A strong batting powerplay and the bowlers nailing hard lengths handed Netherlands a 52-run win over Papua New Guinea on the opening day of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier ‘B’ in Bulawayo.

Having opted to bat, the Dutch yet again squandered a good start with the bat, a familiar trend of late, as they could only manage to post 163-7 after being 93-2 at the halfway stage.

Stephan Myburgh (39 off 24) and Max O’Dowd (32 off 27) were instrumental in giving the Netherlands a flying start as the pair put up 78 in 45 balls. While Myburgh was strong on the pull and down the ground, striking four boundaries and a six, O’Dowd was strong through the covers to collect five boundaries.

However, his dismissal, undone by a leg-break from Charles Amini sparked a mini-collapse as the Dutch were reduced to 97-4 from 78-0 in the space of 20 balls.

Semo Kamea (2-25) and Amini (2-28) bowled with good control and pace to restrict the flow of boundaries as the Dutch could only manage four boundaries and a solitary six in the final 10 overs to post 163-7, courtesy a 27-ball 33 from Bas de Leede.

On a good batting surface, but a touch dry to offer assistance to the spinners, Papua New Guinea’s batters failed to build any momentum in response.

The Dutch quicks Logan van Beek, Fred Klaassen and Paul van Meekeren regularly dug the ball into the pitch as the PNG batters failed to contend with the good length and short-of-good-length deliveries.

Assad Vala was the first to be dismissed, bowled off a deflection off the pads in the third over and shortly after, his opening partner Lega Siaka was back in the hut chipping a simple catch to Tom Cooper inside the ring off Bas de Leede, who bowled with enough zip to bag a two-for.

Charles Amini and Sese Bau shared 52-run stand whilst punishing any loose deliveries. However, once Amini slogged van Meekeren straight to Logan van Beek at deep midwicket in the 12th over, the PNG chase lost steam as they collapsed losing 8 wickets for 40 runs, as many as 9 lost to the fast bowlers.

Van Meekeren bagged three wickets with Klaassen, de Leede and van Beek picking up two-apiece. Tim Pringle proved to be a revelation with the ball on T20I debut as he bowled smartly to concede less than run-a-ball in a wicketless outing.

The Dutch will take on Hong Kong to push for the semi-final spot as Papua New Guinea look to bounce back against Uganda.