In a thrilling encounter at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, Pakistan emerged victorious against the Netherlands, showcasing their resilience and depth. Saud Shakeel and Mohammad Rizwan led Pakistan’s middle order, which took control despite an early setback when the top order collapsed at 38 for 3. Shakeel, who was a late addition to the World Cup squad, displayed a masterclass, racing to a 32-ball half-century. His partnership with Rizwan brought Pakistan back into the game, amassing a crucial 100-run stand.
However, the Netherlands fought back, with Aryan Dutt dismissing Shakeel and Bas de Leede taking key wickets, including that of Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed. Pakistan’s spin-bowling allrounders, Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan, then stitched together a vital 64-run partnership, pushing the score past 250. Despite the fightback, the Netherlands managed to bowl Pakistan out for 286 in 49 overs.
The Dutch chase began on a positive note, with Vikramjit Singh and de Leede leading the charge. Both batsmen scored fifties, with Singh’s resilience against the new ball being a highlight. However, Pakistan’s bowlers, particularly Shadab Khan, managed to break through at crucial junctures. De Leede’s valiant effort was not enough as the Netherlands’ innings began to crumble. Haris Rauf’s effective spells ensured Pakistan’s dominance, and the game soon tilted in their favor.
Despite a last-wicket stand between Logan van Beek and van Meekeren, the Netherlands could only muster a total past 200, falling short by 81 runs. Rauf’s final wicket sealed Pakistan’s win, though the team acknowledges areas for improvement. With this victory, Pakistan has secured two points and a positive net run rate, setting their sights on their next match against Sri Lanka in Hyderabad.
Match Key Performances:
- Saud Shakeel: Stellar 32-ball half-century
- Mohammad Rizwan: Solid partnership with Shakeel
- Bas de Leede: Key wickets and a crucial fifty for the Netherlands
- Shadab Khan & Haris Rauf: Vital breakthroughs for Pakistan