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Pakistan off to strong start with clinical victory over Netherlands

Pakistan off to strong start with clinical victory over Netherlands

Cricket

Pakistan enter the clash as heavy favourites, with a head to head record of 6-0

HYDERABAD (Dunya News) – Pakistan bowling lineup saved the day for their side as they bowled out Netherlands for 205, winning their opener match of World Cup 2023 at Hyderabad stadium on Friday.

The Green Shirts had built a total of 286 runs for the opponent team. In pursuit of the target, Netherlands’s opener Vikram Singh made 52 runs while all-rounder Bas de Leede remained top scorer with 67 runs.

An inspirational performance from Bas de Leede had once lifted Dutch hopes in their opening world cup game but Mohammad Nawaz’s magnificent delivery sent him back to pavilion, turning the match into Pakistan’s favour.

After his dismissal, no player could maintain the momentum, losing game to Pakistan. Hasan Ali took three wickets and Haris Rauf three wickets while Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shadab Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed and Mohammad Nawaz grabbed one wicket each.

Hours earlier, Netherlands bowler Bas de Leede grabbed four wickets and restricted Pakistan from building a tough total in second match of the World Cup 2023 at Hyderabad Stadium on Friday.

Leede and other bowling lineup bundled out Pakistan for 286 runs in 49 overs.

Green Shirts' opening pair of Fakhar Zaman and Imamul Haq opened the innings but Zaman could not gain his ground and returned to pavilion with 15 runs on the board. He could score only 12 runs in 15 balls, peppered with 3 fours.

Like Zaman, skipper Babar Azam also failed to make an impact and returned to pavilion for just 5 runs in 18 balls. Moments later, it seemed Imamul Haq was also in a hurry and followed the skipper after scoring 15 runs off 19 balls. He hit two fours.

After top order was devasted by Netherlands bowling lineup, Mohammad Rizwan and Saud Shakeel showed aggressive approach in a bid to build a big total for their side. Both players built a commanding partnership of 120 runs before their dismissal.

As Iftikhar Ahmed failed to hold ground for long, Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz scored 39 and 32, respectively. Later, Shaheen Afridi and Haris played a key role to boost the score in final overs.

Earlier, Netherlands won the toss and put Pakistan to bat first. 

 

Earlier Coverage 

The much-anticipated moment for the Pakistan cricket fans arrived as Pakistan begin their ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 campaign against the Netherlands at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium today (Friday).

Since arriving in the city eight days ago, which also marked the first instance of a Pakistan men’s side landing in India in seven years, the Babar Azam’s side has made the most of the training sessions and two warm-up games to acclimatise in the city where they play first two of their nine league matches.

The warm-up games against New Zealand and Australia also served opportunities to Pakistan to fine-tune their combinations and provide the much-needed match time to the entire squad.

“We have been in Hyderabad for a week and our preparations have been really good,” Babar told on the eve of Pakistan’s tournament opener. “We have had two practice matches in which we tried different combinations and gave everyone an opportunity to see if they could play in any situation. Overall our practice went well and we will give our best.”

Pakistan enter the 50-over World Cup as one of the favourites after an impressive run in the just-concluded World Cup cycle as they had the best win-loss ratio of 2.400 with 24 wins in 36 matches. That the team has performed so consistently has also been because of their mainstays emerging as solid performers over the years.

Their captain, Babar, has evolved into a modern-day great since recording the most runs for a Pakistani at a World Cup in the 2019 iteration and is perched at the top of the ICC ODI rankings for batters. He is one of the two players to score over 2,000 runs in the last four years. His impressive 2,196 runs have been at an average of 66.54 and a strike rate of 93.72. He has smashed nine centuries in this period, which is the joint-most with Shai Hope, who is the other batter to breach the 2,000-run mark.

Head-To-Head Record

Pakistan enter the clash as heavy favourites, with a head to head record of 6-0 in their favour. After having experimented with a number of options in the practice games, the Men in Green would like to put their best foot forward against Netherlands.

Given the high-scoring nature of the Hyderabad wicket, which was on full display in the warm-up encounters, Pakistan will hope that Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed and Shadab Khan fire on all cylinders. They’ll also hope that their pacers settle into a good rhythm in the very first game.

For the Dutch, the game will be about getting ahead of Pakistan at the right stages and then holding onto that advantage. They will bank on their inspirational skipper Scott Edwards and a number of veterans in Logan van Beek, Roelof van der Merwe and Wesley Barresi.

Squads

Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim.

Netherlands: Scott Edwards (c), Max O'Dowd, Bas de Leede, Vikram Singh, Teja Nidamanuru, Paul van Meekeren, Colin Ackermann, Roelof van der Merwe, Logan van Beek, Aryan Dutt, Ryan Klein, Wesley Barresi, Saqib Zulfiqar, Shariz Ahmad, Sybrand Engelbrecht.
 




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