Kolkata: Two upset wins in the ongoing World Cup under their belt, minnows Netherlands have now called for ICC’s attention for ‘bigger nation’ status, batting all-rounder Bas de Leede has said.
The Dutch, who are the only Associate Nation in the World Cup, first produced the biggest stunner of the global showpiece, defeating South Africa by 38 runs in Dharamsala.
On Saturday, defending a modest 229, the Dutch bowled out Bangladesh for 142 for yet another upset result, this time by a handsome 87-run margin.
“Every win we get is going to be big for us and for cricket in the Netherlands. We want to inspire young kids to take up the game,” De Leede told reporters in the post-match interaction at Eden Gardens.
“And we also want to try and get the ICC’s attention to start looking at us as a potentially bigger nation in the coming years. So definitely every win helps.”
It is, however, unclear whether the Dutchman’s demand for a Test status for the country and more exposure will be entertained by the world body. Domestic cricket structure is one of the major critreria in awarding a country Test status and the Dutch cricketers mostly play country cricket for exposure.
Their chances of making the semi-finals, however, appear slim as they have to win all their three remaining matches and hope for favourable results from other teams.
The Netherlands, who have four points from six matches, will next take on Afghanistan in Lucknow on November 3 before facing the struggling defending champions England in Pune on November 8.
They will conclude their campaign against hosts India in Bengaluru on November 12.
“It depends how other teams do, how big our chances are for the semi-final. But for us the goal is to keep winning as many games as we can,” De Leede said.
“There’re a couple of games where we haven’t played our best, but then again today we did. And if we can do that again for the next three games, who knows where we will finish.”
After winning the toss, the Netherlands mastered the conditions perfectly, by first notching up a respectable total and then restricting their opposition with clever short-ball strategy.
“It was a tricky pitch and wasn’t the easiest track to bat on. It wasn’t easy to score runs. And us having runs on the board, I think it was very clear what we needed to do. With the pacers, it being a little bit up and down, spin staying a bit low,” De Leede said.
“I don’t think it was the easiest pitch to bat. So, yeah, a little bit surprised,” he added.
He further said they were clear in their thoughts that the Eden pitch won’t produce a 350 total so they had to hang in there despite some early blows.
First, it was Wesley Barresi, who made an entertaining 41 of as many balls, to help his team tide over the loss of both the openers early on. Later skipper Scott Edwards top-scored with his second fifty in the tournament to take team total past 200.
“Knowing that on a pitch like this we didn’t need to score 350 or something like that and you know the way they soaked up the pressure and then ran hard, tried to limit dots put pressure on Bangladesh by doing that was great to see,” said De Leede.
“I think it started to turn a lot more. It was a tough wicket to bat on throughout the day.”
“We bat very deep, which is one of the qualities we have as a team. Aryan Dutt coming in at number 10, who can still hit the ball miles. So, it’s been one of the qualities of the middle order, and also rotating strike against spin.”
“They’ve helped us get out of some tricky situations a lot. But it’s probably disappointing from the top-order point of view that we haven’t gotten ourselves off to a good start yet again. So that’s something we’re trying to fix, but very proud of our middle order and the way we’ve played so far,” he said.
De Leede took the prized-scalps of Mahmudullah and Mehidy Hasan Miraz using the short-ball strategy against the Bangladesh batters.
“Yeah, we look at it per player. We try and analyse the players — for example (Najmul) Shanto is great on the short ball so we try and keep it away from him but to other players we try and use it and take wickets with it,” he added.
(Published 29 October 2023, 07:27 IST)