ICC World Cup: In European faceoff, England beat Netherlands by 160 runs

The defending champions will take on Pakistan in their last match in Kolkata

ben-stokes-in-action-in-icc-world-cup-reuters Ben Stokes in action against Netherlands | Reuters

Ben Stokes's century was well complemented by the bowlers as England cantered to a 160-run win over the Netherlands in Pune on Wednesday to stay in the hunt for a place in the 2025 Champions Trophy in Pakistan.

Though England and Netherlands are out of reckoning for the semifinals, the contest between the two lowest-placed sides gains significance when it comes to qualifying for the Champions Trophy as only the top seven teams from the ongoing showpiece will qualify for the event.

England's batting finally clicked as they posted 339 for 9 and then the bowlers did the rest, dismissing Netherlands for 179 in 37.2 overs.

The win took England to the seventh spot in the points table on account of better run rate.

The defending champions will take on Pakistan in their last match in Kolkata on Saturday.

Opting to bat, Stokes (108 off 83) initially provided the stability in the middle before opening up towards the end, while David Malan (87 off 74) got England off to a flier with his breezy knock during which he hit 10 fours and two sixes to power England to 339 for nine.

Stokes struck six fours and as many hits over the fence, while Chris Woakes too did his bit with a 45-ball 51.

Chasing a huge target of 340, Netherlands lost their first wicket in the fifth over when Max O'Dowd gave a simple catch to Moeen Ali at mid-on off the bowling of Chris Woakes.

In the next over, Netherlands were two down when Colin Ackermann nicked a David Willey delivery to Jos Buttler behind the stumps.

Wesley Barresi (37) and Sybrand Engelbrecht (33) tried their best to stabilise the chase with a 55-run stand for the third wicket before Baressi was run out.

Engelbrecht was then holed out by Woakes at mid-on to hand Willey his second wicket of the day, while Bas de Leede played on an Adil Rashid delivery.

Willey dropped Teja Nidamanuru (41 not out off 34) at mid-on off Atkinson in 27th over and the batter grabbed the life with both hands, clobbering Adil Rashid and Atkinson for two huge sixes over mid-on and square-leg boundary in consecutive overs.

Netherlands skipper Scott Edwards and Nidamanuru then shared 59 runs for the sixth wicket before the former gave a simple catch to Willey at mid-off of Ali's bowling.

Thereafter, Netherlands wickets fell like nine pins as they were bowled out for 179 in 37.2 overs.

Earlier, Malan looked at his attacking best as he flicked and drove Logan van Beek for three consecutive boundaries in the second over. He continued his onslaught against spinner Aryan Dutt (2/67), sending him through the covers and gully for two more boundaries in the next over.

Boundaries came thick and fast for England as the next over from Logan Van Beek also witnessed two hits to the fence -- one each from Malan and Jonny Bairstow.

Netherlands had their first success in the final ball of the seventh over in the form of Bairstow, who was holed out by Paul Van Meekeren off the bowling of Dutt at backward square-leg.

But the dismissal hardly had any effect on Malan as he picked up three more fours from van Beek in the next over to take England to 70 for one in 10 overs.

Malan, in the process, brought up his fifty in 37 balls with the help of 10 hits to the fence.

Malan and Joe Root then played cautiously to take the innings forward before the former hit the first six of the innings, clobbering Roelof van der Merwe over square leg boundary.

An over later, Malan once again launched another attack on van der Merwe, dispatching him over midwicket boundary.

But two wickets in consecutive overs halted England's charge.

First Root was cleaned up by van Beek in the 21st over as the batter went for a reverse scoop and then Malan was run out in the next over with England slumping to 139 for three in 22 overs.

Harry Brook didn't last long as he pulled a short delivery from Bas de Leede (3/74) to Colin Ackermann at deep square-leg as Netherlands pulled things back.

England skipper Jos Buttler's torrid time continued as he was holed out at mid-off by Teja Nidamanuru off van Meekeren soon.

But Stokes was in ominous form as he first took time to settle down and then unleashed his brute power towards the end to hammer the Dutch bowlers to all parts of the ground.

Dutch spinners pulled things back in the middle overs as from 133 for two, England slumped to 192 for six by the 36th over after the dismissal of Moeen Ali.

But Stokes and Woakes had other plans as they shared 129 runs for the seventh wicket to take England past the 300-run mark.

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