Pakistan edge Netherlands by nine runs in 3rd ODI
Pakistan beat the Netherlands by nine runs despite a brave effort by the home side in the third and final one-day international in Rotterdam on Sunday.
The Netherlands were all out for 197 in the final over in which they had needed 14 runs for a first-ever victory over Pakistan.
Tight bowling restricted Pakistan to just 206 with captain Babar Azam top scoring with 91.
In reply, Tom Cooper (62) and Vikramjit Singh (50) top scored for the Dutch but teenage fast bowler Naseem Shah with 5-33 proved key to Pakistan sweeping the series 3-0.
Earlier, Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat on a cool and slightly overcast day, with another big score expected off the dry and bat-friendly pitch.
But Dutch paceman Vivian Kingma struck early when the first ball of his bowling spell saw the bails flying in the second over, sending opener Abdullah Shafique back to the clubhouse at the VOC cricket ground for two runs.
Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals to see Pakistan edge to 150-5 by the 40th over.
Up-and-coming Dutch youngster Aryan Dutt took the crucial wicket of Azam — the world’s top-ranked ODI batsman — when he was on 91 and seemed set for his 18th ODI century.
Azam pushed the ball into the air with Dutt diving and taking a brilliant one-handed catch for his 10th one-day international wicket.
Dutt eventually ended with figures of 34-1 following behind Bas de Leede 50-3, who continues to make an impact in the Dutch squad both with bat and ball.
Fellow seemer Logan van Beek also played a crucial role in dismantling the Pakistani innings, removing dangerman Fakhar Zaman’s off-stump in the 17th over.
Van Beek also took two catches — taking Agha Salman off the bowling of Shariz Ahmad and Mohammad Nawaz off De Leede’s bowling — just when Nawaz was getting going and smacking 27 runs off 35 balls.