Pakistan’s top-order batsmen faced a dramatic collapse with even their skipper being dismissed after contributing a mere 5 runs.

In the ongoing ICC World Cup clash between Pakistan and the Netherlands at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, the Netherlands won the toss and elected to bowl first. This encounter marks the tournament debut for both teams.

The Netherlands showcased their strength in the powerplay, making early breakthroughs by removing Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, and Imam-ul-Haq in the initial ten overs.

Netherlands’ Captain Scott Edwards opted to start the bowling attack with 20-year-old off-spinner Aryan Dutt, who effectively maintained pressure on Pakistan’s openers without conceding many runs. This strategy paid off as Fakhar Zaman (12 off 15) fell victim to Logan van Beek in the fourth over, caught brilliantly off his own bowling.

Upon Babar Azam’s arrival at the crease, he faced a challenging battle against Aryan Dutt, who had dismissed him on two prior occasions. The top-ranked ODI batsman faced difficulties in rotating the strike and failed to establish his innings, ultimately getting out in the ninth over. His innings concluded as he pulled a delivery from Colin Ackerman straight into the hands of Saqib Zulfiqar at short mid-wicket. Babar contributed just 5 runs from 18 balls, leaving Pakistan in a weak position at 34/2 after 8.3 overs.

In the next over, the Netherlands celebrated once again when Imam-ul-Haq’s attempted pull shot off Paul van Meekeren found Aryan Dutt stationed at fine leg, resulting in the Pakistan opener’s dismissal after contributing 15 runs from 19 deliveries.

Saud Shakeel and Mohammad Rizwan then led a recovery for Pakistan, stabilizing the innings. They proceeded to assert their dominance over the Dutch, both achieving well-deserved half-centuries. Shakeel’s fifty came swiftly in only 32 deliveries, marking the second fastest in Pakistan’s World Cup history.

Together, they crafted a strong partnership of 120 runs for the fourth wicket, in just 114 balls, before Shakeel’s departure.

Last Updated on October 6, 2023

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