After it initially looked like the Netherlands batting line-up would collapse for a meagre total as wickets crumbled early on, skipper Scott Edwards made sure, the Dutchmen post a competitive total in front of a rampant South Africa side.
Led by Temba Bavuma, South Africa have romped to victory in their first two enconters and boast a massive net run rate (NRR). A victory today will see them pip India to the top of the table on NRR. However, what initially looked like a stroll in the park, has been made somewhat difficult by the Netherlands.
The 15th match of the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup 2023 between the pair began at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamshala today. The Netherlands were at one point down to 82 for the loss of five wickets as the openers and the top order failed to give a good start to the team.
As the team continued to lose wickets at regular intervals, on came Scott Edwards to the pitch. His quickfire 78 off 69 balls with one six and 10 fours powered the Dutch team to 245 for the loss of eight wickets in their 43 overs, after a spell of rain forced the game to be played with reduced overs. The Netherlands captain remained unbeaten and with little support from tailenders Roelof van der Merwe and Aryan Dutt, put up a respectable total for the Proteas to chase down.
Lungi Ngidi, Marco Jansen, and Kagiso Rabada picked two wickets each as Keshav Maharaj and Gerald Coetzee got one each.
On the other hand, even a spirited display from the Dutch team is unlikely to see them claim an upset as South Africa have blown away their opposition in each of their first two matches in the World Cup. They won against Sri Lanka by 102 runs before defeating the five-time world champions Australia by 134 runs to sit pretty with the best NRR in the table.
At times, their batting led by the likes of wicketkeeper-batter Quinton de Kock, Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klassen and David Miller alongside Temba Bavuma, has blown away the opposition. They have managed to post the highest total in the World Cup so far, breaking several records on the way.
However, in the wake of Afghanistan claiming the scalp of defending champions England in the previous match of the tournament, nothing is out of reach of the hands of the Dutchmen.