Holland cause another major World Cup upset, stun South Africa by 38 runs

A bunch of semi-professionals from the Netherlands, including an Uber Eats courier, caused the World Cup’s second major upset in three days when they shocked a well-placed South Africa by 38 runs in Dharamsala on Tuesday. Set to bat in challenging conditions after rain reduced the contest to 43 overs a side, Holland found themselves on 140 for seven before their captain Scott Edwards staged a remarkable recovery with an unbeaten 78 off 69 balls to take his side to a struggling 245 for eight.

With the pitch offering variable bounce and some turn, Holland sniffed an opportunity against a formidable South African batting unit which crumbled under pressure to be all out for 207 in 42.5 overs, giving the Dutch their first World Cup win against a Test nation .

Until Tuesday, the Netherlands had only beaten fellow associate nations Namibia and Scotland in their World Cup history, having made their debut back in 1996.

The surprise result came 48 hours after Afghanistan shocked defending champions England in Delhi, adding to the unpredictability of the 10-team competition.

The Netherlands, who qualified for their first World Cup since 2011 by finishing second in qualifying earlier this year, have shown significant improvement over the years.

The Dutch had humiliated the Proteas in the T20 World Cup 11 months ago and at the scenic Dharamsala on Tuesday they recorded another famous victory over them in a less unpredictable format.

At the start of the tournament, Bas de Leede, one of the few full-time cricketers in the team, had expressed happiness that cricket was being shown live on television at home after four years. After a landmark performance, he and his team are likely to attract more supporters in a football-mad nation.

With Holland, South Africa reduce to just 109 for six David Miller (43) stood between them and a memorable victory.

De Leede, who dropped a regular catch from Miller in the deep, raised nerves in the field and in the dressing room, but their fate was sealed in the 31st over when the dangerous left-hander was bowled by pacer Logan van Beek.

Paul van Meekren, who has also worked as an Uber Eats delivery man, took the crucial wickets Aiden Markram and and Marco Jansen with two cross stitch bullets crushing their stumps.

Spinners Colin Ackermann (1/16) and Roelof van der Merwe (2/34), who made his international debut for South Africa before switching allegiance to the Netherlands, also played a big part in the team’s success.

Ackermann got rid of the in-form Quinton de Kock before van der Merwe found Bavuma’s stumps with a brilliant arm ball as South Africa felt the heat inside the powerplay.

Earlier, intermittent rains added an extra chill to the mountain air.

South Africa expected to opt to bowl amid the overcast skies and their pack of formidable pacers including Kagiso RabadaMarco Jansen and Lungi Ngidi got a lot out of the surface.

However, their death overs bowling left a lot to be desired as Holland plundered 68 runs in the last five overs. Holland were struggling at 140 for seven in the 34th over.

Edwards shared an entertaining 64-run partnership off 37 balls with van der Merwe (29 off 19) towards the end of the innings to take the team past 200.

South Africa’s pace attack is among the potent in the competition and the Dutch top order found them too hot to handle. Ariske Dutt‘s unbeaten 23 off nine balls also supported the total.

Rabada struck in his very first ball of the match as Vikramjit Singh (2 of 16) couldn’t control the pull shot from a delivery that raced on to him.

Vikramjit’s opening partner Max O’Dowd (18) departed six balls later as tall left-arm pacer Jansen induced a faint edge from his bat with an angled delivery.

Star all-rounder Bas de Leede (2) was caught in front by Rabada, who made the ball cut back sharply from length. The pacers also took a flurry of wickets in the middle overs before Edwards and former Proteas star Van der Merwe counter-attacked.

Edwards hit 10 boundaries in total and a six via a cracking pull shot off Rabada. Edwards also used the sweep and reverse sweep against the spinner Keshav Maharaj with good effect. Number 10 Dutt joined the party and smashed three sixes to provide the final flourish.

South Africa were also guilty of conceding 31 extras.

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