McCullum earns win for Black Caps

Brendon McCullum acknowledges the crowed after scoring a half century (AP)

Brendon McCullum acknowledges the crowed after scoring a half century (AP)

First published in National Sport News © by

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum steered his side to victory over Holland with a match-winning half-century in Chittagong.

The destructive batsman struck 65, hitting three sixes and four fours in his 45-ball stay.

His innings gave the Black Caps impetus just when they appeared to be getting bogged down in pursuit of Holland's moderate 151 for four.

The Associate side remain winless in the Super 10 stage but, as against South Africa, came out in credit against well-fancied opponents.

Peter Borren, a former New Zealand Under-19 player, propped up the Dutch effort with his top T20 score of 49, while Timm van der Gugten claimed three wickets.

McCullum asked Holland to bat first, with Trent Boult and Kyle Mills starting tidily in restricting Stephan Myburgh and Michael Swart to 22 in four overs.

Myburgh greeted Corey Anderson by launching him for six over mid-wicket before being well caught off Boult for 16.

At the 10-over mark the scoreboard read 62 for two, Wesley Barresi having come and gone for four, but New Zealand had also missed a chance to add the wicket of Borren for a duck.

Nathan McCullum was culpable, botching a run-out with Borren well short of his ground.

Much harder chances slipped by, Swart almost falling to a fine one-handed leap by Brendon McCullum and Borren chipping a yard short of Mills at fine-leg.

The innings gained real momentum in the 15th over, as Kane Williamson's spin was clattered for 17 runs - including a six and two fours from Borren.

Thirteen more came off Mitchell McClenaghan's next, new batsman Tom Cooper clearing the ropes on his way to a breezy 40no, but Borren was out a run short of his fifty.

New Zealand would have fancied their chances of winning in good time, but struggled to get away in the first half of the reply.

They were just three ahead of Holland's mark at the midway stage, 65 for two with Martin Guptill (9) and Williamson (29) in the shed.

Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor added 32 for the third wicket, but while the latter left the job half done - well caught by the back-tracking Barresi - the skipper crunched three maximums that all but settled matters.

Eighteen were still needed when Van der Gugten dismissed him but the run-rate had been successfully broken down, leaving Anderson (20no) and Jimmy Neesham (7no) to finish up.

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