ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 – Netherlands captain Scott Edwards rues missed opportunity against Pakistan

They came to the World Cup with dreams of making the semi-finals, and at various points during their opening match on Saturday, Netherlands were, quite handsomely, walking that talk.

They had Pakistan at 38 for 3 in the tenth over. Saud Shakeel and Mohammad Rizwan managed to stem that tide but fell within four overs of each other to leave the score at 182 for 5 with almost 20 overs still left to negotiate. Those two instances showed that Netherlands were capable of not just setting a match up but also reversing momentum if it happened to go against them.

Scott Edwards took so much heart from all of it that he actually ended up rueful at the presentation. The captain of the only Associate team at this World Cup felt they were the ones in control of the game until they let it slip.

“It’s probably one that got away,” Edwards said. “I thought we were in a pretty good position to win. We know they had quality bowlers throughout and they took wickets through the middle there which held us back.”

Netherlands were 120 for 2 in the chase of 287. Vikramjit Singh had just completed his fifty. And Bas de Leede, having taken four wickets earlier in the day, was on course to reach a fifty of his own. Then Shadab Khan and Haris Rauf picked up three wickets in four overs and the back end of their batting line-up was suddenly exposed. Especially with Logan van Beek, who played a huge role in bringing them here to the World Cup, seemingly suffering from injury,

“I haven’t spoken to him [van Beek],” Edwards said. “I think he was pretty keen to get out there. We’ll assess that and see where he’s at.”

De Leede kept fighting for Netherlands, scoring 67 off 68 balls to go with his 4 for 62 from nine overs, but it wasn’t enough in the end. Pakistan bowled Netherlands out for 205 and won by 81 runs.

“He’s a quality cricketer, isn’t he,” Edwards said of the 23-year-old de Leede, “In all three departments of the game. I thought he bowled exceptionally well today and yeah, his innings today was awesome. I just wish we had someone to go with him.

“It’s a little bit disappointing. I thought our boys bowled and fielded really well. To Pakistan’s credit, they obviously made a few runs at the end there. We felt like that was about a par score. At 2 for 120, we thought we were well and truly in the game.”

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