The Netherlands‘ skipper, Scott Edwards, called his team’s remarkable win over South Africa in the ICC World Cup on Tuesday as a significant achievement, while Proteas’ captain Temba Bavuma acknowledged that the 38-run defeat would be a painful setback.
South Africa, chasing a target of 246 in a rain-shortened 43-over match following Edwards’ crucial unbeaten 78, were eventually dismissed for 207.

“Proud of the group. Putting in that performance and being able to play my part is nice,” said Edwards after the Dutch team’s first win of this tournament after two consecutive defeats.

“When we came into the tournamentm we wanted to have a chance at playing the semi-finals and if you want to do that you’ve got to beat teams.Obviously South Africa are probably one of the favourites the way they are playing, so it is a big win for us.”
The Dutch secured only their third World Cup victory, having previously defeated Namibia in 2003 and Scotland in 2007. Tuesday’s triumph marked their first-ever win over a Test-playing nation in the 50-over showpiece.

Notably, the Netherlands had previously surprised South Africa in the Twenty20 World Cup held in Adelaide last November.
Edwards praised the pivotal role played by all-rounder Roelof van der Merwe, who had represented South Africa in 13 ODIs before joining the Dutch team.
The 38-year-old Van der Merwe played a significant role in their victory, contributing a brisk 29 runs from 19 balls, which included three fours and a six. He and Edwards combined for a crucial 64-run partnership for the eighth wicket, rescuing the Dutch from a precarious position at 112-6.
Furthermore, the experienced Van der Merwe also made an impact with the ball, as he recorded figures of 2-34, dismissing SA skipper Bavuma and the dangerous Rassie van der Dussen.

“He is good fun to bat with. He runs hard and hits it in quite strange areas, which is good to watch and I’m sure it is from the outside as well,” said Edwards while talking highly of tail-ender Aryan Dutt, who scored 23 from nine balls, including three sixes.
“I just got him on strike. He was just clearing the ropes. It is some of the best hitting I have seen in a long time, especially from a number 10. He has got the talent and it was awesome to see,” said the captain.
South Africa entered Tuesday’s match with a strong momentum, having secured convincing victories against Sri Lanka and the five-time champions, Australia. However, their fortunes took a sharp turn as they lost key players, including Quinton de Kock, Aiden Markram and Van der Dussen, all of whom had notched centuries in their previous match against Sri Lanka.

Their early dismissal left South Africa struggling at 44-4, and from thereon, their primary focus shifted to trying to play out their overs in an attempt to minimize the damage to their net run-rate.
“Credit to them, they exploited some weaknesses in our game,” said Bavuma.
South Africa gave away 32 extras, which included 21 wides.
“We were clinical against Australia but the challenge is always to come back and replicate it. The extras is something we can control and giving away 30 extras is an extra five overs and it will always cost. It is something for us to talk about. In the end it cost us quite a bit.”

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Bavuma added: “We’ll have to let the emotion seep in. There is no point trying to forget what happened. It will hurt and it should hurt. Tomorrow we’ll get back on the journey, our campaign is by no means over.”
(With AFP inputs)

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