Captain Brendon McCullum’s 65 powered New Zealand to a six-wicket win against the Netherlands and kept their hopes alive for a semi-final spot from Group 1 in the World Twenty20 yesterday.
The Black Caps reached their 152-run target with an over to spare to bring up their second victory in three matches in the Super 10 stage.
McCullum, the most prolific run-scorer in the shortest format of the game, hit four fours and three sixes during his 45-ball knock, also bringing up his 13th half-century in Twenty20 internationals.
The 32-year-old, who became the first batsman to cross 2,000 international runs in the format, stitched together meaty stands with Kane Williamson (29), Ross Taylor (18) and Corey Anderson (20 not out) to make it a comfortable chase for his side.
“[The] Netherlands put up a really good fight. The surface was different than what we saw earlier and the way we bowled in the last two overs pulled their total back,” McCullum said at the presentation ceremony. “Did my back in the 15th over while fielding, will go see the physio and hopefully I’ll be alright.”
Paceman Timm van der Gugten starred, taking three for 30 for the Netherlands.
Earlier, captain Peter Borren compiled his highest Twenty20 score of 49 to anchor the Netherlands innings and take them to 151-4 after being put in to bat.
The 30-year-old hit seven fours and a six during his 35-ball knock and added 60 for the fourth wicket with Tom Cooper (40 not out) to give the Netherlands some momentum after a slow start.
“It was a reasonably comfortable chase for New Zealand. Brendon batted very, very well,” Borren said. “He got them through. If we could have got him at some stage it would have been a very different story.”
Cooper hit four fours and two sixes during his unbeaten stay, but New Zealand pulled things back with miserly bowling at the death.