Wickets tumbled in the first half of the innings as Netherlands batted first against Bangladesh in Kolkata at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023.
Captain Scott Edwards won the toss at Eden Gardens and gave his side the chance to get a score on the board. But wickets fell in clusters as Bangladesh took control of the match through the first half of the first innings, with Taskin Ahmed particularly impressive.
Yet, with his team in trouble, Edwards stood up with a captain's knock, hitting a fine half-century to help his team towards a total that keeps them in the game.
Netherlands were rattled early on in their innings, and lost both their openers early. Vikramjit Singh (3) chipped one to mid-off off Taskin Ahmed, while Max O'Dowd (0) fished one outside off and ended up giving a catch to the slips off the bowling of Shoriful Islam.
The innings was then consolidated by veteran Wesley Barresi and Colin Ackermann. Barresi, in particular, showed good aggression, hitting seven fours in the first Powerplay.
His run-a-ball cameo came to an abrupt end when a clever slower ball from Mustafizur Rahman duped him into a sliced catch, with the batter departing for 41.
And Ackermann’s anchoring innings came to an end when he top-edged a sweep off Shakib Al Hasan for a 33-ball 15, leaving two new batters at the crease and attempting to rebuild.
Bangladesh’s momentum continued when Bas de Leede walked having feathered an edge through to the keeper off Taskin for 17, not giving the umpire time to make a decision before heading back to the pavilion.
And with the Tigers well on top, it needed another lower-order rescue job from the Dutch to reach a competitive score, with Edwards putting together a terrific contribution at the other end.
Netherlands resisted the urge to shake up their side too much even after a crushing 309-run loss to Australia, with Wesley Barresi and Shariz Ahmad coming into the XI for Roelof van der Merwe and Teja Nidamanuru.
Bangladesh also swung two changes for the clash at the historic Eden Gardens in Kolkata, with Taskin Ahmed and Shak Mahedi Hasan selected ahead of Nasum Ahmed and Hasan Mahmud.
Bangladesh and Netherlands meet in an ODI for just the third time with their only previous meetings in the format coming more than a decade ago.
Those rare encounters include a clash at a Cricket World Cup when Bangladesh won on home soil in Chattogram in 2011. Wesley Barresi, the oldest player in the tournament, is the only Netherlands player to have featured in that encounter. For Bangladesh, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, and Mahmudullah played in that game.
The two sides appear to be more evenly-matched this time although Netherlands need to bounce back from a 309-run thumping at the hands of Australia to return to the sort of form they showed in a shock win over South Africa.
Bangladesh started the tournament with a convincing six-wicket win over Afghanistan but have since lost four matches on the trot to leave their campaign on the brink of collapse.
While the knockout stages might seem out of reach for Bangladesh and Netherlands as they both enter this contest sitting at the lower end of the current standings, the winner will move to four points and at least keep their hopes of a semi-final berth alive.