Kyle Verreynne scores 95 as Proteas reach 277 in first ODI against the Netherlands
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Johannesburg — A career best 95 from Kyle Verreynne anchored South Africa’s innings in the opening One-Day International with the Netherlands in Centurion on Friday.
Verreynne, looking to establish himself in the national team with an eye on the 2023 World Cup, played with composure throughout a nearly three hour stay at the crease. The Dutch, showed plenty of fight in the field, living up to their captain Pieter Seelaar’s pre-match forecast - but they also matched that grit, with plenty of skill and patience that kept the hosts under pressure through the middle of the innings, although Andile Phehlukwayo’s clean ball striking at the ‘death’ regained the initiative for the Proteas.
South Africa had just one noteworthy partnership at the top of the innings, with Verreynne and his Western Province teammate, Zubayr Hamza, one of two debutants for the Proteas, sharing a stand of 119 runs for the third wicket.
That partnership had seemed to be giving South Africa a foundation after the Netherlands’ tall left-arm seamer, Fred Klaassen had claimed the wickets of both openers, Reeza Hendricks (6) and Janneman Malan (16) by the seventh over.
Hamza, who has been in good form for Western Province, was the more patient of the pair as they set about rebuilding the innings. Verreynne was busy, nudging singles on both sides of the wicket and initially taking advantage of anything full to drive elegantly down the ground.
The young pair gradually grew in stature and turned the momentum in the Proteas’ favour with Hamza unfurling some lovely cover drives, while there was also a deliciously flicked six off St. Stithians graduate, Brandon Glover in the 11th over.
Verreynne was dropped on 18 off Glover’s bowling - a very difficult chance, low to Stephan Myburgh’s left at point. Besides that miss however, the Dutch were efficient in the field, throwing themselves about to cut off boundaries, while there were some very good catches later on in the outfield.
Glover, who’d struggled with his rhythm, made a key breakthrough, when he induced a mishit pull by Hamza, which the right hander skied, with Dutch ‘keeper, Scott Edwards taking an easy catch. Hamza’s 56 included five fours and a six, and while not the quickest innings, with his strike rate just 70.88, given it was his first match, South Africa were in trouble when he arrived at the crease and the pitch was somewhat tacky, it was a valuable, gutsy effort.
Verreynne tried to keep going, but battled with the balance between increasing the scoring rate and staying in, while at the other end SA lost wickets regularly. Hamza’s wicket allowed the Dutch to build some pressure, with Seelaar showing good tactical awareness to keep Dave Miller pinned down, while Roelof van der Merwe, back at his former home ground, delivered a key spell that got him reward when he bowled Khaya Zondo.
Verreynne succumbed to the pressure created by the Dutch in the field and by the prospect of a maiden international hundred, and was flummoxed by a slower ball from Vivian Kingma, that he swept to deep backward square leg, where Bas de Leede took an easy catch. Verreynne’s 95, included nine fours and a six, and saw him face only 112 balls.
There was a danger at one stage that South Africa could get bowled out, but stand-in skipper Keshav Maharaj and Phehlukwayo shared an invaluable partnership of 68 runs for the eighth wicket off only 38 balls.
Phehlukwayo, who needs a big series to re-establish himself at international level, smashed six sixes and a four in a 22-ball innings that saw him make 48. Maharaj was not out on 18, as South Africa scored 64 runs in the last five overs.
Klaassen was the best of Dutch bowlers, taking 2/45 and it was somewhat surprising he didn’t bowl his full quota of overs. Van der Merwe, Seelaar and Ackermann all bowled impressively in the middle period to build pressure, but a lot of their work was undone by Phehlukwayo at the end.
South Africa 277/8 (Kyle Verreynne 95, Zubayr Hamza 56, Fred Klaassen 2/45, Vivian Kingma 2/49)