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ICC World Cup: Netherlands beat South Africa by 38 runs: New Orange era begins

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In a major upset in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, the Netherlands defeated South Africa by 38 runs at Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh last night. The match was reduced to 43-overs-a-side after rain delayed the start of the game. Chasing the target of 246 runs set by the Netherlands,

South Africa were all out for 207 in 42.5 overs. For the Netherlands, Logan van Beek claimed 3 wickets. Earlier, put into bat, the Netherlands posted 245 for 8 in 43 overs. For the Netherlands, Scott Edwards was the highest scorer who remained not out at 78 off 69 balls. 

Days after Afghanistan shocked defending champions England in Delhi, Netherlands added another chapter to the fairytale stories by stunning the in-form South African side with a 38-run win in Dharamsala on Tuesday (October 17).

Chasing a competitive target of 246 from their allotted 43 overs, South Africa started steadily before losing wickets in a heap and slipped from 36/0 to 44/4 in no time. David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen provided some resistance but eventually, they too succumbed to the pressure created by the relentless Dutch bowlers. If not for Keshav Maharaj’s cameo at the back end, the margin of defeat would have been much higher.

When Aryan Dutt bowled a maiden in the first over of the chase, it was evident that Netherlands were determined to make a match of this. However, Quinton de Kock looked to be in rhythm as he got a few boundaries to get the innings going. Bavuma too stroked a few to the fence and a six as well to give the Proteas a decent start. However, Dutt drew first blood when de Kock got some glove on the sweep and it bobbled up for Scott Edwards to do the rest. That was just the tonic Netherlands needed and Edwards quickly decided to bring in more spin through the experienced Roelof van der Merwe.

The seasoned left-arm spinner struck two massive blows to pile on the pressure. Bavuma was cleaned up by an arm-ball that skidded through while Rassie van der Dussen lost his composure to play a reverse sweep straight to backward point. In between, Paul van Meekeren dealt South Africa a huge blow by castling Aiden Markram. The surface didn’t really change much from the Netherlands innings and there was value for good strokeplay still. However, the odd ball perhaps skidded a bit and there was definite help for the quicks early on.

A lot rested on MIller and Klaasen for South Africa to get across the line, and the pair were looking quite comfortable in the middle. But it was that kind of a night in Dharamsala when the rub of the green almost always went Netherlands’ way. A harmless short ball the down leg-side, a delivery that Klaasen would have frequently dismissed to the fence was the one that saw him hole out to fine leg. It was a massive moment in the game as South Africa were just starting to gain momentum in the chase.

Marco Jansen had a struggle in the middle and after he fell, the pressure told on Miller who himself perished to an ill-advised slog across the line. Gerald Coetzee had been giving him decent support till that point but the situation perhaps got the better of the left-hander. With his dismissal went South Africa’s hopes and it was about the margin of victory as far as Netherlands were concerned. They did concede a few towards the end with Maharaj having some fun but the end result was a very comfortable win for them.

It indeed was a roller-coaster win for the Netherlands who were on the brink earlier in the afternoon. Put into bat, they were tottering at 50/4 and 82/5 before skipper Edwards got into the act. As he has often shown in the past, the wicket-keeper batter played with utmost resolve and took the innings deep in his calculative manner. He was particularly severe on Maharaj, employing the sweeps to good effect. South Africa still had the upper hand with regular strikes and had the game in their hands with Netherlands at 140/7. It’s there that the game started to turn in a big way.

Van der Merwe joined his skipper to produce a rollicking 64-run stand that came off just 36 balls. The former in particular was audacious and adventurous, thereby taking the South African bowlers by surprise. His aggression meant that Edwards didn’t have to bother much about the scoring rate although the Dutch skipper himself upped the ante at the back end.

Dutt also followed this up with a cameo of his own as a whopping 104 runs came off the last nine overs. It was an incredible flip of events in the game and that momentum clearly drove Netherlands through into the second half. The target was still gettable but South Africa’s batters had a rare off day after being in top form over the last few weeks.

Brief scores: Netherlands 245/8 in 43 overs (Scott Edwards 78*, Roelof van der Merwe 29; Marco Jansen 2-27, Kagiso Rabada 2-56) beat South Africa 207 in 42.5 overs (David Miller 43, Keshav Maharaj 40; Logan van Beek 3-60, Roelof van der Merwe 2-34, Bas de Leede 2-36) by 38 runs.


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