In their first tour to the Netherlands for a bilateral series with the hosts, Pakistan had a few nervous moments on their way to a 16-run win in the 1st ODI. The two sides met in an ODI for the first time since their clash in the 2003 World Cup. The Netherlands, who were without their main players due to them playing County Cricket in the UK, came really close to causing an upset but ran out of gas at the end. In this piece, we look at some of the interesting moments from this encounter.

Fakhar Zaman’s measured hundred

Fakhar Zaman has been one of the most successful openers in ODI cricket for Pakistan. He might have been given a reprieve when he was dropped on 43, but the southpaw made full use of it as he notched his seventh ODI century.

A remarkable thing about his innings was his scoring areas. He scored runs in every region, but he was superlative with his pull shot, as the pull shot alone earned him 18 runs. Zaman now has the second-highest average (46.41) for a Pakistani opener (min. 10 innings), behind Imam-ul-Haq’s 53.65. Only four other openers have scored more centuries for Pakistan than Zaman’s seven.

Naseem Shah’s delightful debut

After playing 13 Test matches, Naseem Shah finally made his ODI debut. He impressed everyone straightway with his fiery pace and picked up three wickets – third-best figures on ODI debut for Pakistan since 2010.

His new ball spell was exceptional, consistently targeting the stumps with speeds in excess of 140 kph. His only concern would be his bowling discipline, as he bowled four wides, and more worryingly, four no balls.

Scott Edwards’ purple patch

One of the reasons The Netherlands were in the game till the end was due a superb captain’s knock from Scott Edwards. Coming in at 159-4 after a crucial wicket of Tom Cooper, Edwards lost the set Vikramjit Singh soon. He then almost single-handedly took his team near the finish line with his unbeaten 71 off 60 balls.

The new Dutch skipper is going through a purple patch in 2022. Eight out of Edwards’ nine 50+ scores have come this year in just 13 innings. All of them have been scored against the Full Member nations. He scored fifties in all the matches against Afghanistan and England (three each). The Netherlands will need their captain to continue churning out runs if they were to challenge this strong Pakistan team.

Pakistan eventually won the match by 16 runs, but a Dutch team devoid of their first-choice players ran them quite close. Going forward, Pakistan would hope to be more clinical with bat and ball and aim to finish strongly in both departments. The Netherlands would like to finally register a win against a stronger team in an unusually busy summer of cricket.