Cricket World Cup 2023: Out Of Semis Race, England Eye Champions Trophy Birth
Cricket World Cup 2023: With ICC Champions Trophy 2025 qualification at stake, defending champions England take on 9th placed Netherlands at the MCA Stadium in Pune.
We are in the final week of the league games in the 2023 ODI World Cup, and it is now time for match number 40, which sees England go up against the Netherlands at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune. The defending champions, England, have simply not turned up and are languishing at the bottom of the standings with a solitary win from their 7 games. Moreover, their net run rate is the worst of the 10 teams, which tells you a lot about how their title defence has been. They are in danger of losing out on a spot in the 2025 Champions Trophy, and they will need to win at least one of their remaining two games to stand a chance. In their last game against rivals Australia, an impressive bowling effort helped them keep Australia under 300, but no lack of support while chasing for Dawid Malan and Ben Stokes meant that they ended up on the losing side. In the batting department, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, and Jos Buttler have lacked rhythm, but they will be eager to end the competition on a high with a big score. With the ball, if it was David Willey against India, it was Chris Woakes against Australia who showed signs of improvement. When it comes to the spin department, Adil Rashid has single-handedly shouldered the responsibility, with 7 wickets to his name. On the other hand, the Netherlands have certainly punched above their weight and have shown that they have what it takes to compete with the Test-playing nations. Like England, the Netherlands are also in contention for a place in the Champions Trophy, but with their last league game against India, they will have to play extremely well in both games to finish in the top eight teams. The Netherlands come into this game on the back of a loss against Afghanistan in the previous encounter. After opting to bat first, a disappointing effort with the bat meant that they could only manage 179, which was never going to be enough against the Afghan batting unit. For the Dutch, Scott Edwards and Sybrand Engelbrecht have done the bulk of the scoring so far. However, their top order, comprising Max O'Dowd, Colin Ackermann, and Vikramjit Singh, has underperformed, which has been a cause for major concern. In the pace department, Logan van Beek and Paul van Meekeren have made the new ball talk and have accounted for 10 wickets each. Saqib Zulfiqar could not justify his selection in the last outing, but the senior spin duo of Aryan Dutt and Roelof van der Merwe have not disappointed in the tournament. There have been six previous ODI meetings between these two sides, with England winning all six of them. Will England manage to extend their dominance? Or will the Netherlands spring a surprise yet again in this edition? We will find out soon enough.
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