Home Sports ODI World Cup digest: Saud stars for Pakistan; Dharamsala-Delhi double; Gill in doubt

ODI World Cup digest: Saud stars for Pakistan; Dharamsala-Delhi double; Gill in doubt

ODI World Cup digest: Saud stars for Pakistan; Dharamsala-Delhi double; Gill in doubt


The Men’s 2023 ODI World Cup is underway in India and will run from October 5 until November 19. Each morning we will round up the latest action and news from the event and bring you insights from our reporters on the ground.

Top Story: Saud Shakeel gets Pakistan off the mark despite Bas de Leede heroics

Pakistan 286 (Rizwan 68, Shakeel 68, de Leede 4-62) beat Netherlands 205 (de Leede 67, Singh 52, Rauf 3-43) by 81 runs

It wasn’t the perfect performance but, at the moment, good enough will do for Pakistan, and good enough is exactly what they achieved. In a staccato showing where bursts of inspiration were interspersed with spells of shaky mediocrity, Babar Azam’s side eventually eased to an 81-run win over the Netherlands despite Bas de Leede‘s all-round heroics. The 23-year-old allrounder was at times a one-man bulwark against Pakistan, but thanks to fifties from Saud Shakeel and Mohammad Rizwan, Pakistan managed 286. Pakistan had enough bowling firepower to overwhelm Netherlands, with Haris Rauf blowing the game open through the middle overs and always leaving the game just out of Dutch hands.

Match analysis: Pakistan go Saud to find middle-order fix

Until recently – that is, until very recently – Saud Shakeel was perceived to be a one-format batter. He had cracked Tests, but on Friday in Hyderabad, he walked in to bat with Pakistan tottering at 38 for 3 in their World Cup opening game, which was only his seventh ODI. It’s far from the ideal scenario he had hoped to have come in at.

Yet, it was an opportunity to prove his batting chops by walking the tightrope. Counterpunching isn’t part of most batting DNAs in such situations, most definitely not if you are on World Cup debut. This is why Shakeel’s knock, a stroke-filled 52-ball 68, was refreshing.

At 28, he would know the challenges late bloomers like him face – for one, fewer chances of comebacks if you mess up. To recalibrate to the demands of his role in such a high-stakes environment spoke volumes about his clarity and calmness.

Must Watch: Wasim Jaffa and Dale Steyn were impressed by Netherlands’ performance2>

News headlines

  • England fast bowler Mark Wood refused to blame England’s limited preparations for their chastening nine-wicket defeat to New Zealand in Ahmedabad and said they will show their “resilience” when they play Bangladesh in Dharamsala next week.
  • Match preview

    Afghanistan vs Bangladesh, Dharamsala (10.30am IST; 6am GMT; 4pm AEDT)

    Afghanistan have been hot on Bangladesh’s heels for the better part of the last decade. This year alone, they are locked at 2-2 after Afghanistan won the bilateral ODI series in Chattogram 2-1, but later Bangladesh beat them by a handsome margin in the Asia Cup. The two sets of players respect each other. There’s bonhomie. But the gloves will be off in the World Cup opener for the two sides in Dharamsala on Saturday.

    Bangladesh are coming off a 2-0 series defeat against New Zealand at home, having also won just two games in the Asia Cup, where they couldn’t make the final. Off the field, there has been high drama after Shakib Al Hasan blasted Tamim Iqbal on the day Bangladesh left for India for the World Cup.

    Team news

    Afghanistan (probable): 1 Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), 2 Ibrahim Zadran, 3 Rahmat Shah, 4 Hashmatullah Shahidi (capt), 5 Mohammad Nabi, 6 Najibullah Zadran, 7 Azmatullah Omarzai, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Naveen-ul-Haq, 10 Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 11 Fazalhaq Farooqi

    Bangladesh (probable): 1 Tanzid Hasan, 2 Litton Das, 3 Najmul Hossain Shanto, 4 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 5 Towhid Hridoy, 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 7 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 8 Nasum Ahmed/Mahedi Hasan, 9 Taskin Ahmed, 10 Shoriful Islam, 11 Hasan Mahmud

    Match preview

    South Africa vs Sri Lanka, Delhi (2pm IST; 8.30am GMT; 6.30pm AEDT)

    Sri Lanka could hardly have picked a tougher opponent to face first up at the World Cup than South Africa. The Sri Lankans come into this game with big question marks over their batting and have an injury-weakened bowling attack; South Africa, in contrast, seem to be a well-oiled machine, primed for the flat tracks this World Cup is expected to offer.

    Where South Africa might have some concerns is in their bowling. With Anrich Nortje and Sisanda Magala ruled out with injury, they are lacking a bit of bite up front and at the death. Then, in the spin department, too, with just Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi available, their options are not as varied as is the case with some other teams (such as Sri Lanka). But they more than make up for this with a batting line-up in fine fettle.

    Team news

    South Africa (probable XI): 1 Temba Bavuma (capt), 2 Quinton de Kock (wk), 3 Rassie van der Dussen, 4 Aiden Markram, 5 Heinrich Klaasen, 6 David Miller, 7 Marco Jansen, 8 Gerald Coetzee, 9 Andile Phelukwayo/Tabraiz Shamsi, 10 Keshav Maharaj, 11 Kagiso Rabada

    Sri Lanka (probable XI): 1 Kusal Perera, 2 Pathum Nissanka, 3 Kusal Mendis (wk), 4 Sadeera Samarawickrama, 5 Charith Asalanka, 6 Dhananjaya de Silva, 7 Dasun Shanaka (capt), 8 Dunith Wellalage, 9 Dushan Hemantha, 10 Dilshan Madushanka, 11 Lahiru Kumara


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