Ben Stokes’ attacking century was well complemented by the bowlers as England galloped to a 160-run victory over the Netherlands on Wednesday to stay in the hunt for a place in the 2025 Champions Trophy in Pakistan. Although England and Holland are out of the reckoning for the semi-finals, the competition between the two lowest-placed sides takes on significance when it comes to qualifying for the Champions Trophy, as only the top seven teams from the ongoing showpiece will qualify for the event.
England’s batting finally clicked as they posted 339 for 9 and then the bowlers did the rest, dismissing Holland for 179 in 37.2 overs.
The win took England to seventh place in the points table due to better run rate.
The defending champions face Pakistan in their final match in Kolkata on Saturday.
Electing to bat, Stokes (108 off 83) initially provided stability in the middle before opening up towards the end, while David Malan (87 off 74) got England off to a flyer with his airy knock where he hit 10 fours and two. sixes to power England to 339 for nine.
Stokes hit six fours and as many hits over the fence, while Chris Woakes also did his bit with a 45-ball 51.
Chasing a mammoth target of 340, Holland lost their first wicket in the fifth over when Max O’Dowd gave a simple catch to Moeen Ali at mid-on off the bowling of Chris Woakes.
In the next over, Holland were two down when Colin Ackermann got a David Willey delivery to Jos Buttler behind the stumps.
Wesley Barresi (37) and Sybrand Engelbrecht (33) tried their best to steady the chase with a 55-run stand for the third wicket before Baressi was run out.
Engelbrecht was then run out by Woakes at mid-off to give Willey his second wicket of the day, while Bas de Leede played on an Adil Rashid delivery.
Willey dropped Teja Nidamanuru (41, not out 34) at mid-on off Atkinson in the 27th over and the batsman grabbed life with both hands, catching Adil Rashid and Atkinson for two big sixes over mid-on and square-leg the limit in a row. transl.
Dutch skipper Scott Edwards and Nidamanuru then shared 59 runs for the sixth wicket before the former gave a simple catch to Willey at mid off Ali’s bowling.
After that, Dutch wickets fell like nine pins as they were bowled out for 179 in 37.2 overs.
Earlier, Malan looked at his attacking best as he swung and drove Logan van Beek for three consecutive boundaries in the second over. He continued his onslaught against spinner Aryan Dutt (2/67), sending him through the covers and gap for two more boundaries in the next over.
The boundaries came thick and fast for England as the next over from Logan Van Beek also saw two hits to the fence – one each from Malan and Jonny Bairstow.
Holland had their first success in the last ball of the seventh over in the form of Bairstow, who was run out by Paul Van Meekeren after the bowling of Dutt at backward square leg.
But the dismissal had little effect on Malan as he picked up three more fours from van Beek in the next over to take England to 70 for one in 10 overs.
Malan, in the process, brought up his fifty in 37 balls with the help of 10 hits to the fence.
Malan and Joe Root then bowled cautiously to take the innings forward before the former hit the first six of the over, sending Roelof van der Merwe over the square leg boundary.
An over later, Malan once again launched another attack on van der Merwe, sending him over the midwicket boundary.
But two wickets in consecutive overs halted England’s attack.
First, Root was cleaned up by van Beek in the 21st over when the batsman went for a reverse scoop, and then Malan was run out in the next over as England slumped to 139 for three in 22 overs.
Harry Brook didn’t last long when he pulled a short delivery from Bas de Leede (3/74) to Colin Ackermann at deep square leg as Holland pulled things back.
England captain Jos Buttler’s torrid time continued when he was soon run out in the middle of the match by Teja Nidamanuru on van Meekeren.
But Stokes was in ominous form as he first took time to settle and then unleashed his brute power towards the end to hammer the Dutch bowlers to all parts of the ground.
Dutch spinners pulled things back in the middle overs, from 133 for two, England slumped to 192 for six by the 36th over after the dismissal of Moeen Ali.
But Stokes and Woakes had other plans as they shared 129 runs for the seventh wicket to take England past the 300-run mark.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)