Riding on Haris Rauf’s brilliant bowling display and Mohammad Rizwan and Saud Shakeel batting showcase, Pakistan made a winning start to their ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup campaign, registering an 81-run victory over the Netherlands here at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, on Friday.
Rauf was the pick of Pakistan bowlers with his 3/43, while Hasan Ali scalped two as the Babar Azam-led side bundled out the Netherlands for 205 in their run-chase of 286 run target.
Putting into bat first, Pakistan were all out for 286 in 49 overs. Their innings was powered by 120 runs fourth-wicket partnership between Mohammad Rizwan and Saud Shakeel.
After the midway stage of the Pakistan innings, Netherlands retained control with a flurry of wickets. Sensing a need to change the pace of Pakistan scoring rate, Scott Edwards summoned off-spinner Aryan Dutt back into the attack, who dismissed dangerous Shakeel for 68.
Not much later, Mohammed Rizwan was overcome by de Leede, who smashed straight into the top of his off stump. De Leede also had the dangerous Iftikhar Ahmed in the same over. Pakistan were six down at the end of the 32nd over.
Pakistan’s scoring rate slowed down, but Mohammed Nawaz and Shadab Khan eventually picked up the pace, contributing a 64-run partnership off 70 balls. Unfortunately, their momentum was disrupted when de Leede dismissed Shadab Khan in the 44th over and immediately trapped Hasan Ali lbw on the following ball, to further dent Pakistan.
Pakistan added 34 runs for the last two wickets but couldn’t finish their quota of overs as they were restricted for 286 with one over to spare.
Chasing 286, Dutch were still pretty much in contention of their pursuit of victory until midway through their chase as Vikramjit provided the Netherlands a stable start. He hit a flurry of boundaries to get them to 28 without loss at the five over mark.
However, the Dutch lost a wicket soon after, when Max O’ Dowd (5) fell in an attempt to pull Hasan Ali for a six. All-rounder Colin Ackermann tried to keep the run flow going along with Vikramjit, but fell soon after the first Powerplay.
Then, Pakistan managed to get a grip of the game. Shadab Khan broke the 70-run stand between Vikramjit and de Leede in the 24th over.
Rauf turned the game in Pakistan’s favor with a crucial double-wicket over, first dismissing Teja Nidamanuru with a bouncer and then trapping Dutch captain Scott Edwards in just three balls.
From the other end, de Leede showed great determination, persistently attacking the Pakistan bowlers. He brought up his fifty in the 28th over. However, his valiant effort ended in the 34th over as Mohammed Nawaz bowled him out for 67.
Despite some lusty blows from the bat of Logan van Beek, the Netherlands tail was cleaned up by the 41 over mark as the Men in Green struck at regular intervals to take the game away from them.
Brief scores: Pakistan 286 all out in 49 Overs (Mohd Rizwan 68, Saud Shakeel 68; Bas de Leede 4-62) beat Netherlands 205 all out in 41 overs (Vikramjit Singh 52, Bas de Leede 67; Haris Rauf 3-43) by 81 runs