Dutch ready to ‘beat any side’ after win over Proteas
We weren’t coming here just to have fun and enjoy it: skipper Scott Edwards
THE Netherlands are confident they “can beat any side” after a shock win over South Africa, with skipper Scott Edwards eyeing a spot in the World Cup semi-finals.
The Dutch stunned South Africa by 38 runs in a rain-reduced 43-overs-a-side contest in Dharamsala on Tuesday (17) for their first win over a Test-playing nation at cricket’s 50-over showpiece event.
Edwards led from the front with an unbeaten 78 to steer the Orange army – ranked 14th in men’s ODIs – to 245-8 before they bowled out third-placed South Africa for 207.
“I suppose we go into every game with our plans and our ways that we’re going to try and win the game,” Edwards told reporters after the win.
“For us, it’s just about playing our best brand of cricket and we feel like if we play well enough on the day, we can beat any side.”
The Dutch, whose only World Cup wins have come over Namibia in 2003 and Scotland in 2007, beat a South African team coming off big wins over Sri Lanka and five-time winners Australia.
But Tuesday was not the first time they have shocked South Africa at a global event, having bested the Proteas at last year’s T20 World Cup.
The win has moved them up one spot from the bottom to ninth in the 10-team World Cup table, with the top four advancing to the semi-finals.
“South Africa is obviously a very strong side and they’ll be close to that semi-final spot. If we want to be amongst it, we’ve got to beat sides like this,” Edwards said.
“I think after qualifying we were pretty quick to set our minds to what we wanted to do at this tournament,” he added.
“We weren’t coming here just to have fun and enjoy it. We’re here to win games of cricket and give ourselves the best chance to make that next stage.”
The Netherlands and former champions Sri Lanka joined the top eight teams in this edition of the ODI World Cup through the qualifiers.
South Africa coach Rob Walter said the loss was a harsh reminder that there were no easy games at the competition.
“As I said before the World Cup started, I don’t think there’s any weak team in this tournament,” he said.
“And if you’re not switched on and you don’t win the key moments in the game, you find yourself on the wrong side of the result. We learned that today.”
The 13th edition of the ODI World Cup had already seen a major upset on Sunday (15) when Afghanistan shocked defending champions England.
South Africa, who are third on the World Cup table led by hosts India, will play England at the weekend in Mumbai.
Walters said the team would discuss their shortcomings before the next match.
“Look, I mean, obviously we’ll sit and do a proper dissection of the game, but for me it’s really what do you take from this game that makes you better next game,” he said.
“And that’s ultimately the question we ask ourselves after every game. Win or lose, what are the lessons that we take and how do we use those to be better next time round.”