ICC World Cup 2023: Bas de Leede’s all-rounds heroics in vain as Pakistan beat Netherlands by 81 runs in campaign opener

Captain Babar Azam should have been clearly delighted with the way the bowlers – both pacers and spinners – stuck to the basics and struck at regular intervals to defend a middling 286.

Published : Oct 06, 2023 21:15 IST , HYDERABAD - 2 MINS READ

Pakistan’s bowling attack put up an improved performance, with pacer Haris Rauf being the pick of them with three for 43, to ensure the team’s campaign began in style with an 81-run win over Netherlands in the ICC Cricket World Cup at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here on Friday.

Captain Babar Azam should have been clearly delighted with the way the bowlers – both pacers and spinners – stuck to the basics and struck at regular intervals.


Opener Vikramjit Singh and Bas de Leede, who scored half-centuries and put on 70 runs for the third wicket, batted well but the rest of the batting line-up couldn’t get its act together.

Vikramjit, on reaching half-century, couldn’t resist the temptation to go for another big shot off leg-spinner Shadab Khan and was caught in the deep in the 24th over to leave Netherlands three down for 120.

Then, de Leede watched helplessly from the other end as the other batters made a token appearance. And, when he was bowled trying to steer left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz to third-man in the 34th over to make it 164 for seven, the result was a foregone conclusion.

Earlier, a disciplined bowling effort by Netherlands on a near-perfect batting strip ensured Pakistan, put in to bat in front of a sparse 5,000-odd crowd, was restricted to 286 in 49 overs.

Pakistan suffered early blows to be 38 for three in 9.1 overs.


Fakhar Zaman failed again, surprised by Logan van Beek’s change of pace to give a simple return catch in the fourth over.

Soon after, off-spinner Colin Ackermann induced a poor pull stroke from Babar, who was caught at mid-wicket. Pacer Paul van Meekeren then forced Imam-ul-Haq to hook straight to deep fine-leg to have Pakistan in dire straits.

A 120-run stand off 114 balls for the fourth wicket between the experienced Mohammad Rizwan and southpaw Saud Shakeel, and another rescue another rescue act by Nawaz and Shadab, who put on 64 off 70 balls for the seventh wicket, helped Pakistan eventually post a challenging score.

For Netherlands, pacer de Leede struck two double-blows - first in the 32nd over when he cleaned up Rizwan with a beauty and saw Iftikhar Ahmed edge an away-going delivery to wicketkeeper Scott Edwards. Then, in the 44th, he bowled Shadab all ends up and trapped Hasan Ali leg-before.

Pakistan added another 34 runs for the last two wickets to reach 286, which eventually was more than enough.

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