WC: England returns to winning ways with an impressive performance

WC: England returns to winning ways with an impressive performance
England gave the Netherlands a target of 340 runs in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 and then defended it quite easily. In the first innings, Dawid Malan's aggressive innings of 87 runs helped England in the early stages, and a brilliant century by Ben Stokes (108) and some big hits from the tailenders helped the team reach an imposing total in Pune. Facing a stiff target, the Netherlands' chase never really got going. Regular breakthroughs from pacers David Willey and Chris Woakes, and then the spinners Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali ensured that the Netherlands was bowled out well before finishing their full quota of overs.
Chris Woakes was right on the mark with the new ball. He got it to jag around and beat the bat on several occasions. This soon yielded results, as the all-rounder got Max O'Dowd to chip one to mid-on. An absolute jaffa from David Willey got the edge of Colin Ackermann, and soon the Netherlands were two down for not too many. Sybrand Engelbrecht joined Wesley Barresi, and the duo saw off the first Powerplay without further damage. They picked pace and hit a number of confident strokes thereafter, adding 54 runs for the third wicket before Barresi was run out due to a mix-up with Engelbrecht
With the run rate mounting, it didn't take long for Engelbrecht (33) himself to play a rash shot and lose his wicket. The Dutch effort needed a special knock to boost their scoring rate, and it didn't seem to be coming. After the 25-over mark, the arrival of Teja Nidamanuru (41*) helped the Netherlands pick up the scoring rate. The batter hit four and three sixes soon after coming to the crease and added 59 from 50 balls for the sixth wicket. However, they lost skipper Scott Edwards (38) and Logan van Beek soon after, derailing the chase. The Netherlands lost their final five wickets for a mere 16 runs, meaning they were bowled out for 179.
During England's innings, Malan hit a hat-trick of boundaries and continued to unleash a number of big shots. However, in the 21st and 22nd over, the Netherlands struck back with van Beek dismissing Root and Malan being run out due to van Beek's accurate throw. Ben Stokes aggressively batted, taking boundaries and quick singles. Netherlands took wickets regularly. Harry Brook and Jos Buttler fell quickly. England lost half their team by the 30-over mark. Chris Woakes and Stokes added 129 runs for the seventh wicket in 81 balls. In the final ten overs, Stokes hit three sixes and a four off Aryan Dutt's bowling. England looked set to score more than 300.
In the last six overs, England added 92 runs, mostly through fours and sixes. In the 48th over, Stokes scored his first century in the Cricket World Cup. Jos Buttler won the toss and chose to bat first. Harry Brook and Gus Atkinson replaced Liam Livingstone and Mark Wood. Scott Edwards would have preferred to bat first on this pitch, but he was not too worried about fielding first. Teja Nidamanuru replaced Saqib Zulfiqar for them.
Source: IANS