NED vs PAK: Pakistan edge Netherlands by nine runs in 3rd ODI

NED vs PAK: Pakistan edge Netherlands by nine runs in 3rd ODI
NED vs PAK: Pakistan edge Netherlands by nine runs in 3rd ODI

NED vs PAK: Pakistan edge Netherlands by nine runs in 3rd ODI

NED vs PAK: Babar Azam-led Pakistan showed nerves of steel to avoid embarrassment against 13th-placed Netherlands when they carved out nine runs victory in a low-scoring third match of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League on Sunday. After six of the eight scheduled series of three ODIs each, third-placed Pakistan has 120 points with 12 wins, with the top three sides separated by five points.

Electing to bat first after winning the toss, Pakistan produced a dismal batting performance to stutter to 206 all-out in 49.4 overs. Nevertheless, and like they have done so many times in the past, they bounced back strongly with the ball to dismiss the Netherlands for 197. The home side required 56 runs off the final 10 overs, then 35 runs in 30 balls and finally, 14 runs in the last over that was bowled by Mohammad Wasim Jnr.

Interestingly, Pakistan applied pressure on their inexperienced opponents by suffocating them for runs by bowling a total of 178 dot balls instead of taking wickets, which had appeared to be the only way to win the encounter at the halfway stage.

While the bowlers stuck to the plan and maintained a tight line and length, the fielders backed them as well as they could to continue to increase the pressure. Babar Azam also demonstrated intelligent captaincy when he made timely bowling changes that didn’t allow the Dutch batters to dictate terms.

All the Pakistan bowlers came to party and brought the smiles back on the faces of their captain, head coach and the bowling coach.

Naseem Shah, playing his third ODI, took a five-fer and finished with figures of 10-0-33-5, while Mohammad Wasim provided excellent support with career-best figures of 9.2-0-36-4.

Shahnawaz Dahani and Zahid Mahmood, playing their first matches of the tour, returned figures of 10-0-37-0 and 8-0-39-0, respectively. Mohammad Nawaz conceded 41 off his 10 overs.

The result was a heartbreak for Tom Cooper, who plays his professional cricket in Australia. And notched up his third successive half-century of the series. After scoring 65 and 66 in the previous two losing causes, he top-scored with 62 from 105 balls with four fours. When he became the seventh batter to be dismissed in the 46th over with 33 runs required, it was curtains for the Dutch.

After the Netherlands had slipped to 37 for three. Cooper added 71 runs for the fourth wicket with Vikramjit Singh (50). The 35-year-old veteran of 29 ODIs added another 56 runs for the sixth wicket with Teja Nidamanuru (24) after the home side were in serious bother at 116 for five.

Earlier, electing to bat first after making four changes in the starting line-up. Pakistan played an unprecedented 179 dot balls to limp to 206 all out in 49.4 overs.

Babar Azam top-scored with 91, fourth time he had been dismissed in the 90s in 92 matches. He reached his 22nd half-century from 84 balls, including 50 dot balls. While his remaining 41 runs came at a run-a-ball. Dropped when 20, Babar’s uncharacteristic and not-so-fluent innings included seven fours and two sixes. And ended when he offered a return catch to off-spinner Aryan Dutt.

Babar, the sixth batter out at the score of 168 in the 43rd over, added 55 runs for 2nd wicket. With Fakhar Zaman (26, 43 balls) and 46 runs for the third wicket with Salman Ali Agha (24, 42 balls).

Mohammad Nawaz was the other batter who made some contribution to the Pakistan score. With a 35-ball 27 with one four and two sixes.

No.9 batter Naseem Shah provided some entertainment late in the order. In the nine balls he received, he successfully reviewed umpire’s decisions twice. And survived a run-out but was involved in Zahid Mahmood’s run-out. Before becoming the last-wicket to fall when he holed out to Logan Van Beek off Vivian Kingma. He finished with figures of two for 15.

The most successful Dutch bowler was medium-pacer Bas de Leede, who took three for 50 off nine overs. But the bowler who impressed everyone was 19-year-old wrist spinner Shariz Ahmad. He claimed the wicket of Salman and finished with figures of 8-0-41-1.

The two changes in the top-order included opener Abdullah Shafique. And wicketkeeper/batter Mohammad Haris, who replaced Imam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Rizwan, respectively. Debutant Abdullah lasted just five balls before bowled by Kingma, while Haris faced 10 balls. Before he was caught by Tom Cooper inside the 30-yard circle off de Leede at a time. When Pakistan were struggling and captain Babar Azam was standing at the non-striker’s end.

The Pakistan cricket team will depart for Dubai on Monday where it will participate in the ACC T20 Asia Cup. Pakistan’s opener is against India on 28 August. While their second match is against a qualifier (either UAE or Kuwait or Hong Kong or Singapore) in Sharjah on 2 September.

Scores in brief:

Pakistan 206 all out, 49.4 overs (Babar Azam 91, Mohammad Nawaz 27, Fakhar Zaman 26, Salman Ali Agha 24; Bas de Leede 3-50, Vivian Kingma 2-15)

Netherlands 197 all out, 49.2 overs (Tom Cooper 62, Vikramjit Singh 50, Teja Nidamanuru 24; Naseem Shah 5-33, Mohammad Wasim 4-36)

Player of the match – Naseem Shah (Pakistan)

Pakistan beat the Netherlands by nine runs, Pakistan win series 3-0