Netherlands 229 (Edwards 68, Barresi 41, Mustafizur 2-36, Mahedi 2-40) beat bangladesh 142 (Mehidy 35, van Meekeren 4-23, De Leede 2-25) by 87 runs
The win was certainly made all the sweeter by being in Kolkata, where Bangladesh had as close a home support as they were likely to get this World Cup, with the short flight from Dhaka giving many fans easy access. Was.
But in the end, it would be a trip ending in disappointment – many were seen leaving the stadium early – as a well-prepared Dutch outfit outclassed their more experienced counterparts in almost all aspects of the game.
It was a victory built largely on the customary rearguard heroics of captain Edwards – his entire family was present in the stadium to encourage him – as he scored his second half-century of the tournament, 68 off 89 balls.
What will particularly hurt Bangladesh is that they could see the back of him even before he got going – having been bowled out for naught twice – but subtly that was the difference between the two sides. While both teams struggled with the bat, the Dutch held on to reach a fighting score, and while both sets of bowlers worked hard to create chances through pressure, it was the Dutch who quickly took advantage of them ; Bangladesh, on the other hand, had to regret its missed opportunities.
However, such luck would be in vain without proper support and, as they had done so impressively against South Africa, the bowlers and fielders once again ensured that their captain’s efforts did not go in vain.
In the face of this Dutch enthusiasm, Bangladesh faltered in their chase, unable to match the energy of their opponents. He lost wickets at regular intervals, unable to build partnerships of any reasonable length – 38 was his highest score – as the chase rapidly became a difficult and ultimately impossible task.
The Dutch hardly seemed to be on course midway through the innings, however, when after winning the toss and electing to bat first, they suffered another top-order collapse. Only a late surge in the final overs allowed them to score 74 runs in the last ten overs, including 36 runs in the last three overs, allowing them to eventually reach the winning total.
But another pair of wickets pushed the Netherlands back once again as two set batsmen, Barresi and Colin Ackerman, fell soon after to Mustafizur Rahman and Shakib respectively. It was at this time that the spinners began to bowl slowly, as none of Shakib, Mehdi or Mahedi Hasan conceded more than four runs in the middle overs. In fact, only in the last over of the innings, Netherlands showed some kind of aggression against spin and dismissed Mahedi for 17 runs.
And so it was that Edwards was once again tasked with improving his side, first with D Leede and then with Sybrand Engelbrecht. With De Leede, he scored 44 out of 74, and with Engelbrecht, a slightly faster 78 out of 105.
In all those stands there was hardly any highlight that could be taken out or strokes played in anger, with the intention of simply circling it around and batting as deep as possible. It was an understandable effort as Edwards entered the field with his team at a dangerous 63 for 3, which soon became 63 for 4.
But by the time he departed after 30 overs, he had pulled them to a slightly more respectable score of 185 for 6, before late hitting took them to a fightable total.
At the time it looked like it was below average, especially when many were expecting the surface to favor the batsmen. However, when the ball started to get stuck in the pitch and take some turns, it was the Netherlands who adapted better and showed courage to emerge victorious in the end.