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Pakistan survive Netherlands scare to seal series whitewash

Dutch side took the contest to last over courtesy fifties from Singh, Cooper but failed to close out the game

Pakistan nearly paid the price for extreme caution with the bat, but standout bowling performances from Naseem Shah and Mohammad Wasim, spared them the blushes as they eked out a narrow nine-run win in the third and final ODI in Rotterdam.
For the most part, though it seemed that the Netherlands, chasing 207 for a win, would topple Pakistan, particularly during a 71-run fourth-wicket partnership between Vikramjit Singh and Tom Cooper. But, with the pressure at its most intense, Naseem and Wasim bowled with a composure that belied their inexperience, taking nine wickets between them to close out the game.
Naseem’s career-best figures of 5 for 33 in his ten-over spell backed up by Wasim’s 4 for 36, made all the difference in the end with the Netherlands batters failing to close the game out.
Naseem was declared player of the match for his match-winning spell. Earlier, the Pakistani batting line-up couldn’t bat according to their plan as debutant Abdullah Shafique was sent back to the pavilion after scoring only 2 runs in 5 balls by Vivian Kingma.
The opponents’ pacer Bas de Leede played sensationally, claiming three wickets, while Kingma took two wickets. Fakhar Zaman also wasn’t up to the mark as he scored only 26 runs in 43 balls. Skipper Babar came to rescue the touring party and helped them to reach 206 runs. The number one white-ball batter scored 91 runs in 125 balls, including seven fours and two sixes.
Aryan Dutt, Shariz Ahmed, and Logan van Beek secured a wicket each. Opening batter Abdullah Shafique made his ODI debut, as he replaced Imam-ul-Haq. Also, Babar surpassed South African Hashim Amla in the list of players amassing the most runs after 90 one-day internationals (ODI) innings. Babar’s 91 in the match took his total ODI runs tally to 4,664, which is 108 runs more than Amla’s 4,556 at the same stage of his ODI career.
The Pakistani captain has 17 ODI centuries to his credit in 90 innings, which is also the most by anyone after as many innings, followed by Amla.
West Indian Viv Richards had scored 4,122 runs from 90 innings while cricketer Shai Hope had 4,051 runs. Amla had the edge over Babar in innings by its aggregate from career’s 29th to 84th innings before the latter edged him in total aggregates from 85 and 86 innings of his career. Before the start of the Pakistan vs Netherlands series, Amla had a lead of 7 runs over Babar in the list of aggregate runs after 87 innings but the Pakistani skipper with a half-century in the first match managed to regain his lead.
Babar scored three consecutive half-centuries in three-match ODI series against the Netherlands. This was the first time since January 2019 when Babar did not score a century in any bilateral ODI series. On Thursday, Mohammad Rizwan and Agha Salman made unbeaten half-centuries as Pakistan eased to a seven-wicket win over the Netherlands in the second one-day international in Rotterdam to complete a series victory.
Babar scored 57 off 65 balls before Rizwan and Salman led the tourists home in their pursuit of 187 with 16.2 overs to spare. Kingma removed openers Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq cheaply as Pakistan stuttered early, but Babar and Rizwan steadied the innings before Salman finished it off by blasting his first ODI fifty. Pakistan won the first match by 16 runs. 


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