An outstanding all-round performance by Bas de Leede, who took five wickets and scored his first century, saw the Netherlands secure their place in the 2023 ODI World Cup. The Dutch side defeated Scotland by four wickets in their Super Six qualifiers match at Queens Sports Club on Thursday.
After restricting Scotland to a challenging 277/9, De Leede took 5/52 and then smashed 123 off 92 balls, including seven fours and five sixes. This was also his maiden ODI century. Supported by Vikramjit Singh’s 40 and Saqib Zulfiqar’s unbeaten 33, De Leede helped the Netherlands chase down 278 runs in just 42.5 overs. Thus, they secured their spot in the ODI World Cup in India from October 5 to November 19.
De Leede’s exceptional performance made him the fourth player to achieve a century and a five-wicket haul in the same ODI. This will be the Netherlands’ fifth appearance in a 50-over World Cup, with their last participation being in the 2011 edition.
Their impressive run-chase in Bulawayo, surpassing Scotland on net run rate, guarantees the Netherlands’ qualification for the ODI World Cup in India later this year. They will now face Sri Lanka in the Qualifiers final at Harare on Sunday.
Choosing to bowl first, the Netherlands’ decision proved fruitful when Logan van Beek dismissed Matthew Cross for a duck in the opening over. Although Brandon McMullen and Christopher McBride aimed to stabilise Scotland’s innings, Bas de Leede dismissed McBride and later George Munsey, leaving Scotland struggling at 64/3 after 15 overs.
However, McMullen patiently built his innings and punished the loose deliveries, eventually reaching his half-century. He accelerated his scoring rate and, along with Richie Berrington (64), put Scotland in a commanding position. The duo formed a 137-run partnership for the fourth wicket, which became Scotland’s highest ODI partnership against the Netherlands. McMullen went on to achieve his second century of the tournament.
Netherlands finally broke the partnership when McMullen was caught behind off Ryan Klein’s bowling for 106 runs. Despite this, McMullen had already taken Scotland past the 200-run mark. Berrington also reached his half-century before being bowled by De Leede in the 45th over.
De Leede struck twice in the 49th over to complete his five-wicket haul, his first in ODIs, restricting Scotland to below 300 runs. During the chase, Vikramjit and Max O’Dowd provided a solid start with a 65-run opening partnership. However, Scotland’s Mark Watt dismissed both batsmen in quick succession.
McMullen further boosted Scotland’s chances by dismissing Wessly Barresi, and Chris Greaves sent Teja Nidamanuru back to the pavilion. With Scott Edwards falling in the 31st over to Mark Watt, Scotland remained competitive in the match.
But De Leede held firm and reached his half-century. Zulfiqar provided excellent support as they initially accumulated runs with singles and twos. When the equation was reduced to 45 runs off 24 balls, De Leede changed the momentum. He launching an aggressive assault on Mark Watt’s bowling.
De Leede hit back-to-back sixes to complete his fantastic century, and Zulfiqar joined the act by hitting a six in the same over. The two relieved the pressure significantly. Two more sixes were struck in the following over off McMullen, bringing the Netherlands within reach of victory.
Although De Leede was run-out in the next over, Logan van Beek hit the winning runs. With this, the Netherlands secured qualification for the ODI World Cup. All this despite missing several key players during the qualifiers.