Pakistan kicked off their World Cup 2023 campaign in spectacular fashion, securing an impressive 82-run victory over the Netherlands at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in India on Friday.
The Pakistani bowlers came to the forefront, taking control of the match by consistently taking Dutch wickets in quick succession.
With this victory, Pakistan created history by claiming their first-ever World Cup win on Indian soil.
Despite a promising start, the Netherlands struggled and were eventually bowled out for 205 runs, courtesy of Pakistan’s efficient bowling attack.
Vikramjit Singh and all-rounder Bas de Leede were the top-scorers for the Netherlands, contributing 52 and 67 runs, respectively.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s bowlers were on fire, with Hasan Ali and Haris Rauf grabbing two wickets each, and Shaheen Afridi, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, and Iftikhar Ahmed taking one wicket apiece.
Before the match, Pakistan had posted a total of 286 runs on the board, recovering admirably after losing three wickets in the initial 10 overs.
Captain Babar Azam’s dream of reaching a 300-run total was thwarted as the Netherlands limited Pakistan to 286 runs in 49 overs.
Saud Shakeel played a blistering half-century in just 37 balls, while Babar Azam contributed five runs off 18 balls.
Mohammed Rizwan and Shakeel led Pakistan’s recovery in the middle order, with Shadab Khan and Mohammed Nawaz making valuable contributions with the bat, helping Pakistan reach a potentially match-winning total.
Vice-captain Shadab Khan took charge during the first innings when Pakistan were six wickets down after 37 overs. He played a composed innings, rotating the strike and hitting timely boundaries, eventually scoring 22 off 21 deliveries. His first six was particularly noteworthy.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Nawaz played a crucial innings, scoring 39 runs off 43 balls.
Pakistan’s innings was anchored by half-centuries from Mohammad Rizwan (68) and Saud Shakeel (68), with Bas de Leede being the most successful bowler for the Netherlands, picking up four wickets, while Colin Ackermann took two dismissals.