When the Netherlands’ men’s cricket team take the field against Pakistan on Friday (October 6), they will do so with the aim of breaking new ground.
That they are even at the ten-team 50-over World Cup in India, after an absence of 12 years, is a significant accomplishment.
Having finished at the bottom of the 13-team World Cup Super League with just three wins out of 24 games, the Dutch dramatically secured one of the two World Cup berths, alongside Sri Lanka, by finishing ahead of the teams ranked above them which included the likes of two-time World Cup winners West Indies, Zimbabwe, Scotland, and Ireland.
More notably, it was the manner of their victories that underlined their qualification. Needing to chase down their highest ODI total of 375 against the West Indies, the Dutch finished level before Logan van Beek hammered a record 30 runs in the super over (one-over eliminator) and snared two wickets with the ball in an emphatic win.
In a do-or-die knockout clash against Scotland, not only did the Dutch needed to chase down 278 but had to do so in 44 overs to secure qualification. Remarkably, Bas de Leede, son of former Dutch international Tim, single handedly powered the side with a 92-ball 123 to add to his five-wicket haul with the ball earlier.
All of which now brings them to their fifth 50-over World Cup with previous appearances in 1996, 2003, 2007 and 2011. Over the next month, the Netherlands will take on the likes of Pakistan, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Australia, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, England, and the hosts India.
The football-minded have seen the Oranje compete in three World Cup finals whereas the cricket team is still in search of just their third win at the showpiece event, having beaten Namibia in 2003 and Scotland in 2007.
Speak to any of Scott Edwards’ men, the desire to go a step further is apparent.
“Success for us is reaching the semi-finals. That’s our aim,” Max O’Dowd, the team’s vice-captain, announced ahead of their opening clash against Pakistan in Hyderabad.
“We have come out here with lofty ambitions, I think everyone has. There’s no point of us coming out here to try and just have a good time and enjoy the atmosphere like quite a lot of people think. A big upset for a lot of people would be us reaching the semi-finals but we have got to think that way. If we think about anything else, what’s the point?”
Unlike the other nine teams who have had International fixtures leading up to the World Cup, the Dutch have played none since their 128-run loss to Sri Lanka at the World Cup Qualifier final in July.
However, the 15-man squad did warm up with preparatory fixtures against a Karnataka state side, losing both games, before their rain-truncated World Cup warm-up match against Australia saw only 37.2 overs of action. Their second match against India earlier this week was washed out due to heavy rain in Trivandrum.
A good place
While the batters struggled against the new ball and the bowlers continued their strong performances from the World Cup Qualifier, all-rounder Bas de Leede insists the team is in a good place.
“It’s one thing training in Indian conditions, but then another thing going out and playing and seeing what it’s like in a game, so I think for us it was a nice introduction to Indian conditions and trying to find out what works for us as a team,” he said.
“It was a shame that the warm-up games got rained off. But I think in the nets, we try to replicate game scenarios and try to be as competitive as we can when bowling to each other, when facing each other.”
All matches will be broadcast on the digital platforms of NOS Sport and Yupp TV.
Matches to begin at 10:30am CEST.
Netherlands vs Pakistan (October 6), Hyderabad
Netherlands vs New Zealand (October 9), Hyderabad
Netherlands vs South Africa (October 17), Dharamsala
Netherlands vs Sri Lanka (October 21), Lucknow at 7am CEST
Netherlands vs Australia (October 25), Delhi
Netherlands vs Bangladesh (October 28), Kolkata
Netherlands vs Afghanistan (November 3), Lucknow
Netherlands vs England (November 8), Pune
Netherlands vs India (November 12), Bengaluru
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation