The underdog Netherlands secured their first victory in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 in Dharamshala by defeating the in-form South Africa, winning by a margin of 38 runs.
On Tuesday, at the HPCA Stadium nestled amidst the Himalayan mountains, the Dutch put on an impressive performance marked by disciplined bowling and powerful late-innings batting. They set a target of 246 runs for the Proteas to chase, thanks to some significant partnerships formed towards the end of their innings.
The Netherlands’ innings began with challenges, losing four wickets for a mere 50 runs in the initial 15 overs. However, their captain, Scott Edwards, played a remarkable innings, scoring a brilliant half-century, and was supported by late contributions from Roelof van der Merwe and Aryan Dutt. This enabled them to recover from a precarious 140-7 in 34 overs to finish at 245-8 in 43 overs in a match shortened by rain.
Edwards displayed remarkable form, amassing 78 runs from 69 deliveries, including 10 boundaries and a six, much to the delight of the Dutch spectators.
The South African innings began cautiously but suffered an early setback when in-form opener Quinton de Kock was dismissed by Colin Ackermann for just 36 runs. This triggered a flurry of wickets, with the Dutch bowlers claiming key wickets, including South Africa’s captain Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, and Aiden Markram, all within 26 balls for just eight runs. Spin maestro Roelof van der Merwe and medium pacer Paul van Meekeren took two wickets each, restricting South Africa with tight lines and sharp fielding.
Although Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller managed a 45-run partnership, both succumbed to pacer Logan van Beek. Even though the South African tail-enders, Keshav Maharaj and Lungi Ngidi, put up a 41-run partnership, Bas de Leede took the final wicket, securing yet another historic World Cup win for the Netherlands.
De Leede emerged as the leading wicket-taker for the Dutch with three wickets from his eight overs.
With this victory, the Netherlands earned their first two points of the tournament after three matches. Their next match, scheduled for Saturday, October 21, is against a weakened Sri Lankan side.
Meanwhile, South Africa, still holding four points after three matches, will face Bangladesh in their next match on Tuesday, October 24.