Dutch knocked out as Champions Trophy hopes hang by a thread
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England 339 for 9 (Stokes 108, Malan 87, Woakes 51, De Leede 3-74) beat the Netherlands 179 (Nidamanuru 41*, Moeen 3-42, Rashid 3-54) by 160 runs

The Netherlands were officially knocked out of the cricket World Cup with a 160-run defeat to the defending champions England in Pune on Wednesday.

Dubbed as the European derby in media circles, England came away with not just the bragging rights in what was only their second win of the tournament but also delivered a knockout punch to the Netherlands’ chances of qualification for the eight-team Champions Trophy in 2025.

On a pitch conducive for batting, Ben Stokes’ maiden World Cup century rescued England from 192-6 to post 339-9, their highest total of the tournament.

Barring Teja Nidamanuru’s unbeaten 41, which featured three lusty blows over the boundary ropes, the Dutch chase failed to gather any steam, rarely ever threatening to knock off the target and eventually being snuffed out for 179.

Opting to bat first under sunny skies, England raced off the blocks to 70-1 at the end of the first powerplay (10 overs), the most the Dutch had conceded in the phase all tournament.

Despite an indifferent start, Dawid Malan’s run-out in the 22nd over, 13 runs shy of his century, allowed the bowlers to claw their way back in as England slid from 133-1 to 192-6.

Staring at the prospect of being bowled out for under 300 for the sixth time running, Stokes and Woakes launched a brutal counterattack in the death overs as England clobbered 93 runs off the final six overs.

None of it would have materialised had Aryan Dutt held on to a catch, albeit a tough one, to dismiss Stokes on 41. Instead, the pair added 129 for the seventh wicket in a gradual shift of momentum.

Stokes’ 84-ball 108 featured six fours and as many sixes, and was a masterclass in building an impactful innings: look to take it deep and capitalise when set.

In response, the Dutch batters struggled to find scoring opportunities against the new ball, playing out 49 dots off the first ten overs and losing Max O’Dowd and Colin Ackermann in the process.

Wesley Barresi (37), Sybrand Engelbrecht (33) and Scott Edwards (38) all got starts but failed to convert them. Nidamanuru took the spinners on and batted at his fluent best but was stranded on 41 as the lower order folded meekly, losing five wickets for 16 in 21 balls.

Disappointing

“It was probably one of the better pitches that we’ve played on in this tournament, where the pace and the balance of the wicket was quite consistent. I don’t think that’s a fair representation (of our batting) and that’s disappointing for our batting group,” Nidamanuru conceded after the game.

“We haven’t put together the ideal game yet, if I’m really honest. We were able to do that in the qualifiers a bit more consistently, but then we’re up against the best teams in the world so we’ve been tested both from a technical point of view as well as a skilful point of view, whether that’s against spin or against pace. I think there’s some great reference points, not only for us but also for the guys back home.”

“We are a growing and a learning group of cricketers as a whole team, and we pride ourselves on that.”

A memorable – if, at times, indifferent – Dutch World Cup juggernaut will reach its conclusion in Bengaluru on Sunday (November 12) with the final league match against the hosts, and the only unbeaten team so far, India. The game will be live-streamed on NOS from 9:30am CEST.

Teja Nidamanuru of Netherlands plays a shot. Photo: ICC via Getty Images)



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