In the thrilling opening match of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 held at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, Pakistan emerged victorious over the Netherlands, securing an impressive 81-run win on Friday, October 6. The Dutch team, the sole associate nation participating in the World Cup, showcased remarkable determination and a strong all-round performance by Bas de Leede. Bas de Leede made an impact both with the ball and the bat, initially taking four wickets for 62 runs and later top-scoring with 67 runs off 68 deliveries.
Pakistan’s innings got off to a shaky start as they were put in to bat by Scott Edwards, who won the toss and opted to field. However, it was the partnership between Saud Shakeel and Mohammad Rizwan that proved to be the turning point of the match. Shakeel and Rizwan both contributed 68 runs each, stabilizing Pakistan’s innings during their first game in India in seven years. Their resilience and skillful batting helped Pakistan recover from early setbacks.
When it came to bowling, Pakistan displayed a true team effort with each of the six bowlers utilized by captain Babar Azam making valuable contributions. Haris Rauf emerged as the standout bowler, finishing with figures of 3 for 43. Hasan Ali claimed 2 wickets for 33 runs, while Shaheen Shah Afridi, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, and Shadab Khan each picked up a wicket. Saud Shakeel was rightly recognized as the Player of the Match for his composed innings, which alleviated the pressure on Pakistan after they were struggling at 38/3 in 9.3 overs.
In a post-match statement, Shakeel expressed his positivity and dedication to the team’s success. He mentioned battling nerves and the importance of early boundaries. Shakeel’s preparation, especially for his role as Pakistan’s number 5 batsman, included developing shots like sweeps and reverse sweeps. He also extended his gratitude to the crowd and his coach for their support.
Although Pakistan could have wrapped up the match sooner, Logan van Beek’s resilient innings of 28 runs off 28 balls delayed Pakistan’s victory. Vikramjit Singh’s commendable performance at the top of the order, scoring 52 runs off 67 deliveries, was noteworthy. However, all their efforts were in vain as the Netherlands concluded the match without any points, but they certainly showcased several positive aspects for their future endeavors in the competition.
In summary, Pakistan initiated their campaign in the ODI World Cup 2023 with a convincing 81-run win over the Netherlands at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. Despite a challenging start and a top-order collapse, Pakistan managed to accumulate a total of 286/10 in 49 overs. The heroic partnership between Saud Shakeel and Mohammad Rizwan, each contributing 68 runs, was pivotal in rescuing Pakistan’s innings. Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan also made significant contributions towards the end.
In response, the Netherlands began their innings steadily, with Vikramjit Singh and Bas de Leede leading the charge. However, Pakistan’s pace attack, led by Haris Rauf and Hasan Ali, ultimately proved too formidable for the Dutch team, who were bundled out for 205 runs in 41 overs. Bas de Leede was the top scorer with 67 runs, while Vikramjit Singh contributed 52 runs.
This match showcased thrilling cricket action, with both teams exhibiting moments of brilliance. Pakistan’s comeback after early setbacks and the Netherlands’ spirited performance made for an exciting start to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.