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World T20: Stephan Myburgh's the man for Holland

Amol Muzumdar, who was Netherlands’ batting consultant, throws light on opener whose stunning 23-ball-63 took his team into the Super-10

Stephan Myburgh probably played the knock of his life in what turned out to be one of Twenty20 cricket’s most
sensational chases yesterday.


Members of Netherlands team celebrate their spectacular win over Ireland yesterday. Pic/PTI.

Powered by the 30-year-old’s 23-ball 63, the Netherlands pulled off a stunning win over Ireland to qualify for the Super-10 stage of the World T20 in Sylhet, Bangladesh. In the process, they broke several records — fastest team 100 in T20s; most sixes in a T20 innings (19) and most sixes in a T20 international (30) beating the previous record of 24 set by New Zealand in 2009.


Amol Muzumdar

Needing to amass a daunting 190 in just 14.2 overs, the Netherlands owed their exhilarating chase to opener Myburgh, who smashed the second fastest half-century in the history of T20 internationals, taking only 17 balls to get to 50. Tom Cooper contributed a 15-ball 45 and Wesley Barresi smashed an unbeaten 22-ball 40 to ensure Myburgh’s efforts didn’t go waste.

Their rampaging win meant the Netherlands qualified from Group B at the expense of Zimbabwe and Ireland. They will join Group One in the next round. Mumbai stalwart Amol Muzumdar, who worked closely with the Netherlands as a batting consultant for a month-and-a-half for the World Cup qualifiers in New Zealand, gave a sneak-peek into the man-of-the-match Myburgh’s life.

Apart from playing cricket, Myburgh, who is not contracted with the Netherlands board, also does part-time coaching and works as a groundsman to make ends meet. “He is the most religious guy I have met. He never skips his Sunday mass. He also does a bit of coaching and works on a ground,” Muzumdar told mid-day yesterday.

Like everyone, Muzumdar too was left spellbound with Myburgh’s heroic knock. “He is the most sought after man in the Netherlands club cricket. He is a very soft-spoken guy and very quite. It is his routine to face at least 100 balls in the nets before every match. I am very pleased to see that all those efforts are bearing fruits,” said Muzumdar.

Real character
Muzumdar also lavished praise on Barresi, who played alongside the Indian domestic legend for Quick hg Club. “He is a real character in the team. He is definitely a guy who can be very useful for the Indian Premier League franchises,” said Muzumdar.

Muzumdar said the Netherlands is hungry to do well. “There is some phenomenal talent in the team. They are very receptive, and want to learn and improve their game. They are natural stroke players, especially suited for T20 format.

“Not all are professional players. Most of them work for some companies and some have small businesses. They somehow manage to find time from their work to play cricket. For most of them it just a hobby,” said Muzumdar.

Brief Scores
Ireland 189-4 in 20 overs (A Poynter 57, W Porterfield 47, K O’Brien 42 no; Ahsan Malik 2-26) lost to Netherlands 193-4 in 13.5 overs (S Myburgh 63, T Cooper 45, A Barresi 40 no) by six wickets

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