ROTTERDAM: Opening batsman Fakhar Zaman scored his eighth one-day international century to lead Pakistan to a 16-run victory against the Netherlands on Tuesday in the opening of a three-match series.
Just at VOC Cricket Club outside of the Dutch harbour city, Pakistan won the toss and decided to bat in the hot, muggy circumstances on a day when big scores were anticipated on a slow wicket.However, the tourists struggled at first before hitting a dominant 314-6 after 50 overs.
Despite a heroic run-chasing effort, the Dutch lost to a determined Pakistani squad that had numerous loud supporters, finishing on 298-8.Fakhar scored 109 runs off just 109 balls, while captain Babar Azam made 74 runs off just 74 balls before being caught for a catch after mistiming a delivery off Dutch paceman Logan van Beek.
Pakistan’s batting was initially restrained by the home team’s bowlers, who claimed the visitors’ first wicket—danger man Imam-ul-Haq—lbw to pacer Vivian Kingma in the sixth over for a laborious two off 19 balls.
Babar was taken in a soft defeat after he flubbed a shot into the awaiting hands of Tom Cooper at mid-off. However, Fakhar and Babar soon broke loose & put on a partnership of 168 runs off 170 balls.Two overs later, Fakhar was out after being beautifully run out by the Dutch captain and wicketkeeper Scott Edwards following a dead-on throw from Bas de Leede to deep mid-wicket.
The spin bowling of young men Aryan Dutt and Tim Pringle caused issues as the Dutch bowlers did well to contain Pakistan, who were poised for a higher score.
However, the Dutch let themselves down on the field and missed a number of opportunities, with Kingma in particular dropping a key high ball that gave Fakhar a chance to save himself when he was on 43.