Pakistan opens their World Cup account with a win

Earlier Saud Shakeel’s brilliant knock and later Haris Rauf spell helped Pakistan to open their World Cup account with a win. They defeated Netherlands by 41 runs.

Pakistan scored 286/10 in 49 overs and in reply Netherlands posted 205/10 in 41 overs. With this victory they maintain their World Cup record of successful defending of 275 runs (14 out of 14).

Netherlands skipper Scott Edwards after winning the toss opted to bowl first. 

The start of the Pakistan innings didn’t go well as they lost 3 early wickets at 38 runs. Fakhar Zaman (12 runs) again flops with his batting as Babar Azam (5 runs). The team was struggling a bit in the initial overs but then a solid partnership of 120 runs built between Saud Shakeel (68 runs) and Mohammad Rizwan (68 runs). These two took their team to a respectable total. 

Shakeel who made his comeback showed some great shots and played only 52 balls. He hit 9 fours and a six in his innings. Rizwan started his innings a little slow but as the match progressed he looked comfortable and started playing his shots easily. He took 75 balls to reach that score in which he hit 8 fours.   

In the end Mohammad Nawaz (39 runs) and Shadab Khan (32 runs) guided their team to 286 runs in 49 overs by losing all the wickets. These little cameos in the end helped the team but both of them were unable to convert their innings into a big one. 

Bas de Leede showed a great performance by taking 4 wickets and stopped the Pakistani batsmen to score big. Colin Ackermann got 2 wickets. Aryan Dutt, Logan van Beek and Paul van Meekeren took 1 wicket each. 

Netherlands innings also did not start well as they lost 2 wickets when the score was 50 but after that for the 3rd wicket 70 runs were added by Vikramjit Singh (52 runs) and Bas de Leede (67 runs). When these two were batting it seems that the target might be achieved by them and will create a huge milestone in their opening match. But unfortunately after the departure of Vikramjit, no big partnerships were built and they lost the match.   

Vikramjit hit 4 fours and a six in his knock while Leede hit 6 fours and 2 sixes in his inning. Leede showed a great performance in both the departments, earlier he took 4 wickets and later he scored a half century but after Vikramjit departure he didn’t get any proper support from the other end. Logan van Beek (28 runs) in the end tried to get closer to the target but it was too late and also no other batters in the tail-enders supported him. Finally they posted 205 runs in 41 overs by losing all their wickets.

Haris Rauf after a poor Asia Cup tour he got his rhythm back in this match and took 3 wickets. Hasan Ali got 2 wickets. Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan and Iftikhar Ahmed got 1 wicket each.   

Saud Shakeel, Pakistan, Player of the Match

“Tried to be positive and score runs for the team. Nerves were there, we lost 3 wickets but I was fortunate enough to get early boundaries. We knew the pressure would go back to them if we got a start. I think the last 2-3 months I have been playing hard. I knew I would bat number 5 for Pakistan and have been developing my shots according to those sweeps and reverse sweeps. Thanks to the crowd as well, and I want to thank my coach as well for helping me out.”

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