Bas de Leede’s all-round heroics boost Netherlands to ICC World Cup 2023 spot

Bas de Leede smashed 123 off 92 against Scotland

Netherlands overcome Scotland in a memorable four-wicket win to clinch the ICC World Cup 2023 spot against the odds at Bulawayo’s Queens Sports Club on Thursday. Young all-rounder Bas de Leede recorded his career-best bowling figures and then smashed his maiden international hundred to single-handedly guide the Dutch side to an unbelievable win.

Scotland lost the toss and as expected were forced to bat first with both teams making no changes to their previous playing eleven. Scotland needed any kind of win while the Netherlands was required to chase the target within 44 overs, a pretty task considering their record against the Scottish side.

But against the odds, Netherlands bowlers produced a brilliant start to take the first step towards qualification. Logan van Beek bowled out Scottish wicketkeeper Matthew Cross on the innings’ fourth delivery to draw first blood. Christopher McBride and in-form Brandon McMullen then added a 45-run stand for the second wicket to quickly recover from the early wicket.

Bas de Leede gave the Netherlands a breakthrough in the 11th over with McBride’s wicket with the latter scoring 32 runs off 38 balls. Bas then dismissed the next batter George Munsey in the 15th over and Scotland was down at 3/64 in 15 overs.

Then McMullen stepped up and brought Scotland back into the game with an impressive partnership with captain Richie Berrington. The duo first stabilized Scotland’s innings with some defensive cricket but once settled, displayed a remarkable cricket to ensure a big total. The duo pulled off a 137-run partnership for the fourth wicket with McMullen adding his second ODI hundred, both in these Qualifiers.

Once again, de Leede broke the partnership with McMullen’s big wicket but Scotland was already past of 200-run mark with over 12 overs in play. McMullen scored 106 runs off 110 balls with the help of 11 fours and three sixes while Berrington added 64 runs off 84 balls.

Tomas Mackintosh further boosted Scotland’s total to 277/9 by smashing unbeaten 38 runs off 28 balls. Bas de Leede registered his first-ever international five-fer while Ryan Klein took two wickets for the Netherlands.

Chasing the 278-run target was a tough task but not an impossible one for the Netherlands who stunned the world by chasing 374 runs against the mighty West Indies side mere 10 days ago. Vikramjit Singh, who registered his maiden ODI hundred in the last game, produced another good start for the Dutch side with star batter Max O’Dowd.

The duo added 65 runs for the opening wicket with O’Dowd adding 20 runs. Experienced off-spinner Michael Leask gave the Scottish side an opening with O’Dowd’s wicket in the 13th over and then also dismissed Vikramjit in the 15th over to put Scotland in the driving seat. Next batters Wesley Barresi and de Leede then added a further 22 runs before the former getting dismissed by McMullen in the 20th over.

With the top three batters returning back to the pavilion inside 20 overs, it was an uphill task for the Netherlands. An already tough chase further worsened as Teja Nidamanuru departed quickly after scoring just 10 runs. Bas kept the runs flowing from the one end but lacked meaningful partnership from his teammates.

He tried to balance the game with a 50-plus stand for the fifth wicket with skipper Scott Edwards contributing crucial 25 runs. Mark Wyatt dismissed Edwards in the 31st over as Scotland were in a comfortable position to win the game. But de Leede and Saqib Zulfiqar pulled off an impossible task by adding 113 runs for the sixth wicket in just 68 balls.

Bas de Leede smashed 123 runs off just 92 balls before getting run out in 43rd over and Zulfiqar scored unbeaten 33 runs off 32 balls. The duo added 45 runs in the last fours with de Leede contributing with four of five sixes recorded in the 41st and 42nd over to win the game by four wickets with 43 balls remaining.

Regardless of the standings in the Super Six round table or the result of the final clash on Sunday, July 9, the Netherlands will travel to India as a Qualifier 1 team and Sri Lanka as Qualifier 2 team. Ireland will face Pakistan in their opening game in Hyderabad on October 6 while Sri Lanka will take on South Africa at Delhi on October 7.