Pakistan beat Netherlands by 81 runs in ICC Cricket World Cup 2023

Haris Rauf took three wickets Pakistan’s bowlers dismissed Netherlands for 205, but the Dutch put up a brave fight in their opening match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.

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Pakistan's captain Babar Azam and teammate Fakhar Zaman celebrate the dismissal of the Netherlands's Vikram Singh [Eranga Jayawardena/AP]

Pakistan have opened their ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 campaign with an 81-run win over the Netherlands but not before a determined Dutch side gave Babar Azam’s team a scare at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad.

Fast bowler Haris Rauf took three wickets to wrap up the Dutch innings in 41 overs in the south Indian city on Friday.

All-rounder Bas de Leede shone for the Netherlands as he top-scored for his side with 67 runs after taking four wickets earlier on.

Dutch opener Vikramjit Singh scored 52 runs and was involved in a 70-run partnership with de Leede that threatened to hand Pakistan a shock loss in their first game.

Pakistan’s fast bowlers, including Rauf, Hasan Ali and Shaheen Shah Afridi took six wickets between them to give their side a winning start to the tournament.

Spinners Shadab Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed and Mohammad Nawaz took one apiece.

Earlier, Pakistan were bowled out for 286 in an innings that featured half-centuries from Saud Shakeel and Mohammad Rizwan.

De Leede finished with 4-62 to bring the Netherlands back into the game after Shakeel struck an attractive 52-ball 68 and Rizwan’s 75-ball 68 had boosted Pakistan after they were sent in to bat.

The Netherlands justified the decision to bowl first as pacer Logan van Beek had out-of-form opener Fakhar Zaman caught and bowled for 12 in the fourth over.

Spinner Colin Ackermann then claimed the prized wicket of Pakistan skipper Babar Azam for five before Paul van Meekeren dismissed Imam-ul-Haq for 15 to leave Pakistan tottering at 38-3.

Shakeel and Rizwan – playing their first World Cup match – steadied the innings with a solid 120-run stand for the fourth wicket but three wickets fell in the space of 24 balls for 30 runs.

Pakistan were further lifted as Mohammad Nawaz (39) and Shadab Khan (32) added 64 for the seventh wicket but de Leede dismissed Shadab and Hasan Ali off successive deliveries.

Nawaz was run out in the 47th over before Haris Rauf’s dismissal off Ackermann finished the innings in 49 overs.

Source: News Agencies