Cricket: Dutch fall to Pakistan despite De Leede’s brilliance

Bas de Leede in action. Photo: ICC

Pakistan 286 (Rizwan 68, Shakeel 68, de Leede 4-62) beat the Netherlands 205 (de Leede 67, Singh 52, Rauf 3-43) by 81 runs 

The Netherlands marked their return to the 50-over cricket World Cup, after a 12-year absence, with an 81-run loss to Pakistan in Hyderabad on Thursday.

The Dutch scuppered a promising start with the ball, having reduced Pakistan to 38-3 inside the first powerplay before eventually bowling them out for 286, and later with the bat despite Bas de Leede’s stellar all-round show, one which culminated in a four-wicket haul and a half-century.

Pakistan maintained their unblemished record of posting a 275-plus total and successfully defending it for the 13th time in their World Cup history. But for most parts of the chase, the Dutch looked to threaten it, especially from a position of 120-2 only to suffer a batting collapse which saw them lose 8 wickets for 85 runs.

“It’s probably one that got away,” captain Scott Edwards rued after the game.

Being inserted to bat under the baking hot Hyderabad sun, Pakistan struggled to contend with the spinners and the bounce on offer.

Right-arm quick Logan van Beek saw off Fakhar Zaman in the fourth over before off-spinner Colin Ackermann had Babar Azam, the Pakistan captain and currently ranked No. 1 batter in the format by ICC metrics, caught off a drag down off his first delivery. Four balls later, Imam-ul-haq failed to keep down a bouncer from Paul van Meekeren and holed out to deep fine leg.

The Dutch continued to pull off sparks of brilliance throughout the innings even if it was momentarily snuffed out by Pakistan’s middle-order duo of Mohammad Rizwan and Saud Shakeel, who scored 68 each and put on a 120-run partnership to stem the collapse.

De Leede struck back with a worldie to hit Rizwan’s top of off stump and later had Iftikhar Ahmed edging behind in the same over.

At 188-6, just when the Dutch sensed a comeback, the lower order pairing of Mohammad Nawaz (39) and Shadab Khan (32) resisted to take Pakistan past 250 before De Leede returned to complete a four-for.

In response, barring De Leede’s 67 and Vikram Singh’s 52, the bats failed to fire with as many as six batters falling for a single-digit score.

De Leede once again proved to be a talismanic presence in a middle-order prone to collapses and batted with composure even as he ran out of partners at the other end.

Photo: ICC

Having been struck on the head by a searing bouncer from Haris Rauf in Perth at the T20 World Cup last year, he banished any demons from that encounter when he hooked another bouncer for a six. Anything full from the quicks was driven down the ground while his footwork against spinners was immaculate.

In taking a four-wicket haul before adding a half-century, he became only the second Dutchman to do so at a World Cup after Feiko Kloppenburg’s 121 and 4-42 against Namibia in 2003 in what was the Netherlands’ maiden win at the showpiece event.

Father and son

Remarkably, his father Tim de Leede and Bas are the only father-son duo to take four-fors at the ODI World Cup.

“If you offered us to bowl Pakistan out for 280 before the game, we would have taken it,” De Leede told a press conference.

“If we could have kept them down to 20 less, it would have been even better in the position that we were in. Batting-wise, 120 for two was obviously a good position for us. It was the wickets that were our downfall. We lost Vikram, then lost Teja, then lost Scott Edwards in a quick couple of overs, which put us on the back foot. It’s tough to then go on and put up another partnership and try and win the game.”

The Netherlands will remain in Hyderabad and will take on New Zealand on Monday, October 9 (10:30am CEST). All matches are broadcast on the digital platforms of NOS Sport and Yupp TV.

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