West Indies swept their first series under the new full-time white-ball skipper Nicholas Pooran, defeating the Netherlands by 20 runs in a high-scoring match at VRA Cricket Ground, Amstelveen on Sunday.
It was a highly-competitive day on the field. Though West Indies won, the Dutch almost pushed their opposition to a defeat. With this win, Windies have won the series 3-0. Opting to bat first, West Indies got off a solid start, with openers Shai Hope and Kyle Mayers forming a 58-run stand that lasted for around 12 overs. It was broken by Bas de Leede who sent back Hope to the pavilion for 24.
Shamarh Brooks, the next man in started a carnage with his partner Mayers. The duo unleashed a well-calculated assault on the Dutch bowling attack. Both the batters completed their centuries. The 184-run stand between the duo was broken after pacer Ryan Klein sent back Mayer to the pavilion for a well-made 120 off 106. The next victim was Nicholas Pooran. The skipper continued his poor run with the bat in the series, getting out for 7 via LBW to a spinner Aryan Dutt’s delivery.
The rest of the Windies batters could not really do much, ending the innings at 308/5 with Brooks (101*) and Nkrumah Bonner (19*). Aryan Dutt was the pick of the bowlers for his side, getting 1/44. Leede, Klein, Vivian Kingma and Logan van Beek also got one wicket each. Chasing 309, the Netherlands were off a brilliant start with openers Vikramjit Singh and Max O’Dowd putting a 98-run stand for the first wicket. The stand was broken by Mayers, who sent back Singh for a well-made 54. Musa Ahmed, the next man in, also batted well and took forward the momentum given by the openers before the spinner Hayden Walsh dismissed him for a well-made 42.
O’Dowd continued to play well and seemed to stitch a valuable stand with Bas de Leede, but the 42-run stand was broken by spinner Akeal Hosein after Leede’s dismissal for 25. O’Dowd followed him to the pavilion soon, falling eleven runs short of his century. The Dutch were now 239/4 in 43 overs.
With the equation down to 70 in the last seven overs, the Dutch needed to maintain some calculated, careful aggression in these final overs. Wicketkeeper Scott Edwards (18), Logan van Beek (15), and captain Pieter Seelaar (16) tried to win it for their side but ultimately fell 2-runs short as wickets kept tumbling for the Dutch and they lose their next six wickets within for just 49 runs.
Windies clinched their first-ever series under Pooran with this win. Shermon Lewis’s pace was lethal and he emerged as the pick of the bowlers, taking 3/67.
Other than him, Akeal Hosein (2/52) and Hayden Walsh (2/54) were also standout bowlers for the Windies. Mayers got the ‘Man of the Match’ award for his brilliant 120-run knock and spell of 1/31.