ROTTERDAM: After seeing his side edge the Netherlands by 16 runs in the opening One-day International of their three-game series, Pakistan captain Babar Azam admitted being concerned at times during the match in what he described as “tricky conditions”.
It was hardly a convincing win the bowlers failing to maintain their lines and lengths against the Dutch middle-order and Pakistan will look to put those things right in the second ODI and secure a series-clinching victory on Thursday.
The onus will be on Babar and first-game centurion Fakhar Zaman to be among the runs again, while opener Imam-ul-Haq and the middle-order would be expected to step up. The good thing for Pakistan, however, was that spin-bowling all-rounder Shadab Khan was among the runs in the first game and he would be expected to maintain consistency.
The Dutch, on the other hand, were poor with the ball in hand in the series-opener as they conceded a total well in excess of 300. Nonetheless, the batters showcased valiant performances with three half-centurions Vikramjit Singh, Tom Cooper, and Scott Edwards nearly doing the unthinkable.
Skipper Edwards remained at the crease right till the very end and scored an unbeaten 71 runs off 60 balls. He waged a lone war with hardly any support from the other end. His knock went in vain as the hosts were restricted to 298-8.
“We feel like more and more we are getting ourselves within reach of winning a few games but today we dropped two or three catches. We let ourselves down,” said Edwards after the match.
Published in Dawn, August 18th, 2022