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Netherlands caused the second biggest upset of the 2023 World Cup as they overcame South Africa for the second time in as many ICC tournaments.
An all-round display of fight and grit from Netherlands helped them stun South Africa by 38 runs in a rain-curtailed 43-over-a-side match at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala. Last year, Netherlands had knocked South Africa out of the ICC T20 World Cup competition in Australia.
Having been put into bat by Temba Bavuma, Netherlands did not make much of a start as they lost both their openers cheaply.
The bleeding didn’t stop there as Bas de Leede and Colin Ackermann followed them back to the pavillion as they slumped to 50 for four in 15.1 overs.
— ICC Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) October 17, 2023
Sybrand Engelbrecht was the first to put up some resistance and while Teja Nidamanuru also chipped in with a knock of 20, the Dutch fight looked to have met its match when they slumped to 140 for seven with just nine overs left.
It’s here the match the turned on its head.
Captain Scott Edwards got an able partner in Roelof van der Merwe as the two took toll of the complacent South African bowling. Edwards completed his half-century and even as van der Merwe fell for 29 (off just 19 balls), Aryna Dutt smashed three sixes to prop them up to 245 for eight.
Edwards remained unbeaten on 78 from 69 balls, winning the man-of-the-match award for his superlative batting and innovative captaincy.
Netherlands had ended with 105 runs from the last 9.1 overs with just three wickets in hand.
Still, South Africa were coming off wins over Sri Lanka and Australia in which their batting had laid the foundation for their convincing performances and a target asking rate of 5.7 shouldn’t have been a big worry.
It’s here that the Dutch sprung another surprise – they started things off with a spinner from both ends.
A circumspect South Africa lost their best batsman of the tournament, Quinton de Kock in the eighth over and that triggered a Proteas collapse.
Bavuma fell in the very next over, Aiden Markram was bowled off one that kept low and Rassie van der Dussen then reverse-swept one straight to backward point to leave them tottering at 44 for four.
David Miller put up some resistance with a knock of 43 but with not a lot of support from the other end, South Africa fell behind the asking-rate very quickly.
Miller and Gerald Coetzee departed in quick succession and while Keshav Maharaj hung around for a bit and brought the margin of defeat down to 38 runs, the game was over a lot earlier than in the final over of the chase.
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