The Netherlands’ victory over South Africa in the 2023 Cricket World Cup campaign is nothing short of a fairytale story. Scott Edwards’ men successfully defended their 245-run total in a rain-affected match on Tuesday and showed what they can do against one of the best teams in the world. South Africa, who were undefeated in the tournament so far, were simply outmatched by the passion the Dutch players showed on the field in Dharamsala. The result also prompted former Netherlands coach Ryan Campbell to give a fitting response to those who called his former team ‘Little Guys’.
Campbell has been the head coach of the Netherlands since taking over in January 2017. However, in May 2022, Ryan Cook replaced Campbell after the latter had to be hospitalized due to cardiac arrest.
Campbell was elated on Tuesday as he watched his former side set the World Cup on fire with their performance against the Proteas.
“To all the cricket fans who still don’t want “Little Guys” at the @cricketworldcup, I hope you enjoyed today,” he wrote on X (formerly Twitter).
— Ryan Campbell (@cambo_19) October 17, 2023
“We go into every game with our plans and our ways in which we are going to try to win the game. For us, it’s about playing our best brand of cricket and we feel if we play well enough on the day, we can do that. beat any side,” Dutch captain Scott Edwards said at the post-match press conference.
It was also the Netherlands’ third 50-over World Cup victory and the first in 16 years. They recorded their first win against Namibia during the 2003 edition in South Africa. Their second win was against Scotland in the 2007 edition in the West Indies.
The Netherlands reached the main tournament in India through the qualifying round and Edwards said his team had not come here just to make up numbers.
“Yes, absolutely. I think after qualifying we set our sights quite quickly on what we wanted to do at this tournament. We didn’t just come here to have fun and enjoy it. We’re here to win cricket matches. and giving ourselves the best chance to reach the next stage,” Edwards said.
“South Africa are obviously a very strong team and they will be close to that semi-final place. So if we want to be among them, we have to beat teams like this,” said the 27-year-old wicketkeeper.
With PTI inputs
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