Thatscricket - News - Netherlands wins ICC Trophy in dramatic finish
Published: Sunday, July 15, 2001, 21:33 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
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Toronto: The Netherlands clinched the ICC Trophy final off the final ball in an exciting final against Namibia on Sunday.Needing three runs off the final ball Jacob Esmeijer and Asim Khan (three not out) ran for all they were worth and just scrambled home to give their side a first ICC Trophy in their third final. Both sides qualify for the World Cup in 2003.Esmeijer was the Dutch hero with 58 not out from 51 balls. Namibia would have surely won had not fast bowler Rudi van Vuuren dropped a routine catch offered by Esmeijer on 15 against spinner Deon Kotze when he drove straight to long on. The ball stayed air borne for an eternity and Van Vuuren got both hands to the ball before dropping the catch in front of the pavilion. It was a terrible moment for Namibia and Van Vuuren. Earlier he had taken two wickets in two balls to leave Netherlands 12 for two and on the ropes as it chased 196 for victory. At 40 overs Netherlands was 112 for six, still neding 84 off the final 10. But Esmeijer received good support from captain and former Somerset bowler Roland Lefebvre (19).He stuck around to help Esmeijer put on 52 for the seventh wicket. With 44 needed off five overs Namibia, which had won all it previous 10 matches, still looked favourite. But as it faltered in the field, the Dutch reduced the deficit until 10 runs were needed off the final over and Esmeijer saw his team home. Klass van Noortwijk, batting at four, made 50 off 106 balls only to be dismissed one ball later, clean bowled by paceman Bjorn Kotze. Van Vuuren finished with three for 35 from 10 overs but would probably exchange one of those wickets to have that catch all over again. Earlier Namibia worked its way to a respectable 195 for nine. Middle-order batsman Gavin Murgatroyd top scored with 50 before he too was dismissed one ball after reaching the landmark. He faced 68 balls and stroked seven fours.Inspirational Namibia captain Daniel Keulder had made 84 and 104 in the previous two matches but could not match that in the final. He was run out for 24 by opposing captain Lefebvre's direct hit from mid-on and at 79 for three Namibia had lost both stability and some precious runs. But at least by reaching this final it has guaranteed a World Cup place for the first time when the tournament takes place in South Africa in 2003.The Netherlands too have made it to the big stage and now all eyes here are on Tuesday's match between hosts Canada and Scotland, where only the winner will go to the World Cup.