Pakistan national cricket team returned to India after seven long years to play the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 and they announced their arrival with a convincing victory over the Netherlands in their first game of the World Cup venture. Babar Azam and Co. might have lost both of their warm-up games against New Zealand and Australia respectively but they ensured to tick all the boxes while locking horns with the Dutch team.
The Green Shirts beat the Netherlands by 81 runs at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad and have a Net Run Rate of +1.620. Batting first, Pakistan posted a competitive total of 286 in 49 overs. For the record, Pakistan were in a spot of bother after losing their top-order batters for cheap scores. Fakhar Zaman, Imam Ul Haq and Babar Azam scored 12, 15 and 5 runs respectively.
Nevertheless, Mohammad Rizwan and Saud Shakeel ensured to stick together as a pair and added a valuable 120-run liaison for the fourth wicket. Rizwan and Shakeel scored 68 runs each before Pakistan got some support from Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan who scored 39 and 32 runs respectively.
Hyderabad crowd chants Babar Azam’s name, video goes viral
During the Netherlands’ innings, the supporters chanted Babar Azam’s name and the Pakistan skipper’s reaction has been doing the rounds on social media. The drama unfolded during the 36th over of the Netherlands’ innings when some fans chanted passionately for “Babar Azam” and what happened after that was a sight to behold as the Pakistan captain came up with a lovely gesture, much to the surprise of the fans.
Hyderabad ❤️ pic.twitter.com/alXrpL7Ykw
— PSL Memes (@PSLMemesWalay) October 6, 2023
Meanwhile, Scott Edwards and Co. failed to produce a spark during the run-chase. Although the likes of Vikramjit Singh and Bas de Leede scored 52 and 67 runs respectively, they lacked enough tooth to get the job done. In the end, they were bowled out for 205 runs. On the other hand, Haris Rauf was the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan as he accounted for three dismissals whereas Hasan Ali took two wickets to his name.
After the game, Babar Azam acknowledged the Hyderabad crowd for their support. “The way Hyderabad supported us, we are very happy. Pleased with the hospitality here,” Babar Azam said at the post-match presentation. Pakistan will lock horns with Sri Lanka on October 10 at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad.