In a monumental upset, the Netherlands pulled off a remarkable 38-run victory over South Africa in the Cricket World Cup at Dharamshala. This shock win marked the Dutch’s first ever ODI triumph against a major Test-playing nation.
The Dutch victory came less than a year after they had dumped South Africa out of the previous T20 World Cup in another stunning win at Adelaide. This ODI win now stands as an even more astonishing achievement for the unfancied Netherlands side.
The result ends South Africa’s unbeaten start at this World Cup and provides a major boost to England’s campaign. England, who face South Africa on Saturday, had lost two of their first three matches.
For the Netherlands, this surely rates as the greatest win in their cricketing history. While they did beat West Indies to qualify, their only two previous World Cup wins came against minnows Namibia and Scotland. The Dutch had failed to even qualify for the last two World Cup tournaments.
South Africa had begun the tournament in dominant fashion, crushing Sri Lanka and Australia in their opening matches. They seemed to have the Netherlands on the ropes too after reducing them to 50-4, then 112-6 after being asked to field first in a rain-shortened 43 overs per side match.
But Dutch captain Scott Edwards engineered a tremendous fightback with a vital unbeaten 78. Cameos from Roelof van der Merwe (29 off 19 balls) and Aryan Dutt (23 off 9 balls) lifted the Netherlands to a very competitive 245-8.
In reply, South African openers Janneman Malan and Quinton de Kock started steadily before losing 4 wickets for just 21 runs. At 44-4, the Proteas were reeling.
A 45-run partnership between Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller provided some hope. But Klaasen’s dismissal left it all on Miller, who was out for 43 to a superb delivery, clinching a famous Dutch win.
The cricket world has been stunned by the Netherlands’ monumental upset victory. It demonstrates that so-called “minnows” can compete with and conquer the sport’s elite teams on the biggest stage.