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18 July 201522:08

Netherlands knock Kenya out, but come up just short of topping Group B

Scotland claim the top spot by the narrowest of margins on Net Run Rate to secure direct qualification to ICC World Twenty20 2016 in India

Netherlands knock Kenya out, but come up just short of topping Group B - Cricket News

Ben Cooper scored a quick-fire 59 off 24 balls.

A collective effort from the bowlers and a quickfire 59 off 24 from Ben Cooper helped the Netherlands beat Kenya by four wickets in the final Group B clash of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier at Myreside in Edinburgh on Saturday (July 18).

The Netherlands bowlers shot Kenya out for 97 in 20 overs, and aggressive batting meant the chase was completed in just 8.3 overs. However, that was not enough to push the Netherlands to the top of the Group B table.

It finished with eight points, the same as Scotland and Afghanistan, but it was Scotland who became the first team in the tournament to qualify for the ICC World Twenty20 2016, topping the group on account of its net run-rate, with the Netherlands finishing second after having come close to toppling Scotland with its spirited chase in this match.

After keeping Kenya to a small total, the Netherlands batsmen came out intent on wrapping up things quickly to boost the net run-rate. Though Stephan Myburgh (2) fell to Nehemiah Odhiambo in the second over, Wesley Barresi (28 off 18) and Cooper ensured they scored at more than ten runs per over to charge towards the target.

To top Group B, the Netherlands needed to chase down the target in less than eight overs, and it looked well on course when Barresi and Cooper were going about their business in an audacious manner. But the chase was stymied in the seventh over when Barresi and Roelof van der Merwe (2) fell in the space of three balls.

The Netherlands still needed 23 off eight balls then, and Cooper struck two sixes and a four before being stumped off Rakep Patel on the fourth ball of the eighth over. The wicket proved to be crucial as the team couldn't overhaul the target in time to top the group.

Earlier in the day, the Netherlands opted to give Michael Swart (2 for 22), the off-spinner, the first over after electing to field, and the move worked immediately as Narendra Kalyan (0) was trapped lbw off the fifth ball of the match.

Timm van der Gugten (3 for 13) and Mudassar Bukhari, the pacers, took it from there and didn't let the batsmen settle down. The duo kept the pressure on and Kenya was soon struggling on 11 for 3.

Collins Obuya and Morris Ouma then stitched together a 45-run stand to take the score past the 50-run mark. Trying to up the ante, Ouma gave a catch to Cooper off Michael Rippon in the 12th over.

There wasn’t much to cheer for Kenya after that as Rippon and Van der Gugten ran through the batting line-up to keep the opposition to a manageable total. Kenya thus finished fifth in the league, and is out of the running for qualification to the ICC World Twenty20 next year.

Kenya was last part of the ICC World Twenty20 in the inaugural edition in 2007.

To see the full scorecard of this match, please click here.