The Netherlands 245 for 8 (Edwards 78*, van der Merwe 29, Jansen 2-27) beat South Africa 207 (Miller 43, van Beek 3-60, van der Merwe 2-34, de Leede 2-36, van Meekeren 2-40) by 38 runs (43 overs a side)
An unbeaten 78 from Scott Edwards followed by a disciplined bowling display helped the Netherlands rout pre-tournament favourites South Africa by 38 runs at the picturesque HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala on Tuesday.
Edwards led by example as the Netherlands clinched just their third win at a 50-over World Cup in 23 attempts, adding to their victories over Namibia in 2003 and Scotland in 2007.
In the lead up to the game, South African captain Temba Bavuma insisted his side had moved on from the 13-run defeat at the hands of the Dutch at last year’s T20 World Cup in Australia but eleven months on, fresh wounds were inflicted as the Netherlands collected their first points of the World Cup campaign.
South Africa came into the match with emphatic wins upwards of a 100-run margin against Sri Lanka and Australia, the kind that reinforced their status of pre-tournament favourites.
After winning the toss in overcast conditions that delayed the start of play by two hours and reduced the game to 43-overs-a-side, South Africa’s quicks justified the decision to bowl first as none of the Dutch’s top six batters went past 20, unable to counter the tennis-ball bounce and ultimately falling to unerring accuracy.
Edwards dug deep to expertly combat Keshav Maharaj’s left-arm spin with sweeps and pulled off the quicks to target the short square boundaries in a 69-ball rearguard knock that featured 10 fours and a six.
In scoring his 14th half-century, Edwards equalled the record for most 50-plus scores by a Dutchman, at par with Ryan ten doeschate, before Roelof van der Merwe’s enterprising 19-ball 29 and Aryan Dutt’s three sixes in a 23-run cameo lifted the total to 245-8 from the depths of 82-5 in the 21st over.
From 141-7, South Africa failed to close out the innings allowing the Dutch to plunder 104 runs off the last nine overs, averaging at least one boundary per over. In conceding as many as 32 extras, South Africa’s worst tally during a men’s ODI World Cup, it provided another measure of their sloppiness.
In reply, van der Merwe (2-34), Paul van Meekeren (2-40) and Colin Ackermann struck early to dismantle the South African top order, one which lost four wickets in the space of 20 balls for a mere eight runs to be reeling at 44-4.
Barring Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller’s run-a-ball stand of 45, there was little resistance that threatened the Dutch from seeking their first-ever scalp of a Test-playing nation at a 50-over World Cup.
Miller’s dismissal, bowled by van Beek (3-60), in the 31st over with South Africa still 101 runs adrift put the result beyond doubt and was confirmed once Maharaj edged him through to Edwards with only a ball to spare.
Much of the post-match reflections after the two opening defeats in Hyderabad centred around playing good cricket not just in patches but for longer periods of time. On Tuesday, the Netherlands did just that.
“Over the last couple of games, our issue’s been too many of our middle-order batters getting out before the end of the game,” Edwards said after the match.
“So I was just trying to take it deep and hope that a couple of guys around me chip in. We were lucky enough to get those runs towards the end there which was nice.”
“We came into the tournament wanting to have a chance of making the semi-finals, and if you want to do that, you’ve got to beat teams obviously. South Africa is probably one of the favourites, the way they have been playing. It’s a big win for us.”
The Netherlands will look to break further ground when they next take on Sri Lanka in Lucknow on October 21 (7am CEST).
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