by: Atika Mehboob TN Sport Pakistan:
In an exhilarating match, the Netherlands registered an assertive 87-run victory against Bangladesh, deepening Bangladesh’s challenges in the 2023 World Cup.
The highlight of the game was the Netherlands’ successful defense of their total of 229, significantly aided by Paul van Meekeren’s standout performance, claiming four wickets. Scott Edwards, the team’s skipper, anchored the innings with a well-crafted 68 off 89 balls.
The win in Kolkata, which witnessed strong support for Bangladesh due to its proximity to Dhaka, was particularly sweet for the Dutch team. The enthusiastic backing for Bangladesh, however, didn’t deter a resilient Netherlands side that showcased skill and determination throughout the match.
Umar Gul, a former Pakistani cricketer, shared his perspective, “It’s evident how both teams had their struggles with the bat. Yet, while the Netherlands managed to post a challenging total, they also capitalized on the opportunities in the field, whereas Bangladesh missed theirs.”
Paul van Meekeren’s impressive figures of 4-23, including the wickets of key players like Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim, played a crucial role. Alongside him, Bas de Leede targeted and dismissed potential threats Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Mahmudullah. Aryan Dutt, with his crafty bowling, kept the Bangladesh batters under pressure.
Despite the early onslaught by Taskin Ahmed and Shoriful Islam, which had the Dutch at a precarious 4 for 2, the team managed to regroup. Wesley Barresi contributed a brisk 41, offering some respite. However, the real savior was Edwards, who steadied the ship in crucial partnerships, ensuring his team reached a competitive total.
It appeared that the Netherlands’ total was below the expected average, especially on a pitch assumed to be batting-friendly. But as the surface started showing signs of wear, assisting the spinners, it was the Dutch who adapted swiftly and secured a well-deserved win.