New Delhi: England, the defending champions of the World Cup, finally registered a convincing win over the Netherlands by 160 runs in their eighth match of the tournament. Ben Stokes was the hero of the match, scoring a brilliant century with the bat and taking two wickets with the ball. England, who had already been knocked out of the semi-final race, salvaged some pride with this victory.
England won the toss and opted to bat first on a flat pitch at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi. However, they lost Jonny Bairstow early, who continued his poor form in the tournament. David Malan then took charge and played a splendid knock of 87 runs off 74 balls, hitting 10 fours and four sixes. He shared a 136-run partnership with Stokes, who was in sublime touch.
Malan was unlucky to be run out in the 28th over, but Stokes carried on and reached his third ODI hundred in 79 balls. He was well supported by Chris Woakes, who scored a quick-fire 50 off 36 balls. Stokes was eventually dismissed for 108 off 84 balls, with six fours and six sixes. England posted a mammoth total of 339 for 7 in 50 overs.
The Netherlands, who had stunned Afghanistan in their previous match, were never in the chase. They lost wickets at regular intervals and were reduced to 86 for 6 in the 20th over. The spinners did the damage for England, with Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali taking three wickets each. Captain Scott Edwards and Teja Nidamanuru showed some resistance and scored 52 and 41 respectively, but it was too little too late. Stokes also chipped in with two wickets, while Mark Wood and Sam Curran took one each. The Netherlands were bowled out for 179 in 40.3 overs, giving England a huge win by 160 runs.
England has now won two matches out of eight in the World Cup, losing to India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. They will play their last match against Pakistan, who are still in contention for the semi-finals. It remains to be seen whether England can spoil Pakistan’s party or not.