In a remarkable turn of events at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, Bangladesh’s hopes of securing a semi-final berth in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 took a severe blow as they suffered an 87-run defeat at the hands of the Netherlands.
This unexpected outcome has not only dented Bangladesh’s aspirations but has also propelled the Netherlands to the eighth position in the points table, relegating defending champions England to the bottom.
Chasing a seemingly modest target of 230, Bangladesh found themselves in a relentless struggle against the Dutch bowlers. The Netherlands’ all-round bowling display held Bangladesh in check throughout the match, leaving them far from the desired victory.
The Netherlands’ Paul van Meekeren and Bas de Leede emerged as the stars of the bowling unit. Van Meekeren, with a brilliant performance of 4/23, and de Leede, who contributed with 2/25, put on a clinic in bowling prowess.
On the other hand, the Bangladesh bowlers appeared to lack the same intensity and application.
The opening pair of Litton Das and Tanzid Hasan, despite facing no significant pitch challenges, failed to capitalise on the powerplay overs.
Das departed early in the fifth over with only 19 runs on the scoreboard, setting a disheartening tone for the Bangladeshi innings.
Hasan followed suit in the very next over, succumbing to Logan van Beek, who induced a nick that landed safely in the gloves of Dutch captain and wicketkeeper Scott Edwards.
With two wickets down, the middle order of Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Najmul Hossain Shanto attempted to stabilize the innings.
However, they found themselves in a tussle against the pace and skill of Van Meekeren, who outwitted the Bangladeshi batters. During the crucial 11-20 overs phase, Bangladesh witnessed a dramatic slump, losing four wickets while managing a mere 33 runs.
Skipper Shakib Al Hasan and veteran Mushfiqur Rahim, known for their rescue acts in the past, were unable to salvage the situation. The slow pitch favored the spinners, yet the Bangladesh bowlers needed to extract substantial turns and leverage the conditions.
Furthermore, lapses in fielding by the Bangladesh side only added to their woes, allowing the Netherlands to stage an astonishing comeback and clinch the victory.
Batting first, the Netherlands faced an early setback, losing four wickets with a mere 63 runs on the board. However, a gritty partnership between Scott Edwards, who contributed 68 runs, and Sybrand Engelbrecht, who added 35, resurrected the Dutch innings.
Their determined stand propelled the Netherlands to a respectable total, ultimately proving insurmountable for the Bangladesh team.
This defeat has once again brought to the forefront the antiquated style of cricket that Bangladesh has adopted in recent years.
The Netherlands, on the other hand, appeared more professional and well-equipped to embrace the evolving style of one-day international cricket, positioning themselves as a formidable force in the tournament.