In the initial innings, Dawid Malan’s aggressive 87 set the pace for England, while Ben Stokes’ impressive century (108) and powerful strikes from the lower-order batsmen boosted them to a formidable total in Pune…reports Asian Lite News
England set Netherlands a target of 340 and then defended it with ease at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, here on Wednesday
In the first innings, Dawid Malan’s attacking 87 guided England in the early stages, whereas a superb ton from Ben Stokes (108), along with big hits from the tailenders helped them get to an imposing total in Pune.
Stokes hit six fours and an equal number of sixes during his knock.
Facing a stiff ask, the Netherlands chase didn’t quite get going. Regular breakthroughs from pacers David Willey and Chris Woakes, and then the spinners Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali ensured that the side was rolled out well before playing their full quota of overs.
Chris Woakes was right on the mark with the new ball. He got it to jag around and beat the bat on several occasions. This soon yielded results, as the all-rounder got Max O’Dowd to chip one to mid-on. An absolute jaffa from David Willey got the edge of Colin Ackermann, and soon Netherlands were two down for not too many.
Sybrand Engelbrecht then joined Wesley Barresi and the duo saw off the first Powerplay without any further damage. They picked pace and hit a number of confident strokes thereafter, adding 54 runs for the third wicket before Barresi was run out due to a mix-up with Engelbrecht
With the run rate mounting, it didn’t take long for Engelbrecht (33) himself to play a rash shot and lose his wicket. The Dutch effort needed a special knock to boost their scoring rate, and it didn’t seem to be coming.
After the 25-over mark, the arrival of Teja Nidamanuru (41*) helped the Netherlands pick up the scoring rate. The batter hit a four and three sixes soon after coming to the crease and added 59 from 50 balls for the sixth wicket.
However, they lost of skipper Scott Edwards (38) and Logan van Beek soon after, and the chase was derailed. Netherlands lost their final five wickets for a mere 16 runs, meaning they were bowled out for 179.
Earlier, in England’s innings, after being beaten by a brilliant Logan van Beek delivery, Dawid Malan took off in style, hitting a hat-trick of boundaries. A number of fours streamed over the next few overs, even as England were going ahead at a healthy run rate.
Despite losing Jonny Bairstow to the turn of Aryan Dutt, England finished their first Powerplay period at a run rate of seven.
There was little change in the approach hereafter, as Malan unleashed a number of big shots. He was well set and pacing towards his seventh ODI hundred.
Netherlands struck back in the 21st and 22nd over. Logan van Beek got the better of Joe Root when the batter tried to reverse-scoop him. He ended up missing the ball completely and was bowled. In the very next over, Malan was run out due to van Beek’s accurate throw in the inner ring.
Ben Stokes took charge with his intent-driven batting, taking the boundaries on offer and rotating the strike. However, Netherlands ensured that they remained in the contest with regular breakthroughs. Harry Brook and Jos Buttler fell soon after the mid-innings stage to give a boost to the Dutch.
Having lost half their side by the 30-over mark, England needed their batters to stick around. Moeen Ali’s loss for merely four runs made things worse, but Chris Woakes then joined forces with Stokes to stitch together a mammoth 129-run stand for the seventh wicket amassed in just 81 balls.
Having batted for a few overs, the duo picked pace in the final ten overs. After unleashing into Aryan Dutt with three sixes and a four in the 45th over, Stokes looked well set to lead England past 300.
92 runs were added off the last six overs, as England dealt primarily in fours and sixes. Stokes brought up his maiden Cricket World Cup ton in the 48th over.
At the toss, Jos Buttler flipped the coin, and it landed in his favour. England elected to bat first, with Harry Brook and Gus Atkinson returning to the side in place of Liam Livingstone and Mark Wood.
Scott Edwards believed that he too would have batted first on this surface, but wasn’t too concerned at being made to field. For them, Teja Nidamanuru came in for Saqib Zulfiqar.