is what you really strive to do,” said Myburgh. “Unfortunately we had a terrible game against Sri Lanka and we got a lot of stick from that. Many said that it's definitely out of our league to play the Test nations. To then bounce back and put in a great performance against South Africa and then a decent performance against New Zealand gave us a lot of belief that we could actually win against a Test team and then we just played out of our socks against England.”


Given that showing last year, the Netherlands will be eager to do well at the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier tournament beginning on Thursday (July 9) and make the grade for the ICC World Twenty20 2016. However, that is not all Netherlands, who is in Group B alongside the likes of Afghanistan, UAE and Scotland, is aiming for.

“Qualifiers are always a little bit nervy. You have to play well to qualify for World Cups and be on top of your game. But it's obviously also very exciting,” said Myburgh. “We've played some good cricket off late, especially in the Twenty20 format, so we're really looking forward to that.

“It is definitely a tough group, but Twenty20 cricket happens quick and you've got to be on top of your game. We want to finish at the top of the group, so that we qualify automatically, but our aim is to actually win the Qualifiers – we want some silverware. So for us, it is not just about qualifying. We want to play to the best of our ability and to and win the trophy.”

And Myburgh is aware of the prize that awaits his team if it does qualify. “I actually haven't played in India, so that would be amazing,” he said of the upcoming ICC World Twenty20 2016 in India. “I have watched a couple of the IPL games and to see the big crowds – it would definitely be a dream come true if we can qualify to play there. It would be phenomenal.”

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