|ICC Men’s World Cup, Kolkata|
|Netherlands 229 (50 overs): Edwards 68 (89), Barresi 41 (41; Mustafizur 2-36|
|Bangladesh 142 (42.2 overs): Mehidy 35 (40); Van Meekeren 4-23|
|Netherlands won by 87 runs|
Paul van Meekeren took 4-23 and skipper Scott Edwards made a crucial 68 as the Netherlands beat Bangladesh by 87 runs to earn their second World Cup win.
Edwards’ knock laid a solid platform for the Dutch to post a competitive 229 on a tricky Eden Gardens pitch.
Mehidy Miraz made 35 for Bangladesh but despite some lower-order resistance the Dutch clinically closed out an emphatic win as they were rolled for 142.
The win leaves the Netherlands eighth in the table, and England bottom.
Bangladesh’s top order was skilfully winkled out by some intelligent bowling from Van Meekeren, as he backed up a good start with the ball from the Dutch with the wickets of Najmul Shanto (9), Shakib Al Hasan (5) and Mushfiqur Rahim (1).
From 70-6 Bangladesh twice threatened to recover only for the Dutch to turn the screw.
A seventh-wicket stand of 38 from Mahmudullah (20) and Mahedi Hasan (17) was ended by a brilliant piece of fielding from Bas de Leede as he ran out the latter.
The Durham all-rounder then had the dangerous Mahmudullah caught by Aryan Dutt to signal the beginning of the end for Bangladesh.
Fittingly, Van Meekeren took the final wicket of Taskin Ahmed – held by De Leede in the deep – to seal a win with 46 balls left unused.
Earlier, Wesley Barresi had counter-attacked for the Netherlands after they had lost both openers early on having won the toss and batted first.
Barresi, the oldest player in the tournament at 39 years and 178 days, looked the most fluent of any Dutch batter en route to a run-a-ball 41 in his first appearance at this World Cup.
Edwards then dug in with a patient knock off 89 balls as he made his second half-century of the tournament after being twice dropped in the same over.
The Dutch lost momentum after Edwards spooned Mustafizur Rahman, the pick of Bangladesh’s bowlers with 2-36, to point but Logan van Beek biffed 23 off 16 balls to finish the innings with a flourish.
Ruthless Dutch punish sloppy Bangladesh
This result constitutes an upset given Bangladesh are a full ICC member and the Netherlands have Associate status.
Yet, the arc of progress of this Netherlands team (already having qualified ahead of two full members in West Indies and Ireland) means it really should be classified as a mild surprise rather than a big shock.
The playing field may not be level in terms of facilities, financial resources and pool of players, but out in the middle the Dutch are a versatile well-drilled international side.
Their first victory of the tournament victory over table-toppers South Africa was no fluke, and neither was this.
In the three meetings in ODIs between the sides the Netherlands now have a 2-1 advantage over Bangladesh.
Where the Dutch have excelled on this occasion is outplaying a side with significantly more experience of subcontinental conditions and pitches. Equally impressively, it came on the back of a record-breaking defeat to Australia which would have bruised their confidence.
Bangladesh’s impudent batters looked ill-prepared for the patient lines and lengths of the Van Beek, Van Meekeren and De Leede with four top-order batters caught behind.
Bold field placings from Edwards were also integral – the dismissal of Shanto, held at second slip off Van Meekeren, epitomised his aggressive strategy at key moments.
Their fielding was also excellent – in terms of catch conversion rates, nobody else in the tournament has held their chances at a better rate than the Dutch.
The Netherlands players, led by the blue-sky thinking of coach Ryan Cook, had bullishly talked of targeting the semi-finals of the World Cup before the tournament started.
They have now banked more points than England and Bangladesh and have the same number as Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
It seemed an ambitious statement but after six games the Dutch will be satisfied a place in the last four at least remains a mathematical possibility.
‘The semi-final is still our goal’ – whey they said
Player of the match Paul van Meekeren: “We said we wanted to go for the semi-final, and do that you need to win games. To bounce back from Australia is a great effort from the whole team.
“At the halfway mark of our innings we were looking at 230-240 and if we could get to that we had a chance. We were relentless with our line and length.
“We rode on the wave the momentum we created on the back of our batting.”
Netherlands skipper Scott Edwards: “We thought if we could get to 220 plus we would be in the game.
“Our bowlers were awesome. They have been stepping up. We were great in the field as well.
“The system is getting more professional in the Netherlands. We train incredibly hard and expect big things from our players. It’s nice to get the rewards.
“We have some hard games to come but the semi-finals remains our goal.”
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan: “I thought we bowled really well but we were sloppy in the field. We should have restricted them to 160-170 from the position we were in.
“We have been poor with the bat throughout this tournament and this is as bad as it gets. We have been struggling big time,
“There are three games to come and we have to pick up ourselves and I know it’s hard but we have to try to finish the tournament on a high.”