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PAK vs NED: Pakistan kick off World Cup 2023 campaign with impressive win over Netherlands


Image Source : PTI Pakistan cricket team celebrating against Netherlands in World Cup match on Oct 6, 2023

Pakistan cricket team kicked off its ICC World Cup 2023 campaign with a huge 81-run win over the Netherlands on Friday, October 6. Brilliant fifties from Saud Shakeel and Mohammad Rizwan helped Pakistan to score 286 runs while batting first and then an impressive spell from speedster Haris Rauf bowled out the Dutch side on just 205 runs.

Babar Azam-led side lost the toss and was forced to bat first at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. Pakistan’s top order struggled for a promising start as the Netherlands enjoyed a sensational spell in the powerplay overs. Pakistan lost star batter Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, and Babar in the first ten overs with just 38 runs on the scoreboard. 

But wicketkeeper batter Mohammad Rizwan and Saud Shakeel kept Pakistan on track for the challenging total with a 120-run stand for the fourth wicket. The duo dominated the middle overs and carried Pakistan’s innings after a poor start. Rizwan scored 68 off 75 balls and Shakeel added 68 off just 52 balls to push Pakistan to a positive total.

Spin all-rounders Shadab Khan (32) and Mohammad Nawaz (39) also contributed crucial runs in the finishing overs. For Netherlands, pace all-rounder Bas de Leede took four wickets and Colin Ackermann bagged two to bowl out Pakistan on 286 runs in 49 overs.

While chasing a tough total, Netherlands lost their premier batter Max O’Dowd on just five runs with the returning Hasan Ali claiming the wicket. Iftikhar Ahmed picked Ackermann’s big wicket in the 12th over to keep Pakistan ahead in the game. Netherlands pushed back with opener Vikramjit Singh and de Leede confidently producing 70 runs for the third wicket and almost balanced the game as well.

Shadab gave a big breakthrough with Vikramjit’s wicket in the 24th over and that shifted the momentum completely in the favour of the Pakistani team. Vikramjit scored 52 runs and de Leede top-scored with 67 runs but the rest of the batters struggled against pace. Rauf took three wickets and Hasan picked two to bowl out Netherlands’ resistance on just 205 runs in 41 overs.

Pakistan Playing XI: Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf

Netherlands Playing XI: Vikramjit Singh, Max ODowd, Colin Ackermann, Scott Edwards (c & wk), Bas de Leede, Teja Nidamanuru, Saqib Zulfiqar, Logan van Beek, Roelof van der Merwe, Aryan Dutt, Paul van Meekeren

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