The Netherlands arrive in Zimbabwe looking to book their place at the Cricket World Cup for a fifth time in their history. They qualified for this event by winning the World Cricket League Championship and claiming ODI status as a result.
The Netherlands lost just two matches throughout their World Cricket League Championship campaign, with defeats to Nepal and Kenya. Their only other setbacks were two no results against Scotland at the very start of the tournament due to inclement weather in Amstelveen.
6 December – Beat Namibia by 8 wickets
8 December – Beat Namibia by 5 wickets
18 February – Lost to Ireland by 5 wickets
ICC CWCQ Group A
Papua New Guinea
United Arab Emirates
4 March – v Ireland, Old Hararians Sports Club, Harare
8 March – v United Arab Emirates, Harare Sports Club, Harare
10 March – v Papua New Guinea, Old Hararians Sports Club, Harare
12 March – v West Indies, Harare Sports Club, Harare
Squad: Peter Borren (capt), Wesley Barresi (wk), Ben Cooper, Bas de Leede, Scott Edwards, Vivian Kingma, Frederick Klaassen, Maxwell O'Dowd, Pieter Seelaar, Shane Snater, Ryan ten Doeschate, Timm van der Gugten, Roelof van der Merwe, Paul van der Meekeren, Sikander Zulfiqar
The Dutch have plenty of exciting players in their 15-man squad, with explosive batting from the likes of Ben Cooper and Ryan ten Doeschate. The return of ten Doeschate to the side is a real boost – he averages 67 in 33 ODIs, with five hundreds.
There's fast-bowling talent too, with Timm van der Gugten and Paul van Meekeren capable of bowling slippery pace. The all-round talents of Roelof van der Merwe have been there for all to see throughout his career: the 33-year-old's inventive batting and wily left-arm spin is a real asset to any side. Under the captaincy of the vastly experienced Peter Borren, the Dutch contain a good mixture of youth and experience.
Group A offers a a clear favourite in the Windies, two established sides in Ireland and the Netherlands, and two outsiders in Papua New Guinea and United Arab Emirates. With the top three sides going through to the Super Sixes after every side plays each other, the Dutch will be confident of progressing.
There is certainly room for improvement though. The Netherlands suffered a comprehensive five-wicket defeat to Ireland in a warm-up game on 18 February and if they are to progress from Group A with their confidence high they will want to perform well against their two closest rivals.
Cricket World Cup history
The Netherlands have played in four World Cups – 1996, 2003, 2007 and 2009 – and while they have won just two of their 20 matches, they have some good memories.
They beat Namibia in 2003 and Scotland in 2007, while ten Doeschate's wonderful 119 from 110 balls pushed England all the way in Nagpur at the 2011 edition. Another ten Doeschate hundred later in the same tournament helped the Dutch rack up 306 before Ireland chased it down thanks to Paul Stirling's 101.
What needs to go right for the Netherlands to qualify?
Plenty of runs from ten Doeschate would be the obvious place to start. The middle-order batsman on form is an excellent player – capable of pushing the ball into gaps and running hard, as well as big hitting. If he can get into the groove then he will give the Dutch fast bowlers plenty of runs to work with. Van der Merwe's hitting at the death is good enough to turn a reasonable total into a big one – the kind of impact that can decide games.