Pakistan Beat Netherlands in ICC World Cup: Bowlers Shine in 81-Run Victory

Pakistan got off to a winning start in their ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 journey, securing an impressive 81-run victory over the Netherlands.

However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Babar Azam’s team as the determined Dutch side managed to give them a bit of a scare at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi Stadium.

In a thrilling encounter, fast bowler Haris Rauf played a pivotal role by taking three crucial wickets, helping Pakistan dismiss the Netherlands’ innings after 41 overs in the southern Indian city on Friday.

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The Netherlands’ all-rounder, Bas de Leede, had a standout performance, contributing significantly to his team’s effort. He not only top-scored with an impressive 67 runs but also made a mark by taking four wickets earlier in the match.

The Dutch opener, Vikramjit Singh, played a vital role in the game, scoring 52 runs and forming a formidable 70-run partnership with de Leede. This partnership posed a real threat to Pakistan and almost led to a surprising upset in Pakistan’s first match of the tournament.

Pakistan’s fast bowlers, including Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, and Shaheen Shah Afridi, were instrumental in their team’s victory, collectively taking six crucial wickets. Additionally, the spinners, Shadab Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, and Mohammad Nawaz, contributed by taking one wicket each.

In the earlier stages of the game, Pakistan had been bowled out for a total of 286 runs, with notable half-centuries from Saud Shakeel and Mohammad Rizwan.

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De Leede’s impressive performance, where he secured figures of 4-62, played a crucial role in bringing the Netherlands back into the game. This turnaround came after Saud Shakeel’s entertaining innings of 68 off 52 balls and Mohammad Rizwan’s patient 68 off 75 balls had given Pakistan a significant boost after they were put in to bat.

The Netherlands’ decision to bowl first seemed justified as their pacer, Logan van Beek, managed to dismiss the out-of-form opener Fakhar Zaman for just 12 runs in the fourth over, thanks to a catch and bowled effort.

Spinner Colin Ackermann then claimed a significant wicket, getting Pakistan’s skipper, Babar Azam, out for just five runs. Following this, Paul van Meekeren dismissed Imam-ul-Haq for 15, leaving Pakistan struggling at a challenging 38-3.

In their debut World Cup match, Saud Shakeel and Mohammad Rizwan played a pivotal role in stabilizing Pakistan’s innings with a resilient 120-run partnership for the fourth wicket. However, the tide turned as Pakistan lost three wickets in the span of just 24 balls, managing to add only 30 runs during this challenging period.

Pakistan found some relief as Mohammad Nawaz (39) and Shadab Khan (32) combined for a valuable 64-run partnership for the seventh wicket. Yet, the Netherlands’ Bas de Leede had a significant impact, dismissing both Shadab and Hasan Ali in successive deliveries.

In the 47th over, Nawaz was unfortunately run out, and Pakistan’s innings concluded in the 49th over with the dismissal of Haris Rauf off Colin Ackermann’s bowling.


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