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2nd ODI, Rotterdam, August 18, 2022, Pakistan tour of Netherlands
(33.4/50 ov, T:187) 191/3

Pakistan won by 7 wickets (with 98 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match

Mohammad Nawaz, Haris Rauf set up easy win for Pakistan

After a tiny wobble, half-centuries from Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan and Agha Salman make short work of the 187-run chase to seal the series 2-0

Danyal Rasool
Danyal Rasool
Mohammad Nawaz was named Player of the Match for his 3 for 42  •  KNCB/Gerhard van der Laarse

Mohammad Nawaz was named Player of the Match for his 3 for 42  •  KNCB/Gerhard van der Laarse

Pakistan 191 for 3 (Rizwan 69*, Babar 57, Salman 50*, Kingma 2-32) beat Netherlands 186 (de Leede 89, Cooper 66, Rauf 3-16, Nawaz 3-42) by seven wickets
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. Wickets all around for every frontline Pakistan bowler hobbled Netherlands throughout their innings and skittled them out for 186 in 44.1 overs. 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 batting first on a used pitch, Netherlands found themselves under intense pressure straightaway. None of the inconsistent, lackadaisical bowling performance from the first game was on evidence from Pakistan as Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah emerged flying out of the blocks, reducing the home side to 8 for 3 inside four overs.
Vikramjit Singh was the first man to go, Naseem dragging one slightly back of a length that shaped away to take the outside edge. Max O'Dowd miscued a Rauf delivery to Babar at mid-off, before Wesley Barresi found his stumps knocked back for the second game in succession. He did consider playing a shot this time but left too large a gap between bat and pad, and watched his off stump battered once more.
For a while, 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. They didn't go into their shells, Cooper setting the tone immediately when he hooked Naseem behind the wicket for six in the sixth over, and smashed the final ball of that over through the leg side for another boundary. There was an element of fortune - and a rare sign of sloppiness from the Pakistan bowlers - in the same over, when Naseem had Cooper caught, only for the umpire to find he had overstepped.
Cooper then greeted Shadab Khan to the crease with a six in his first over and tonked Mohammad Wasim for three successive boundaries. De Leede was far more circumspect, his first boundary coming as late as his 51st ball, when he took on Mohammad Nawaz and cleared the rope. 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. Skipper Scott Edwards fell for 5, the first time he hasn't managed a half-century in five ODI innings, and Pakistan's bowlers were on top once more, de Leede watching helplessly on as the visitors ran through the other end.
With Netherlands nine down, de Leede threw caution to the wind. A six off Wasim indicated the shifting of gears, 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 in the slot - ostensibly a gift - he mistimed it to Fakhar Zaman at long-on, and Netherlands fell well short of par.
Pakistan's openers found the going rough early on once more, Aryan Dutt and Vivian Kingma tying Fakhar and Imam-ul Haq down early once more. This time, the home side ensured they removed the pair before any damage could be done, with Kingma's double-strike in the fourth over putting Pakistan under pressure. The fast bowler got one to rear off a length and grow big on Fakhar, who spooned it back to him, before Imam was caught at point driving on the up.
A score similar to the one Netherlands posted in the first ODI might have piled the pressure on, but 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.
Mohammad Yousuf, Pakistan's batting coach, might have been glad for the middle order to get some much-needed practice, but Babar was determined to break the back of the chase first. While Rizwan, perhaps short of confidence in this format, 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, with the following passage of play likely Pakistan's most satisfying.
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. With 12 to win, he struck ten off the first three balls of the 34th over. Needing a six to get to his half-century, he slapped Kingma over long-on for a colossal six to bring it, and Pakistan's series victory, up in style.

Danyal Rasool is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000

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