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T20 World Cup: David Miller stands firm to guide South Africa to nervy win against Netherlands

David Miller was the hero with bat to guide South Africa to a nervy four-wicket victory against Netherlands at the T20 World Cup in New York.

Miller struck an unbeaten 59 off 51 balls as the Proteas recovered from being 12-4 to chase down a low target of 104 with seven deliveries remaining.

It was a second successive victory at the global tournament for Aiden Markram's charges after overcoming Sri Lanka in their opening encounter.

But that victory seemed a long way away when the Proteas made a terrible start with the bat in the run-chase.

Quinton de Kock was run-out off the first ball of the innings after a mix-up with opening partner Reeza Hendricks.

Hendricks (3) himself was the next to trudge back to the dressing room after being bowled by Logan van Beek before it was 3-3 when Markram was gone for a duck after being caught down the leg-side off the bowling of Vivian Kingma.

It went from bad to worse for the South Africans when they were four down with only 12 runs on the scoreboard when Heinrich Klaasen was caught on the square-leg boundary looking to go for a big shot in the fifth over.

Tristan Stubbs and Miller then knuckled down and combined to form an important partnership of 65 but it took 72 balls as the required-rate escalated somewhat in what was a difficult pitch to score quickly.

Stubbs then fell for 33 from 37 deliveries with 22 balls of the contest remaining and the Proteas still needing a further 27 runs to close out the match.

Marco Jansen (3) came and went quickly but Miller was always the key and took his team over the line by smashing Bas de Leede for two sixes and a four in the penultimate over.

Earlier, Jansen set the tone with the ball and Ottneil Baartman was outstanding and took four wickets as the Proteas restricted Netherlands to 103-9 in their 20 overs.

Jansen finished with figures 2-20 while Baartman took 4-11 in four overs to round out another brilliant performance from the Proteas in the field.

Fast bowler Anrich Nortje continued his good form from the opening match with another impressive showing, taking 2-19 in his four overs while South Africa-born Sybrand Engelbrecht top-scored for the Dutch with 40 off 45 balls.

The result means the Proteas break a two-match losing streak against the Netherlands in ICC tournaments after the Dutch rolled them over at the T20 World Cup 2022 and the 2023 50-over competition.

The Proteas have a day off before taking on Bangladesh, also in New York, on Monday while the Netherlands' next match will also be against the Tigers but in St. Vincent on Thursday.

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