Pakistan started their world cup campaign in Hyderabad against a defiant Netherlands side. Babar’s Azam men were desperate to start well after having an Asia Cup to forget. Netherlands seemed to be a pushover on paper, but the team spirit and the fighting spirit of the Dutch made them formidable opponents. On the second day of the world cup, the tension was palpable in both camps.
Pakistan fielded a strong lineup studded with all-rounders. Former South African spinner Roelof van der Merwe made his world cup debut for the Dutch.
- Fakhar Zaman 2. Imam-Ul-Haq 3. Babar Azam (Cap.) 4. Muhammad Rizwan (WK) 5. Saud Shakeel 6. Iftikhar Ahmed 7. Shadab Khan 8. Mohammad Nawaz 9. Hassan Ali 10. Shaheen Afridi 11. Haris Rauf
- Vikramjit Singh 2. Max O’Dowd 3. Colin Ackerman 4. Bas de Leede 5. Teja Nidamanuru 6. Scott Edwards (Cap.) (WK) 7. Saqib Zulfiqar 8. Logan Van Beek 9. Roelof van der Merwe 10. Aryan Dutt 11. Paul van Meekeren
|Venue||The 2nd game of the 2023 World Cup was played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, Telangana.|
|Date||The game started from 02:00 pm IST on Friday, October 6.|
Captaincy & Tactics
Netherlands started the attack with spin and Pakistani openers seemed to be in trouble early on. Dutch keeper Edwards was rotating the bowlers, He used 8 ballers in the Pakistan innings. He was not willing to let the batsman settle and largely succeeded in this endeavour.
Babar Azam’s quick bowlers proved costly early on, so he quickly turned to his spinning options. Iftikhar Ahmed providing a breakthrough on the first ball of his spell justified the bold move. He also brought back his pacers to have them bowl at the Dutch tail-enders.
Fakhar Zaman continues his dismal run of form with another low score. After a disappointing Asia Cup, Babar Azam failed to deliver once again. He never looked comfortable out in the middle and got out with an uncharacteristic shot. Muhammad Rizwan has been showing promising runs recently and he hit form just at the right moment. He is enjoying his batting this year with 696 runs scored with a healthy average of 63.27. His partnership with young Saud Shakeel built a solid foundation for the next batters.
Saud Shakeel was drafted into the Pakistani squad, he was never considered a good fit for white ball cricket. But the Karachi born batsmen justified the choice by batting aggressively. Mohammad Nawaz scored the 2nd fifty of his career to give the innings a much needed stability. Hassan Ali and Afridi provided some late fireworks to send Pakistan over the 280 mark.
Vikramjit Singh was in an aggressive mood to decimate the Pakistani bowling. The 20 year old enjoys his batting against the Pakistanis with 168 runs scored at an average of 42.00. He hit a stylish six over the mid wicket region to show his intent. But the Indian-born opener soon fell after reaching half century, his miscued shot fell into the hands of Fakhar Zaman on the boundary line.
From that point onwards, it was solely the de Leede show. He cut, pulled and drove the ball all around the park in an innings of remarkable poise and control. He is more effective while batting in neutral venues with a healthy average of 44.33. But it was not enough in the face of an Pakistani pace onslaught later on.
Netherlands bowling was all about Bas de Leede. The pitchmap will show that the all-rounder was all over the place with some wayward bowling. The actual story could not be farther from that. The 23 year old bowled outstanding cross-seam deliveries to deceive the batsmen. He bowled Rizwan out with a sharp in-swinger.
Later Shadab Khan fell in the same fashion. The four wicket haul is a testament to de Leede’s immense talent. Dutch pacers used the bounce of the pitch well to pepper the Pakistani batsmen with short balls.
Haris Rauf was expensive in his first spell, but the express bowler delivered at the back end of the innings. It was impossible for the Dutch tail-enders to keep him at bay. He is having a year to remember with 27 wickets picked already. Babar Azam will be happy to see his spin bowlers taking wickets after much debate about whether Pakistan lacks in the spin department.
Netherlands’ fielding was top notch and they caught everything deftly. Babar Azam was caught brilliantly by Ackerman at midwicket. Skipper Scott Edwards completed two catches.
The highlight of the Pakistani innings was the magnificent running catch by Fakhar to dismiss Singh. The fielders performed well in a match that seemed to be slipping out of Pakistan’s hands at times.
It was a game of all-rounding excellence by Bas de Leede. The 23 year old equalled his father’s 4 wicket haul in the world cup. The also batted magnificently, scoring 67 runs to keep the asking rate within a manageable limit. Muhammad Rizwan looked elegant before getting out to a brilliant de Leede delivery.
The wicket-keeper was regularly rotating the strike and occasionally hitting boundaries to keep the scoreboard ticking. Mohammad Nawaz hit a fifty under pressure to give Pakistani bowlers a good target to defend. Haris Rauf was troubling the Dutch batters with his express pace and claimed three wickets to finish things off.
Netherlands was losing regular wickers, yet one man was standing tall. In the first innings, he shone with the ball. Then he was counterpunching with his willow. The Dutch hopes were alive as long as Bas de Leede was on the pitch. He was batting at 67 when a Mohammad Nawaz delivery turned inwards to remove his balls. Bas de Leede went back to the pavilion with the score at 164/7 and Netherlands never recovered from there.
Pakistan won the game by a margin of 81 runs.
Player of the Match
Saud Shakeel won the man of the match award for his quickfire 68 run innings.
|Pakistan Total: 286/10 (49 overs)||Netherlands Total: 205/10 (41 overs)|
|Muhammad Rizwan 68 (75)||Bas de Leede 67 (68)|
|Saud Shakeel 68 (52)||Vikramjit Singh 52 (67)|
|Bas de Leede 4/62||Haris Rauf 3/43|
|Colin Ackermann 2/39||Hassan Ali 2/33|
Despite Netherlands threatening throughout the game, Pakistan was good enough. They put enough runs on the board with the help of two standout partnerships. Bas de Leede batted brilliantly but his partners could not handle the Pakistani pace. Pakistan’s performance leaves a lot to be desired and they will have three days to work on that before meeting Sri Lanka.