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Paul van Meekeren delivers for Netherlands 3 years after delivering food, Dutch pacer's old post goes viral

It was a day that will remain etched in the Netherlands cricket team's history forever. The Dutch not only notched up their first win in the ICC Cricket World Cup after 16 years but beat a full-member nation for the first time in the tournament as South Africa suffered a shock loss.

Edited By: Anshul Gupta @oyegupta_ New Delhi Updated on: October 18, 2023 11:23 IST
Paul van Meekeren was one of the stars for the Netherlands
Image Source : KNCB CRICKET TWITTER Paul van Meekeren was one of the stars for the Netherlands with the ball against South Africa in Dharamsala

Two new batters, who smashed tons earlier in the tournament in the same match, trying to find their feet and start a rescue operation and Paul van Meekeran runs in, pitches on short of a good length on off and middle. The ball stayed low and the man with the fastest World Cup century in history, Aiden Markram is castled. Van Meekeran is jubilant, soon is teammates joined him as the Netherlands started smelling something special was on the cards. And that something special happened as the Netherlands handed South Africa yet another heartbreak in a World Cup, this time in the ODI version in Dharamsala on Tuesday, October 17.

After captain, Scott Edwards' unbeaten 78 off 69 balls and cameos from Roelof van der Merwe and Aryan Dutt helped the Dutch get to 245 runs in 43 overs, the bowlers were made an instant impact as South Africa couldn't get through the powerplay unscathed this time with the Netherlands exploiting match-ups to the fullest. Off-spinner Colin Ackermann got the left-hander, left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe got the right-hander before Van Meekeran and Co. did their thing.

Van Meekeran was one of the stars for the Netherlands amid a superlative bowling show as not only dismissed the in-form Aiden Markram but also broke the frustrating partnership between David Miller and Marco Jansen by getting rid of the latter. Logan van Beek ended up taking three wickets too as the Netherlands won by 38 runs. It was an unforgettable day for the Dutch and the players, who have had to resort to side jobs to keep their livelihoods going.

Van Meekeran, who has been a regular part of the Dutch squad now, had tweeted in November 2020 when he was working for an online food delivery app, that he should have been playing cricket then as the T20 World Cup had been postponed to 2021 owing to COVID-19. Now after his performance in Dharamsala on Tuesday, the post has gone viral with IPL teams, cricketers and fans giving life lessons about not giving up.

"Should’ve been playing cricket today now I’m delivering Uber Eats to get through the winter months!! Funny how things change hahaha keep smiling people," van Meekeran had said.

Among many to amplify his old post was former India batter and the current NCA head VVS Laxman, who said, "What an incredible story the Dutch have written for themselves. Shows once again that “Never give up and keep chasing your dreams”."

Here are some reactions:

Netherlands' win has further thrown the tournament wide open following Afghanistan's win against England as five teams have now two points in three matches.

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