By narrowly defeating the Netherlands in the third ODI, Pakistan wins the series

In the third and final ODI, Pakistan nearly defeated the Netherlands thanks to a strong showing, but the visitors hung on to win by nine runs and take the series 3-0 on Sunday.

The Netherlands battled and played outstanding cricket throughout the series, despite the 0-3 setback.

Pakistan didn’t have a fantastic start when they chose to bat first after winning the toss since the Dutch bowlers were thrilled with the new ball. In the second over of the innings, Vivian Kingma defeated Abdullah Shafique, who was making his debut.

Then Pakistan rebuilt Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam. Logan van Beek Zaman (26) cleaned up in the 18th over, though, giving the Netherlands a breakthrough. As Babar completed his ninth score of over fifty in his previous ten innings, Agha Salman kept him company.

In the middle overs, Pakistan lost three wickets in rapid succession while the Netherlands mounted a valiant comeback. In a span of 31 runs, Salman, Khushdil Shah, and Mohammad Haris were all out.

Babar kept getting closer to 100, but in the end he was unable to reach it as a dramatic comeback from Aryan Dutt stopped his knockout, which was nine short of a tonne. In the end, Pakistan was dismissed for 206 in 49.4 overs.

Even the Netherlands got off to a rough start. Max O’Dowd and Musa Ahmed were both bowled back by Naseem Shah in the first 10 overs of the match, giving Pakistan a commanding early lead.

The 19-year-old speedster finished his opening round with stats of 5-0-14-2 and was in excellent rhythm. Subsequently, when the game was at stake, he came back to dismiss the captain, Scott Edwards, and added another wicket, Teja Nidamanuru, to later break a looming half-century stand.

Every time he came up with the ball, Naseem brought Pakistan back into the game, finishing with his best career numbers of 5 to 33. Mohammad Wasim, who took the important wickets from Vikramjit Singh and Tom Cooper to finish with four wickets away, provided Naseem with able support.

The host, though, did not give up so quickly. The Netherlands pushed Pakistan in chase under the leadership of opener Vikramjit and a strong Cooper. In the series, Vikramjit reached his second half-century, while Cooper scored three fifties in three innings. However, neither inning was sufficient to give the Netherlands the last boost it required to prevail.

While Vikramjit’s innings ended at 50 when he chopped Wasim at the wicketkeeper, Cooper kept Netherlands chasing late, only to be sacked for 62 after failing a slog from the same bowler in the 46th over.

The Netherlands’ tail pulled them close, but they were eventually bowled out for 197-10 in 49.2 overs and failed to clear the final hurdle.

Pakistan won by 9 runs in 49.4 overs (Babar Azam 91, Mohammad Nawaz 27; Bas de Leede 3-50, Vivian Kingma 2-15) over Netherlands (Tom Cooper 62, Vikramjit Singh 50; Naseem Shah 5-33, Mohammad Wasim Jr. 4-36).