Images from the ICC World Cup match between England and the Netherlands, at the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium, in Pune, on Wednesday.
Ben Stokes’s attacking century after Dawid Malan explosive knock at the top powered England to an easy 160 runs victory over the Netherlands in their penultimate World Cup match in Pune on Wednesday.
Opting to bat, England posted 339 for 9 and then returned to bowl out the Dutch for 179 in 37.2 overs to keep their Championships Trophy qualification hopes alive.
With both teams out of the reckoning for a semi-finals berth, the contest between the two lowest-placed teams was of significance in qualifying for the 2025 Champions Trophy, as only the top seven in the ongoing showpiece make it to the event.
In reply, Teja Nidamanuru (41 not out) was the Netherlands' top scorer, while Wesley Barresi (37), Sybrand Engelbrecht (33), Scott Edwards (38) failed to capitalise on good starts.
The spin duo of Adil Rashid (3/54) and Moeen Ali (3/42) took three wickets each as the defending champions posted only their second victory in the tournament.
Stokes (108 off 83) initially provided the stability in the middle before opening up towards the end, while Malan (87 off 74) got England off to a flier. During his breezy knock he hit 10 fours and 2 sixes.
Stokes struck six fours and as many hits over the fence even as Chris Woakes did his bit with a 45-ball 51, which included 5 fours and a six.
Jonny Bairstow and Malan got England off to a brisk start after they elected to bat. Malan, in particular, 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 Bairstow.
The Netherlands had their first success off the final ball of the seventh over in the form of Bairstow, who was caught by Paul Van Meekeren off the bowling of Dutt, at backward square-leg.
But the dismissal hardly had any effect on Malan. He slammed three more fours off van Beek in the next over to take England to 70 for 1 in 10 overs.
In the process Malan brought up his fifty off 37 balls, with the help of 10 hits to the fence.
He 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 again launched another attack on van der Merwe, dispatching him over the mid-wicket 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; then Malan was run-out in the next over and England slumped to 139 for 3 in 22 overs.
Harry Brook did not 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 caught at mid-off by Teja Nidamanuru off van Meekeren soon after.
The Dutch spinners did well in the middle overs as from 133 for 2, England slumped to 192 for 6 by the 36th after the dismissal of Moeen Ali.
However, Stokes and Woakes had other plans. Together they shared 129 runs for the seventh wicket to take England past the 300-run mark.
Chasing the huge target, the Dutch 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, the 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, the Netherlands’ wickets fell in a heap.