Latest Match Report – Netherlands vs Zimbabwe 5th Match, Group A 2023

Zimbabwe Defeat 319 for 4 (Rasa 102*, Williams 91, Shariz 2-62) Netherlands 315 for 6 (Vikramjith 88, Edwards 83, Raza 4-55) by six wickets

Another deft hand from Sean Williams and an all-round masterclass from Sikandar Raza ensured a tricky chase was handled with relative ease as Zimbabwe cruised to a six-wicket win against the Netherlands.

Raza’s impact on the game was complete, claiming four wickets and helping the opposition to what he considered an „equal” total of 315 – such was the nature of the track. It culminated in some truly militant power-hitting, as he made an unbeaten 102 off 54 balls to reach the fastest ODI century by a Zimbabwean player.

But while Raza has rightfully grabbed all the headlines, Williams’ role can’t be understated. His one knock was an exhibition in sports management. Coming into bat in the 14th over, he took a few overs to come in before losing 48 runs from 17-21 overs. He was plugging away at a steady rate before Raza joined him in the 25th over.

At that point, Raza immediately made his intentions clear, and Williams took on a more reserved role. While the Netherlands spurned some dropped chances during the innings, once Williams – and then Raza – got going, the Zimbabwean juggernaut could not be stopped.

Raza would end the game with six fours and eight sixes – three of which came in quick succession in the 39th over in a ferocious attack on Sharis Ahmed – and his dominance at Harare Sports Club made you wonder if the Netherlands would score anything. It would have been enough if it had been put. If it’s any consolation, 315 is theirs Composite-high score In ODIs.
Batting on the belter of the batting track, Netherlands faced some early movement and kept the motor going in their innings. A 120-run opening stand between Max O’Dowd and Vikramjit Singh was followed by a 96-run partnership between Vikramjit and captain Scott Edwards, who scored 83 runs.

But despite their best efforts, they weren’t allowed to get out of hand as Raza – using his vast experience and array of variations – continued to attack the ball. Raza, who broke the first-wicket union with a quick one out off O’Dowd, struck in his next over as well, cleaning up Wesley Baresi in another over.

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Just as Edwards and Vikramjith were hoping for a big finish, Raza returned for a sweep when the latter was on 88 in the 39th over, breaking a threatening stand. That wicket of a set batter would take the momentum out of the Netherlands’ innings; They scored 81 off the last ten overs, a good effort but not good enough in terms of surface.

That would prove to be the case as Raza returned with the bat to land the final blow in an otherwise respectable Netherlands performance.

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