Pakistan beat Netherlands by 81 runs in a topsy-turvy World Cup opener at Hyderabad on Friday. The Netherlands bowled brilliantly in the first innings to restrict Pakistan to 286 in 49 overs, but the Pakistan bowlers responded in kind, bowling out the Dutch for just 205.
One peculiar moment from the match has been doing the rounds of social media: a picture of a Pakistan player fielding at the very edge of the boundary line, with the boundary rope seemingly moved behind him, making that part of the boundary a little longer.
It is unknown whether this was done intentionally by the player or if it was a result of a previous boundary save. Regardless, the picture soon went viral, with some social media users accusing the player of tampering with the boundary rope. It is more likely that the rope got moved a bit further when a fielder made a slide to stop the ball.
The Netherlands were paired against one of the favorites of the tournament, Pakistan, in their World Cup opener. The Dutch captain won the toss and elected to bat first. In a brilliant bowling display by the Netherlands bowlers, the Men in Green were bowled out with one over remaining for a score of 286. Saud Shakeel was the top scorer from the Pakistan side alongside Mohammad Rizwan, who both made 68 runs on a wicket that was a little difficult to bat on.
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The Netherlands, hoping to make an upset in the tournament, started well, with Vikramjit Singh making 52 off 67. However, wickets continued to fall from the other end, and despite a helping hand of 67 off 68 from Bas de Leede, the Dutch team were bowled out for a mere 205 runs, led by Haris Rauf.
The match was a topsy-turvy affair, with both teams playing well at times. The Netherlands bowled brilliantly in the first innings to restrict Pakistan to a manageable score, but their batting failed them in the second innings. Pakistan, on the other hand, batted poorly in the first innings but their bowlers made up for it in the second innings.
The match was also notable for the peculiar incident involving the boundary rope. It is unclear whether the Pakistan player intentionally moved the rope or whether it was an accident. However, the incident highlights the importance of fair play in cricket.