Netherlands 104 for 5 (O'Dowd 35, Ackermann 34*) beat Singapore 101 (Chandramohan 28, van der Gugten 3-9, van der Merwe 3-22) by five wickets
Somerset allrounder Roelof van der Merwe spearheaded the Netherlands past Singapore, taking three wickets with his left-arm spin before calming Oranje nerves in a tricky chase to strike the winning runs for a five-wicket victory on Tuesday.
After Singapore went through the Powerplay unscathed, the wily veteran struck a huge blow on the first ball of the seventh over to beat Singapore batsman Tim David's drive and knock back the stumps for 19. He struck again in the 12th over, enticing Manpreet Singh to drive to long-off before rounding off his spell with a successful lbw appeal after Sidhant Singh played back to a skiddy ball off a good length.
Van der Merwe was well supported by the Dutch pace unit - particularly Timm van der Gugten, who missed the birth of his first-born child to stay with the Dutch squad in Dubai and was rewarded with figures of 3 for 9 off three overs.
Surendran Chandramohan was the first of van der Gugten's scalps, driving flat to Colin Ackermann at mid-off for a top score of 28. Van der Gugten later came back to clean up the tail in the 18th over, claiming Selladore Vijayakumar caught behind driving and Amjad Mahboob bowled after he was beaten for pace.
Navin Param, the star of Singapore's win over Bermuda, entered at No. 5 but quickly ran out of partners thanks to van der Merwe and van der Gugten. He was last man out for 13 when his attempted scoop off Paul van Meekeren was tracked down halfway to the fine leg rope by wicketkeeper Scott Edwards, who pulled off a magnificent one-handed diving catch to end the innings.
What looked like an opportunity for the Dutch to go for a net run rate boost soon turned into an awkward endeavor due to a gritty effort from Singapore's bowling and fielding unit. Tobias Visee drove to long-on in the second over and Ben Cooper edged a back foot drive behind to end the third over at 16 for 2. Max O'Dowd had been peppering the off-side boundary, including a trail of fours off Mahboob in the fourth over, but finally perished in the ninth after a failed charge to Vijayakumar.
Ryan ten Doeschate was then yorked for 1 by the 19-year-old Janak Prakash before Pieter Seelaar chipped a low full toss off the toe of the bat to David at midwicket off Sidhant to make it 65 for 5 in the 12th.
Van der Merwe had entered at No. 5 and No. 6 in the first two Dutch wins but was pushed back to No. 7 on this occasion with Ackermann coming into the XI for his first match of the tournament at the expense of Fred Klaassen, who was suffering from heatstroke. Van der Merwe's experience paid off as he settled nerves to give Ackermann the support he needed to ice the chase. Van Der Merwe eventually struck a full toss over square leg for the winning runs with 21 balls to spare at ICC Academy Oval 1.