Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
2 minute read
26 Nov 2021
5:20 pm

First ODI between Proteas and Netherlands abandoned due to rain

Ken Borland

And there is now also doubt about the tour being completed following the Covid alerts and travel restrictions.

The first ODI between the Proteas and the Netherlands in Centurion was called off due to rain. Picture: Christiaan Kotze/Gallo Images

The first ODI between South Africa and the Netherlands on SuperSport Park was abandoned on Friday, but the tour is still on, for the time being.

With new Covid variants and travel restrictions hysteria on everyone’s minds in Centurion, the Netherlands were on 11 without loss after two overs, chasing 278 for victory, when heavy rain began falling and never completely eased before play was called off at 4.20pm.

During the rain delay, CSA issued a statement saying that it was highly unlikely that the tourists will be able to find a flight out of South Africa over the weekend, meaning the second ODI at the same venue on Sunday is still on, for now.

CSA sources have indicated that the Netherlands team might only be able to catch a flight on December 2, which is the day after the scheduled third and final match, so the series could well still be completed.

ALSO READ: Dutch cricketers to stay in SA for now — and India tour under threat

Earlier, an excellent third-wicket partnership between Zubayr Hamza and Kyle Verreynne had held a tidy, probing Netherlands attack at bay in helpful bowling conditions, before the dam wall broke in the last four overs as Andile Phehlukwayo raced South Africa to 277/8.

Phehlukwayo lashed 48 off just 22 balls, including six mighty sixes, as he and Keshav Maharaj (18*) pounded 68 runs off the last 40 balls of the innings, including 61 off the final four overs. It provided the late boost needed to convert an average score into a good one.

Winning a useful toss under cloudy skies following heavy overnight rain, the Netherlands gained early reward for bowling first when left-armer Fred Klaassen removed both Proteas openers inside the first seven overs.

At 24/2, Hamza had just the man for a crisis join him in fellow Western Province star Kyle Verreynne. The pair added 119 off 137 balls for the third wicket to give the innings a solid platform.

Hamza looked particularly good and played some wonderful strokes, while Verreynne was typically busy and positive and ensured that the Dutch bowlers never totally gained the upper hand, playing strongly off the back foot.

Verreynne falls short of century

Hamza fell for 56 off 79 deliveries, but Verreynne went on to a career-best score and was in touching distance of a century when he was unfortunate to fall to a slower-ball gone wrong from Vivian Kingma, the back-of-the-hand delivery coming out as a dipping full toss, which the wicketkeeper/batsman swung away one-handed, but straight to deep square-leg.

Verreynne had worked hard through the tough times for his 95 off 112 balls, and was all set to really launch before his dismissal.

The rest of the batting was made of flimsier material as South Africa slid from 143/2 to 209/7; up to that point, Verreynne and Hamza had scored 57% of the Proteas runs.

Fortunately, Phehlukwayo showed his finishing ability as he belted the ball over the boundary to great effect, with skipper Maharaj providing important support as the Proteas made a strong end to their innings.