In a captivating opener at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad, Pakistan embarked on their World Cup 2023 journey with a solid 81-run triumph over the Netherlands. After initial batting hiccups, middle-order resilience, especially from Saud Shakeel and Mohammad Rizwan, helped Pakistan post a challenging score. As the Netherlands began their spirited chase, Pakistani bowlers, particularly Haris Rauf and Shadab Khan, stepped up, setting the tone for an engaging World Cup campaign.
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Pakistan vs Netherlands ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 Highlights
ICC World Cup • 7 Oct, 2023 • 6,403 Views • ⭐ 5.0
Written by Anand Swami
Resilient Middle Order Saves Pakistan
Pakistan faced early setbacks in their innings with a top-order collapse. However, the middle-order duo of Saud Shakeel and Mohammad Rizwan showcased resilience, both scoring a crucial 68 runs. Their combined efforts, along with vital contributions from Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan in the lower order, guided Pakistan to a competitive total of 286 in 49 overs. The consistency in the middle and lower order proved pivotal in ensuring that Pakistan reached a formidable total, setting a challenging target for the Netherlands.
Dutch Openers Begin With Promise
The Netherlands began their chase on a promising note with openers Vikramjit Singh and Bas de Leede at the helm. Vikramjit exhibited patience, crafting a well-made 52 off 67 balls, while Bas de Leede displayed aggression with his brisk 67 off 68 balls. Their combined efforts provided a stable foundation, making the chase intriguing and laying down a challenge for the Pakistani bowlers.
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Logan van Beek’s Valiant Effort
Amid the tense atmosphere, Logan van Beek emerged as a brief beacon of hope for the Netherlands. He didn't shy away from confrontations, taking on Haris Rauf and Hasan Ali with bold strokes. His daring boundaries, especially against Rauf, coupled with his spirit, added intensity and entertainment to the game.
Pakistan’s Bowling Mastery
Pakistan's bowlers, predominantly Haris Rauf and Shadab Khan, maintained pressure throughout the innings. Their consistent and strategic wicket-taking deliveries ensured the Netherlands batsmen were unable to build momentum. The turning point came when Shadab Khan dismissed Vikramjit, breaking a crucial partnership and putting Pakistan back in control.
Netherlands’ Middle-Order Disarray
After a commendable start, the Netherlands faced turbulence in their middle order. The quick dismissals, especially of Aryan Dutt and the crucial wicket of Scott Edwards, as he was trapped LBW, dented their chase. With the fall of Saqib Zulfiqar and others, the Netherlands' hopes dwindled, showing the potency of the Pakistani bowling attack.
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Key Moments That Defined the Game
The match was laden with riveting events. Shadab Khan's dismissal of Vikramjit and the spirited exchange between Haris Rauf and Bas de Leede stood out. As the innings progressed, the consistent fall of wickets, mixed with some exceptional fielding and boundary shots, ensured spectators were hooked till the last ball.
As the innings approached its climax, the match turned into an intense showdown. Logan van Beek's confrontations and bold boundaries, especially against Haris Rauf, stood out. But Pakistan's bowlers, notably Haris Rauf, had the last laugh. The dismissal of Vikramjit Singh by Shadab Khan and Haris Rauf cleaning up the tail, including Paul van Meekeren, sealed the game in Pakistan's favour.
In this gripping face-off, Pakistan demonstrated their prowess, recovering from a batting setback to set a commendable total and then defending it robustly. Their bowlers, especially Haris Rauf and Shadab Khan, were instrumental in sealing the victory. On the other side, the Netherlands, led by commendable performances from their openers and the spirited Logan van Beek, showcased their potential. As the World Cup unfolds, this match will undoubtedly serve as a benchmark for both teams' resilience and strategy.
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