T20 World Cup: The Netherlands fail to get a move on against Pakistan

Photo: ICC
Photo: ICC

Brief scores: Pakistan 95 for 4 (Rizwan 49, Glover 2-22) beat Netherlands 91 for 9 (Shadab 3-22, Wasim 2-15) by six wickets 

The Netherlands sunk to the second-lowest total (91-9) of the ongoing T20 World Cup as Pakistan cruised to a six-wicket win in Perth on Sunday.

Shadab Khan, Pakistan’s premier leg-spinner, snared three wickets (3-22) as he capitalised on the pressure built by the fast bowlers early on. In response, Mohammad Rizwan fell one short of a half-century as he led the chase to register Pakistan’s first win with 37 balls to spare.

A common theme for the Dutch has been a lack of runs from the middle-order and it continued as they hobbled to 91-9, having opted to bat first.

If their struggles against short balls and good length deliveries weren’t documented well enough, those concerns were further compounded on a bouncy Perth pitch.

Barring Colin Ackermann, who top-scored with a run-a-ball 27, and Scott Edwards (15), none of the other batters got into double digits as they struggled to put away the Pakistani pacers who exploited the bounce by consistently hitting the right lengths and digging the ball into the pitch.

A measure of Pakistan’s hostile bowling was the blow to all-rounder Bas de Leede, who had to retire hurt after being struck by a rising Haris Rauf delivery that pegged the grille of his helmet to cut his cheek. While Logan van Beek was drafted into the playing XI as a concussion substitute, it did little to mask the batting troubles.

Another distressing trend of late with the bat has been a high dot-ball percentage and low boundary count. Against Pakistan, the Dutch batters played out as many as 63 dot balls, more than half the balls they faced, while managing to hit just five boundaries between them.

No excuse

‘It’s been an issue, I suppose, with the bigger boundaries in Australia but it’s not an excuse,’ Edwards said after the game.

‘We are losing wickets at times which means we can’t get partnerships together and we feel we are always rebuilding. It’s not ideal but it’s an area we have got to address and hopefully fix it over the next couple of games.’

One of the few positives for the Dutch was their bowling effort. Brandon Glover, who initially replaced van Beek, struck late to dismiss Fakhar Zaman, pouched off a screamer by Edwards, and Shan Masood, edging to deep third man. Paul van Meekeren (1-19) bowled with good control to account for Rizwan after the returning Roelof van der Merwe ran out Babar Azam in the second over.

The loss to Pakistan, their third of the Super 12s, meant that the Dutch are out of the reckoning for a semi-final spot but have two remaining games against Zimbabwe, on Wednesday (Nov 2), and South Africa next Sunday (Nov 6).

‘We have played a fair bit of cricket against Zimbabwe. We are just hoping to put on a better performance than today. Our batting hasn’t got firing all tournament which has been disappointing so we want to put decent totals on the board and give a good account of ourselves,’ Edwards said.

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