India: Pakistan began their campaign at the World Cup 2023 with a bang as they claimed a 82-run victory over Netherlands at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, India on Friday.

Pakistan were completely back in the game as the bowlers put on a stranglehold on the Dutch, claiming back-to-back wickets.

With this win, the Men in Green registered history by securing their first World Cup win on Indian soil.

Quick dismissals by the Green Shirts left the batters stumbling who were all-out for 205 runs, despite a steady start.

Left-handed opener Vikramjit Singh and all-rounder Bas de Leede top-scored for their side with 52 and 67 runs respectively.

Meanwhile, all of Pakistan’s six bowlers picked up wickets with Hasan Ali and Haris Rauf taking two and Shaheen Afridi, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz and Iftikhar Ahmed grabbing one each.

Earlier, Pakistan posted a total of 286 after Babar Azam’s men came with the burden of losing three wickets in the first 10 overs but produced quite a laudable comeback thereafter.

After winning the toss, Scott Edwards decided to bowl first in Hyderabad. However, Skipper Babar Azam’s dream to post a 300-run total was shattered as the Netherlands restricted the Green Shirts to 286 in 49 overs.

The middle-order batter Saud Shakeel hit a half-century in just 37 balls while Babar Azam walked out for five runs in 18 balls. The middle-order duo of Mohammed Rizwan and Shakeel spearheaded their fight whereas Shadab Khan and Mohammed Nawaz played handy roles with the bat later on to take the Pakistani team to a potentially match-winning total.

Pakistani vice-captain Shadab Khan took charge of their first innings after the visitors were six wickets down after 37 overs.

Shadab Khan walked into the middle and took his time with a few deliveries and kept rotating the strike with some timely boundaries. He got to 22 off 21 deliveries with extreme ease. But it was his first six and second from Pakistan’s innings that’s worth appreciating.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Nawaz played a valuable knock of 39 off 43 balls.

Asked to take the first strike, Pakistan rode on half-centuries from Mohammad Rizwan (68) and Saud Shakeel (68) to post a solid total on the board. Bas de Leede returned with four wickets for Netherlands, while Colin Ackermann snapped two dismissals.

Playing XIPakistan: Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf

Netherlands: Vikramjit Singh, Max O’Dowd, Colin Ackermann, Bas de Leede, Teja Nidamanuru, Scott Edwards (wk, c), Saqib Zulfiqar, Logan van Beek, Roelof van der Merwe, Aryan Dutt, Paul van Meekeren

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