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ICC World Cup: England defeats Netherlands by 160 runs at MCA Stadium in Pune

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In ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, England defeated Netherlands by 160 runs at MCA Stadium in Pune. Chasing the target of 340, Netherlands were all out for 179 in 37.2 overs. Earlier, England won the toss and elected to bat first.

Both teams have played seven matches so far, out of which Netherlands won two matches while England has been victorious in only one match. Both teams are sitting at the bottom of the points table with Netherlands at 9th position with four points and England at 10th place with two points.

A clinical bowling performance following Ben Stokes’ maiden World Cup century gave England an emphatic 160-run win against Netherlands in Pune on Wednesday (November 8). Chasing a daunting target of 340, the Dutch never got going as they were derailed in the first Powerplay itself. Chris Woakes and David Willey bowled immaculate new-ball spells to virtually seal the deal in the first ten overs. Wesley Barresi, Scott Edwards and Teja Nidanamuru provided resistance but the task had gotten out of hand very early in the chase. Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali ensured that the end was hastened with over 12 overs left. The result ensured that England were on track for qualification to the 2025 Champions Trophy.

Facing the new ball under lights has been a task for chasing sides and the Dutch openers were at sea against the Woakes-Willey duo who probed away relentlessly and managed to extract some help off the surface. Max O’Dowd and Colin Ackermann were unable to cope with it as Netherlands slipped to 13/2 in the sixth over. The first Powerplay produced a mere 23 runs and this in the context of a run chase of 340 all but buried Netherlands’ chances of making a game out of it. Barresi and Engelbrecht did stitch a 55-run partnership to steady things but the rate of scoring was too slow and it only made the task harder for Netherlands.

On expected lines, both batters succumbed to the mounting pressure and Bas de Leede also continued his woeful form with the bat as the innings started to fall apart. The only time in the innings when it seemed like the intent and execution were on point was when Edwards and Nidanamuru got together. Their 59-run stand came off just 50 balls as they managed to put some sort of pressure on England’s bowlers. The Dutch skipper was his usual self against spin while Nidanamuru also produced some cracking strokes. However, the pressure of a big asking rate eventually undid them too, with Rashid and Moeen then slicing through the rest of the batting line-up.

Eventually, it proved to be a very comfortable win for England whose strong total was set up by a Stokes masterclass. Despite the immensely favourable batting conditions on offer, England managed to get themselves into a hole at 192/6 after Dawid Malan’s 74-ball 87 had given them the early impetus. The left-handed opener was at his classy best as he pinged the gaps with ease during the first ten overs. It set him up for a big knock even as Jonny Bairstow suffered yet another failure in the tournament. Joe Root also struggled for tempo and uncharacteristically missed a reverse ramp to be bowled. It was his dismissal that opened the floodgates for Netherlands.

The Dutch bowlers till that point were lacking in penetration and appeared to be wayward in their radar. Root’s dismissal followed by Malan’s silly run out derailed England’s momentum as the middle order collapsed yet again. Harry Brook on his comeback failed to impress while Jos Buttler’s lean patch continued. Moeen also fell without troubling the scorers much and it was all left to Stokes once again. The all-rounder found a good ally in Woakes as the pair stitched a game defining 129-run stand to turn things around. Stokes was the aggressor but he was initially defiant in his approach before going out all guns blazing in the slog overs.

Woakes also chipped in with a handy fifty as death bowling once again hurt the Dutch. A whopping 124 runs came in the last 60 balls and it meant that the chase at hand was going to be a gargantuan one.

Brief scores: England 339/9 in 50 overs (Ben Stokes 108, Dawid Malan 87, Chris Woakes 51; Bas de Leede 3-74) beat Netherlands 179 in 37.2 overs (Teja Nidanamuru 41*; Moeen Ali 3-42, Adil Rashid 3-54, David Willey 2-19) by 160 runs

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