Dutch down Zimbabwe at T20 World Cup

An historic five-wicket win by the Netherlands over Zimbabwe has ended any chance of the Africans advancing to the T20 World Cup semi-finals.

After bowling Zimbabwe out for 117, the Dutch cruised to 5-118 at Adelaide Oval on Wednesday.

The victory is the Netherlands' first win in the Super 12 stage and just their second T20 World Cup victory outside of qualifying games.

The other Dutch triumph beyond qualifying was an upset of England in 2014 when the cup was contested in a Super 10 format.

Dutch quick Paul van Meekeren claimed three wickets to help bowl out Zimbabwe in 19.2 overs.

The Netherlands' batsmen reached their target in 18 overs.

Opener Max O'Dowd compiled 52 from 47 balls and Australian-born Tom Cooper, whose mother was born in Dutch New Guinea, made 32 from 29 deliveries.

The duo featured in a 73-run partnership for the second wicket which effectively ended Zimbabwe's hopes of reaching the semi-finals.

The Africans had to down the Dutch and then beat India on Sunday to advance.

But O'Dowd (eight fours, one six) and Cooper (one six, two fours) killed off that prospect.

O'Dowd said while proud at the win, there was also a tinge of regret "because there were games earlier in the tournament we could have won as well".

"Playing in a World Cup is such a huge event for us because we just don't get the exposure," the New Zealand-born batsman said.

"Hopefully it spurs on some youngsters back home in the Netherlands to take up the game."

Earlier, Dutch quick van Meekeren claimed 3-29, combining with his pace partners Brandon Glover (2-29) and Bas de Leede (2-13) to curtail the Zimbabweans.

The Africans won the toss and batted but were soon in the mire, losing 3-20 in six overs, as van Meekeren and Glover made early inroads.

Sikandar Raza, who top-scored with an aggressive 40 from 24 balls, and Sean Williams (28 from 23) steadied with an innings-high 48-run partnership.

But they were the only batsmen to reach double-figures and after Williams' dismissal, Zimbabwe lost their last seven wickets for only 49 runs.

Zimbabwe coach David Houghton sensed doubt in his players, with the high stakes riding on the result a factor.

"We just got a little bit in front of ourselves thinking of what the possibilities might be (with a win)," Houghton said.