Posted 8 months ago

Cricket ICC Men's World Cup 2023

'Iconic' Netherlands shock will 'make the front page'

'Iconic' Netherlands shock will 'make the front page'
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A bunch of semi-professionals from the Netherlands caused the World Cup's second major upset in three days, as it shocked an in-form South Africa by 38 runs here on Tuesday. 

Two days after Afghanistan had humbled defending champions England, the in-form South Africans were well beaten by the Dutch in a rain-affected game in Dharamsala that was reduced to 43 overs a side.

Netherlands looked to be heading for a third successive defeat when they stumbled to 82 for five. However, a brilliant unbeaten 78 off 69 balls from wicketkeeper-captain Scott Edwards saw them post a competitive 245 for eight, and it was a total that proved beyond the hitherto impressive Proteas.

With the pitch offering variable bounce and some turn, the Netherlands sniffed an opportunity against a formidable South African batting unit which crumbled under pressure to be all out for 207 in 42.5 overs, handing the Dutch their first World Cup win against a Test-playing nation.

Until Tuesday, the Netherlands had only beaten fellow associate nations Namibia and Scotland in their World Cup history, having made their debut back in 1996.

The Netherlands, who qualified for their first World Cup since 2011 by finishing second in the Qualifier earlier this year, have shown significant improvement over the years. For South Africa, it was the first World Cup loss against an associate nation.

The Dutch had humbled the Proteas in the T20 World Cup 11 months ago and at the scenic Dharamsala on Tuesday, they recorded another famous win over them in a less unpredictable format.

South Africa is still on four points from three games but has lost its unbeaten record in sensational fashion. It is ahead of Pakistan — also on four points from three games — on net run-rate.

The Netherlands is now eighth in the points table, ahead of Australia on net run-rate.

“It is an extremely proud moment for us,” said Edwards, who was named player of the match. “We came here with high expectations and we have a very good team.

“We want to take a chance at qualifying for the semifinals, and for that, we need to beat the top teams. South Africa is one of the favorites, and we have got our first win out of the way,” he added. “Hopefully there will be more action.”

The Netherlands next takes on Sri Lanka in Lucknow on Saturday, when South Africa will play England in Mumbai.

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