The Netherlands entered the 2023 World Cup with the goal of removing the label of “Associates,” as they were the only Associate Nation to advance to the ten-team competition following an impressive showing in the World Cup Qualifiers.
The Dutch arrived in India early to get a head start on their preparations, even though they had not played any international cricket between the Qualifiers and the main event. They put on some impressive performances, and they succeeded in drawing some attention from the cricket community.
Despite several strong performances, two of which resulted in victories, the Netherlands ended up last on the points table and missed out on the Champions Trophy, largely due to their lack of experience playing the bigger nations on the international circuit.
The Netherlands will aim to spend some quality time playing ODIs against the teams with Test status as they now look forward to the T20 World Cup. Additionally, based on what head coach Ryan Cook stated, there are a few offers that are being considered.
“I have actually had a few teams’ coaches approach me and ask about our schedule and how potentially they could fit into their schedule, so that bodes well.”
Without a doubt, the methodical dismantling of South Africa. The goal of the Dutch is to continue reversing the Dharamsala tape. The Netherlands had overcome South Africa in the T20 World Cup, but the 50-over format was a completely different ballgame, and some questioned whether they could match South Africa’s ferocity in that regard. As the game was cut down to 43 overs, Temba Bavuma’s team looked to be winning easily when they fell to 140/7.
However, as Scott Edwards and the lower order worked together to propel them to 245, the Netherlands’ never-say-die mentality was highlighted. Early wickets taken by Roelof van der Merwe got things started, and after that, there was no turning back as the Netherlands made the right decisions to bowl South Africa out for 207 and claim a historic 38-run victory.
In Delhi, the Netherlands was unable to contain an Australian side that was on the rampage. The opposition, having elected to bat first, was unable to impede Australia from establishing a solid foundation, thanks to centuries from David Warner and fifties from Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne. Subsequently, they faced an intimidating 44-ball 106 from Glenn Maxwell, setting them a target of 400. The Netherlands was a long way from that. Before Adam Zampa cleaned up the tail with a four-wicket haul and they were bowled out for ninety, the Australian pacers struck at regular intervals.
It would not have been the easiest of tasks for the Dutch to defend 230 against Bangladesh. However, their seamen arrived prepared for the fight, using their hard lengths to bowl with military accuracy. To Paul van Meekeren in particular. With his relentless bowling, he put the Bangladeshi batsmen to the test and paid off handsomely, bringing in Shakib Al Hasan and Najmul Hossain Shanto in quick succession. After that, he removed the best batsman for Bangladesh, Mushfiqur Rahim, with ease, and came back late to finish with a career-best 4 for 23. Van Meekeren claimed credit for the triumph on a “pure team effort,” although he was a key contributor to it.