The Netherlands sealed their place in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 in India with a sensational victory against Scotland. Riding on the extraordinary all-round performance of Bas de Leede, the Dutch team chased down a target of 278 runs in just 42.5 overs.
Bas de Leede’s contribution was nothing short of remarkable as he became only the fourth player in men’s ODI history to take a five-wicket haul and score a century in the same match. His power-packed innings of 123 runs off just 92 deliveries, which included seven fours and five sixes, propelled the Netherlands to a memorable win.
The Netherlands’ journey to the World Cup has been filled with excitement and determination. This will be their fifth appearance in the prestigious tournament, having previously played in the 1996, 2003, 2007, and 2011 editions. The team’s skipper, Scott Edwards, was overwhelmed with emotions after the match and expressed his admiration for the match-winning partnership between de Leede and Saqib Zulfiqar, who scored an unbeaten 33 runs. Edwards praised their batting display in the final overs and credited their incredible performance for the team’s success.
With this victory, the Netherlands leapfrogged Scotland and Zimbabwe in the standings to secure a net run rate of +0.230, earning them the second qualifying spot alongside Sri Lanka. Although their final match against Sri Lanka holds little significance in terms of qualification, it will determine whether they finish as Qualifier 1 or Qualifier 2.
Scotland put up a strong fight in the match, posting a total of 277 for 9, courtesy of an impressive century by Brendon McMullen, who scored 106 runs off 111 balls. He formed a crucial partnership of 137 runs for the fourth wicket with captain Richie Berrington, who contributed 64 runs to the team’s total.
Bas de Leede showcased his bowling skills as well, picking up a career-best five-wicket haul of 5/52 to restrict Scotland to a manageable score. During the chase, de Leede entered the field when the Netherlands needed just three runs for victory, having lost only three wickets. He received valuable support from opener Vikramjit Singh, who provided a steady start with his knock of 40 runs, and Saqib Zulfiqar, who played a crucial role in their whirlwind partnership of 113 runs for the sixth wicket.
The qualification tournament in Zimbabwe has witnessed fierce competition among the teams, with Sri Lanka standing out as the dominant force. However, the Netherlands has emerged as a resilient and determined side, pulling off impressive victories, including a tied match against the West Indies that they eventually won in a Super Over.
Bas de Leede’s outstanding innings will undoubtedly be remembered as a defining moment in the lives of the current crop of Dutch cricketers. With their World Cup qualification secured, the Netherlands can now look forward to showcasing their talent on the global stage once again. The team and their supporters are set to celebrate this historic achievement in grand fashion.