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Monday September 26, 2022

Pak vs Ned: Fakhar Zaman’s century helps Pakistan beat Netherlands by 16 runs in fist ODI

The tourists got off to a slow start before posting a commanding 314-6 after 50 overs

By Web Desk
August 16, 2022
Opener Fakhar Zaman named player of the match in the first ODI against Netherlands. — PCB/Twitter
Opener Fakhar Zaman named player of the match in the first ODI against Netherlands. — PCB/Twitter

ROTTERDAM: Opener Fakhar Zaman hit his seventh one-day international century to steer Pakistan to a 16-run victory in the first of a three-match series Tuesday against the Netherlands in Rotterdam.

Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat in warm and humid conditions on a day where big scores were expected on a sluggish pitch at the VOC Cricket Club outside the Dutch harbour city.

Despite a valiant run chase, the Dutch finished on 298-8 against a spirited Pakistani team, backed by a myriad of vocal supporters.

Zaman carved out a run-a-ball 109 while captain Babar Azam hit 74 before being caught after mistiming a delivery from Dutch paceman Logan van Beek.

The home bowlers initially contained Pakistan's batting, with the visitors losing their first wicket, that of dangerman Imam-ul-Haq, lbw to paceman Vivian Kingma in the sixth over for a painstaking two off 19 balls.

But Zaman and Azam eventually let loose and put on a partnership of 168 off 170 balls before Azam was caught in a soft dismissal when he mistimed a shot into the waiting hands of Tom Cooper at mid-off.

Zaman was dismissed two overs later when he was brilliantly run out by Dutch captain and wicketkeeper Scott Edwards off a pin-point accurate throw by Bas de Leede at deep mid-wicket.

Pakistan looked set for a larger total but the Dutch bowlers did well to restrict them, with the spin bowling of youngsters Aryan Dutt and Tim Pringle causing problems.

The Dutch let themselves though down in the field and dropped several catches, Kingma notably fumbling a crucial high ball to hand Zaman a lifeline when he was on 43.

Batting second, the Dutch lost hard-hitting Max O'Dowd in the second over lbw to ODI debutant Naseem Shah (3-51), with a fast ball nipping back onto his pads.

Shah struck again later in the innings, dismissing Teja Nidamanuru, who dragged a delivery onto his stumps, and then trapping Pringle leg before for a golden duck.

Fellow quick Haris Rauf (3-67) claimed the important scalp of the veteran Cooper, who made 65 off 54 deliveries.

Cooper and 19-year-old Vikramjit Singh (65) put together a 97-run stand to steady the Dutch innings.

Edwards then took bat to ball and with three overs left, the Dutch required 48 runs off 24 deliveries.

Despite Edwards' heroic knock of 71 off 60 balls the Dutch fell agonisingly short.

The second ODI will be played at the VOC cricket ground on Thursday, with the final match in the series scheduled for Sunday at the same venue.

Pakistan's target to  Netherlands

Pakistan got off to a slow start before posting a commanding 314-6 in the first one-day international against the Netherlands in Rotterdam on Tuesday.

Left-hand opener Fakhar Zaman carved out a run-a-ball 109 — his seventh ODI century — while captain Babar Azam hit 74 before being caught after mistiming a delivery from Dutch paceman Logan van Beek.

Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat on a hot and muggy day at the VOC cricket ground outside the Dutch harbour city in the first of a three-match series.

The home bowlers initially contained Pakistan's batting, with the visitors losing their first wicket, that of dangerman Imam-ul-Haq, lbw to paceman Vivian Kingma in the sixth over for a painstaking two off 19 balls.

But Zaman and Azam eventually let loose and put on a partnership of 168 off 170 balls before Azam was caught in a soft dismissal when he mistimed a shot into the waiting hands of Tom Cooper at mid-off.

Zaman was dismissed two overs later when he was brilliantly run out by Dutch captain and wicketkeeper Scott Edwards off a pin-point accurate throw by Bas de Leede at deep mid-wicket.

Pakistan looked set for a larger total but the Dutch bowlers did well to restrict them on a sluggish pitch, with the spin bowling of youngsters Aryan Dutt and Tim Pringle causing problems.

The Dutch let themselves down in the field though and dropped several catches, Kingma notably fumbling a high ball to hand Zaman a lifeline when he was on 43.

Pakistan won the toss

Earlier, Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first against the Netherlands during the first clash of the three-match one-day international (ODI) series at the Voetbalvereeniging Cricket Stadium in Rotterdam.

It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan are without the services of world number three ODI bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi, who is not available for the first two games due to a knee injury.

But despite the setback, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam was optimistic about the series and hoped that youngsters will step forward and fill Shaheen's gap.

"In the absence of Shaheen Shah Afridi, this is an opportunity for youngsters to come forward and showcase their skills," the captain said a day before the match.

This is Babar-led Pakistan ODI squad's first-ever bilateral series against the Netherlands. Two further matches will take place on August 18 and 21.

The three-match series is part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League where the visiting side occupies the fifth spot with 90 points. Babar’s side will be aiming to win all three matches to grab the second position in the points table.

A couple of milestones are on the cards for Pakistan's premier players. Number one ranked ODI player Babar Azam needs one more century to become the only Pakistan captain to score 10 tons in international cricket. Wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan requires 18 more runs to complete 1,000 ODI runs.

Imam-ul-Haq, who trails his skipper Babar on second spot in the ICC batters’ rankings, will be looking to continue his rich vein of form after amassing seven fifty-plus scores on the trot in ODIs.

He was declared player of the series for scores of 65, 72 and 62 in Pakistan's 3-0 win against the West Indies at home in three-match ODI series in June 2022.

Playing XI

Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan, Agha Salman, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah

Netherlands: Vikramjit Singh, Scott Edwards (captain), Wesley Barresi, Tom Cooper, Teja Nidamanuru, Max O'Dowd, Bas de Leede, Tim Pringle, Logan van Beek, Aryan Dutt, Vivian Kingma