Anyone who underestimated the Dutch’s resolve was in for a surprise. They faced South Africa at the HPCA Stadium, Dharamsala, on a pitch initially favouring the South African pacers, particularly after a drizzle of rain. The match was reduced to 43 overs per side, which often favours the weaker team.
In a post-match press conference, Edwards reflected on the Dutch mindset: “I suppose we go into every game with our plans and our ways that we’re going to try and win the game. For us, it’s just about playing our best brand of cricket, and we feel like if we play well enough on the day, we can beat any side.”
The Dutch team’s journey to the World Cup was far from easy. They are the sole associate members in this tournament, and their qualification was a testament to their grit. They outperformed Ireland, Zimbabwe, and West Indies in the qualifiers to secure their spot in this prestigious event.
Skipper stated, “After qualifying, we were pretty quick to set our minds on what we wanted to do at this tournament. Yeah, and we weren’t coming here just to have fun and enjoy it. We’re here to win cricket games and give ourselves the best chance to make that next stage.”
In the match against South Africa, the Dutch struggled at 140 for seven in the 34th Overs. However, a remarkable recovery was orchestrated by none other than their captain, Scott Edwards. He played a captain’s knock, remaining unbeaten with a gritty 78 off 69 balls. This outstanding performance propelled the Netherlands to a competitive total 245 for eight. But the story didn’t end there.
The Dutch bowlers showed that their skills were not confined to batting. They bowled with precision and finesse, dismissing South Africa for just 207 in 42.5 overs. The collective effort of the Dutch team demonstrated their determination to succeed on the world stage.
Reflecting on the turnaround, Edwards emphasized the Dutch philosophy, “As a group, we pride ourselves on playing total cricket, which means that even the lower-order batsmen are fully capable of forming crucial partnerships.” He added, “Out there, it was about giving ourselves a chance to accelerate later in the innings. And luckily enough, Roelof van der Merwe and Aryan Dutt played some unbelievable cameos to get us to what we thought was probably a par score.”
The Netherlands’ performance against South Africa sends a clear message they are not here just to make up the numbers but to compete and win against the best. As the World Cup 2023 unfolds, their journey promises to be filled with excitement, surprises, and, possibly, a Cinderella story of a smaller cricketing nation making it to the big league.