Before the World Cup, Netherlands coach Ryan Cook had said, “Our dream is to reach the semi-finals.” Defeating South Africa in a thrilling encounter, Netherlands has given birth to one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history. Captain Scott Edwards of the Netherlands said, “We don’t want to stop here.”
In the first two matches, the Dutch had opportunities, but they lost, which is understandable. However, they have not crumbled under the pressure of the match results. But in Dharamsala, they turned things around with a historic victory. The team that came to play in the World Cup after 12 years has lost like a full member of the ICC for the first time.
After such a victory, captain Edwards, who leads the Netherlands in a literal sense, said, “We are extremely proud. We came to the World Cup with high hopes. We played very well, and we have several good players. However, we know that the other nine teams are also very strong. Winning the first match is thrilling, and we hope for more victories.”
In the last two matches, the Netherlands has overcome their middle-order batting problems. Against Pakistan, they went from 120 runs for 2 wickets to getting all-out for 205 runs. They were in trouble against South Africa in the middle overs as well, losing 6 wickets for 112 runs.
Number seven batsman Edwards played an unbeaten inning of 78 runs off 69 balls. Even after losing the seventh wicket at 140 runs, the Netherlands managed to reach 245 runs in 43 overs in a rain-affected match. This is what got them the win against South Africa. At the end of the match, Edwards said, “In the last few matches, one big problem we had was that many middle-order batsmen got out just before the end of the innings. So, our focus was to keep playing until the end. In the first two matches, we were in a good position, but we lost our way in the middle. Something good has clicked for us this time.”
Edwards’ role as a bowler in today’s match was also outstanding. He had a specific plan against South Africa’s explosive batting lineup, and it worked wonderfully. At the end of the match, he expressed his joy that the plan worked, saying, “Every team does their research now, and we’ve done ours with them. We’ve played against them before, which has helped. Our match-ups sometimes work, and sometimes they don’t. It feels good that it worked today.”