Nawaz, Rauf set up easy 7-wicket win

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An all-round performance from Pakistan ensured there wouldn’t be a repeat of the nervy finish of the first ODI, crushing Netherlands by seven wickets to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

Only a 109-run partnership between Bas de Leede and Tom Cooper demonstrated any fightback, but aside from that, just one man – and two partnerships – managed to get out of the single digits.

The early loss of the openers gave Pakistan a small scare, but half-centuries from Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan put them back on course, before a brisk cameo from Agha Salman applied the finishing touch, Pakistan getting home with 16.2 overs to spare.

Winning the toss and opting to bat, Netherlands found themselves under intense pressure straightaway. Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah emerged flying out of the blocks, reducing the home side to 8 for 3 inside four overs.

Cooper and de Leede gave Netherlands hope that those early wickets were not much more than a rocky start, setting their side back on course nicely and didn’t go into their shells. Cooper greeted Shadab Khan with a six in his first over and tonked Mohammad Wasim for three successive boundaries.

De Leede was far more circumspect, but with the run rate improving and the partnership ticking past 100, Netherlands appeared to be back on track for the score they might have aimed for at the start.

But Nawaz removed Cooper with the tamest of dismissals as the batter scooped one back to him, and the rot set in once more and Pakistan’s bowlers were on top, while de Leede watched helplessly on.

With Netherlands nine down, de Leede threw caution to the wind and shifted gears. A six off Wasim and another six and four in the following over briefly raised hopes he might actually get to three figures. But, when on 89, Rauf offered him a slower delivery which he mistimed to Fakhar Zaman at long-on.

Pakistan’s openers found the going rough early on once more, this time Aryan Dutt and Vivian Kingma ensured Fakhar and Imam-ul Haq were removed before any damage could be done, putting Pakistan under pressure.

With just 187 to chase, there was little reason for the experienced Babar and Rizwan to panic. The early fire was seen off cautiously and Pakistan soon began to wrest back total control.

While Rizwan struggled to get out of the blocks early, Babar eased to yet another half-century, his eighth 50-plus score in nine innings. When his miscue found de Leede at midwicket, it brought Salman to the crease.

In just his second ODI, he understood the value of this opportunity, looking to go on the attack from the outset. Rizwan gained more confidence and upped his scoring rate as the jeopardy of the game ebbed away, but it was Salman who took the lead role.

Brief Scores:

Netherlands: 186 (de Leede 89, Cooper 66, Rauf 3-16, Nawaz 3-42)

Pakistan: 191/3 (Rizwan 69*, Babar 57, Salman 50*, Kingma 2-32)

(Agencies)