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Pakistan overcame early batting jitters to clinch a straightforward win in their opening 2023 World Cup match at Hyderabad. The 1992 winners eased past the qualifiers, Netherlands by 81 runs in the tournament’s second match to notch up their first points on the table.
A fighting middle-order batting display and an all-round bowling showing from Pakistan ensured there was no upset on the cards as shrugged off the loss of in-form Babar Azam early in their innings..
Pakistan recover from slow start
Put into bat by Netherlands, Pakistan made a horrendous start to their innings as they lost their top three wickets for just 38.
This included their captain Azam, who is also the number one batsman in the ICC ODI Batting Rankings, as he mistimed a pull off Colin Ackermann to the short mid-wicket fielder.
The Pakistani resurrection came by way of their fourth wicket stand of 120 runs between Mohammad Rizwan and Saud Shakeel.
After starting off in a bit of a dodgy manner, both hit 68 precious runs to prop up the Pakistan innings.
Bas de Leede picked up wickets at regular interval once Aryan Dutt had dislodged Shakeel and ended with 4/62 but there was a late fightback from the all-rounders down the order.
Mohammad Nawaz chipped in with a useful 39 while Shadab Khan made 32 and their partnership of 64 pushed Pakistan to a score of respectability on a pitch that didn’t seem the most straightforward for batting.
A 10th wicket stand of 19 between Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf got Pakistan to 286 before they were bowled out with an over to spare.
13th consecutive win for Pakistan while defending 275+ runs in World Cup history. pic.twitter.com/oRQ5dgMHU5
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) October 6, 2023
Netherlands solid but Pakistani bowling too good
Chasing 287 for a win, Netherlands got off to a solid start without being flamboyant. And thanks to a 70-run stand for the third wicket between Vikramijit Singh and Bas de Leede, they looked to be sitting pretty at 120/2 in the 24th over.
Singh scored a 67-ball 52 but it was Shadab Khan who shifted the pendulum in Pakistan’s favour when he sent him back. Haris Rauf then broke the Dutch backs by claiming Teja Nidamanuru and Scott Edwards in one over.
De Leede went on to score 67 off a mere 68 balls but the pressure kept mounting as he kept losing his partners. Once Mohammad Nawaz sent him back, bowled, the Dutch innings folded quickly, bowled for 205 in the 41st over with Rauf picking up his third wicket to end the opposition innings.
Saud Shakeel was declared the man-of-the-match for his 52-ball 68.
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