There’s no stopping Pakistan captain Babar Azam. He is breaking world records for fun this year. In the first ODI against the Netherlands on Tuesday, Babar Azam broke South Africa great Hashim Amla’s record for the most runs in ODIs after 88 innings. Babar, who struggled to get going in the early part of his innings, shifted gears wonderfully to register yet another fine half-century. Babar was all set for a hundred when he miscued one to be dismissed for 74. The stylish right-hander now has 4516 runs to his name at an average of 59.42 in 88 innings. Amla had 4473 runs after batting in the exact number of innings.
Pakistan won the toss and chose to bat first. Only at 3-0 after four overs, it got worse for the visitors at 10-1 in six overs following Vivian Kingma’s maiden wicket which claimed Imam-ul-Haq (2) leg before wicket on referral by the Netherlands.
Opener Fakhar Zaman led the recovery with 109 runs in 109 balls, including 12 fours and a six, before he was run out. Zaman and captain Babar Azam (74 in 85) shared a 168-run partnership for the second wicket, and Shadab Khan later smashed a 28-ball 48 not out as Pakistan posted a challenging total of 314-6.
The Dutch let themselves though down in the field and dropped several catches, Kingma notably fumbling a crucial high ball to hand Zaman a lifeline when he was on 43.
Batting second, the Dutch lost hard-hitting Max O’Dowd in the second over lbw to ODI debutant Naseem Shah (3-51), with a fast ball nipping back onto his pads.
Shah struck again later in the innings, dismissing Teja Nidamanuru, who dragged a delivery onto his stumps, and then trapping Pringle leg before for a golden duck.
Fellow quick Haris Rauf (3-67) claimed the important scalp of the veteran Cooper, who made 65 off 54 deliveries.
Cooper and 19-year-old Vikramjit Singh (65) put together a 97-run stand to steady the Dutch innings.
Edwards then took bat to ball and with three overs left, the Dutch required 48 runs off 24 deliveries.
Despite Edwards’ heroic knock of 71 off 60 balls the Dutch fell agonizingly short.
(With agency input)