Max O’Dowd became first batsman to score century for the Netherlands in Twenty20 International history but the Dutch still had to cancel out a fighting knock from Virandeep Singh in a slim 15-run victory over Malaysia in the Tri-Nation Twenty20 International Series on Sunday.
A day after being dismissed for 10 runs in a nine-wicket thrashing from hosts Nepal, O’Dowd slammed a 59-ball century leading Netherlands to 191-2 in 20 overs. Malaysia, in reply, made a respectable 176-8 in 20.
O’Dowd’s brutal hitting was the highlight of the day as he smacked toothless Malaysia attack across all grounds to finish with 73-ball 133 not out — the fifth highest individual score in Twenty20 International history.
Ahead of O’Dowd are Australia’s Aaron Finch (172), Haratullah Zazai (162 not out) of Afghanistan, Finch (156) and another Aussie batsman Glenn Maxwell (145 not out).
Netherland’s previous biggest individual score in Twenty20 International was 96 not out from current skipper Pieter Seelar against Scotland for a losing cause during a Twenty20 Tri-Series also involving Ireland in 2019.
His whirlwind innings included 15 boundaries and five sixes. O’Dowd shared 125-run unbroken partnership for the third wicket with Ben Cooper who made a run-a-ball 20.
Scott Edwards chipped in 23-ball 31 with with three fours and a six.
Malaysia were quickly pushed to backfoot when two wickets from Aryan Dutt reduced them to 20-3 in the fourth over.
Virandeep Singh and Sharvin Muniandy shared 58 runs for the fourth wicket but two quick dismissals saw them reeling at 79-5 by the 10th over.
But Virandeep kept Malaysia in the game and Netherlands almost had heart in their mouth when he slammed two consecutive sixes and a couple against Sebastian Braat when they needed 37 runs from last 12 balls.
Netherlands had their nerves settled after Braat had Virandeep caught by a diving Tobias Visee in the fourth ball. Virandeep made a 53-ball 87 with six sixes and as many boundaries.
Muniandy (28) and Aminuddin Ramly (26) were their remaining best scorers. Dutt, Bas de Leede and Braat took two wickets each for Netherlands.