Pakistan’s Bowling Brilliance Secures 81-Run Victory Over Netherlands at Cricket World Cup

Pakistan's Stunning Win Over Netherlands at Cricket World Cup

In a thrilling encounter at the Cricket World Cup, Pakistan showcased their mettle as they overcame a top-order batting challenge through sharp pace bowling to secure an impressive 81-run victory over the Netherlands.

Bas de Leede’s Seam Bowling Masterclass

All-rounder Bas de Leede, with a sensational display of seam bowling, emerged as the star of the show, claiming a remarkable 4-62. His skillful execution played a pivotal role in bowling out Pakistan for 286 with just one over to spare. The Netherlands’ captain, Scott Edwards, had won the toss and opted to chase on a dry wicket, believing that the target was well within reach.

De Leede’s Heroics Keep Netherlands in the Chase

Bas de Leede then took center stage with the bat, posting an impressive 67 off 68 balls. His determined innings kept the Netherlands in contention. However, Pakistan’s express fast bowlers, Haris Rauf and Shaheen Afridi, unleashed their firepower, causing a collapse that saw the Dutchmen bundled out for 205 in 41 overs.

Rauf, Afridi, and Hasan Ali Shine

Rauf was the chief tormentor, capturing 3-43, while Afridi added 1-37 to the tally. Hasan Ali, making his ODI comeback after over a year, also made a significant impact, bagging 2-37. His inclusion came after Naseem Shah’s unfortunate shoulder injury ruled him out of the World Cup.

Captain Azam’s Praise for Bowlers

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam showered praise on his bowlers, saying, “Credit to the bowlers, we started well and took wickets in the middle (overs). We lost three wickets while batting, but the way Rizwan and Shakeel batted, they took it away.”

Netherlands’ Valiant Fightback

Vikramjit Singh fought valiantly for the Netherlands, contributing 52 off 67 balls and combining in a 70-run partnership with de Leede. The duo challenged the Pakistan spinners in the middle overs. However, legspinner Shadab Khan (1-45) eventually broke through when Singh attempted an unnecessary big shot and was caught in the deep.

Rauf’s Double Blow and Late Heroics

Rauf then delivered a double blow to the Netherlands’ chase, dismissing Teja Nidamanuru and Edwards in the space of three balls. He missed a potential hat-trick as Iftikhar Ahmed dropped a regulation catch off Saqib Zulfiqar at lone slip.

With de Leede running out of partners, he was dismissed while attempting to guide left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz, losing his off-stump. Logan van Beek added an unbeaten run-a-ball 28, narrowing the margin of defeat.

Netherlands’ Early Pressure on Pakistan

The Netherlands, who had qualified for the World Cup with a dramatic Super Over win over the West Indies, applied early pressure on Pakistan’s top-order batters. Pakistan found themselves in trouble at 38-3 inside the batting powerplay. Fakhar Zaman offered a simple return catch to van Beek, and Babar struggled unusually for 18 balls before falling to Colin Ackermann’s offspin.

Imam-ul-Haq’s dismissal at fine leg further dented Pakistan’s top-order, leaving them in a precarious position.

Shakeel and Rizwan’s Revival

However, Saud Shakeel and Mohammad Rizwan, both making their World Cup debut, engineered Pakistan’s revival with a splendid 120-run partnership. Shakeel’s composed innings of 68 off 52 balls featured nine fours and a six, while Rizwan contributed 68 off 75 balls.

Shakeel Named Man of the Match

Saud Shakeel, named the Man of the Match in his inaugural World Cup game, said, “Tried to follow my basics and be positive to score for my team. Nerves were there as we’d lost three wickets, but I was lucky to get early boundaries. We discussed that the pressure would transfer if we scored, which did happen.”

Nawaz, Shadab, Afridi, and Rauf Contribute

Nawaz (39) and Shadab (32) played crucial cameos to boost the total, while tailenders Afridi and Rauf added 19 runs for the last wicket before Colin Ackermann wrapped up Pakistan’s innings.

Edwards Praises De Leede

Netherlands’ captain Scott Edwards acknowledged the brilliance of Bas de Leede’s innings, saying, “It’s a bit disappointing. Firstly, we bowled and fielded well. We thought they were par. … De Leede’s innings was awesome, just needed someone to be with him.”

This enthralling contest exemplified the captivating nature of cricket, and Pakistan’s bowlers proved to be the difference-makers. Stay tuned for more thrilling Cricket World Cup action!

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