In the most exciting finish of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 to date, England have narrowly defeated The Netherlands by 6 wickets – with only 8 balls remaining – at Nagpur.
After being set a score of 292 for 6 from 50 overs by the Dutch, on a fairly benign wicket, England produced an early and a late flurry of runs which meant England won by six wickets, albeit with only a handful of deliveries remaining.
The run chase became the third highest ever in the tournament’s history in the process, as Ravi Bopara (30 from 20 deliveries) collected two fours in succession to cross the line with England on 296 for 4 wickets.
England were forced to produce such heroics with the bat after their front-line bowling attack made difficult work of removing the Netherlands’ batsmen, with ten Doeschate (119) in particular in sparkling form.
James Anderson who went for 72 runs from his 10 overs, without collecting a wicket, was the most culpable of the England attack, though Stuart Broad – while he collected two wickets – was also a little costly in going for 65 runs from his maximum 10.
The ever-tight lines bowled by Bresnan, who got one wicket for 49 runs, and Graeme Swann, who was best of the day with 2 for 35 from 10, looked more like the sort of limited-overs bowling one would expect from one of the tournament favourites.
But the story of the Dutch innings – and the match – was certainly the 119 scored by ten Doeschate, who hit 9 fours and 3 sixes from 110 deliveries, before being caught by Bopara from Broad, with much damage done, en route to his side collecting 292 for 6.
With the ball, it was ten Doeschate, again, who excelled for The Netherlands, as he took 2 wickets for 47 runs off 10 overs – better than all but one of the English bowling attack had managed.
Kevin Pietersen (39 from 61 deliveries) and Andrew Strauss (88 from 83 deliveries) made up an interesting England opening partnership, though KP made heavy weather of his new position, and regularly took the strike from his more comfortable-looking captain.
Pietersen was first out with the score on 105, caught Borren from the bowling of Seelaar.
This brought Jonathan Trott (62 from 65 deliveries) to the crease, and the run-rate began to climb once more, though Trott did not get a boundary for a long period of time.
With Andrew Strauss looking in good shape to steer England to victory, he fell caught Cooper bowled Bukhari, with the score on 166.
Ian Bell (33 from 40 deliveries) then came in and the Warwickshire pairing of Trott and Bell set about keeping the scoreboard ticking through the middle of the innings, though neither was playing with any fluency, and boundaries were proving hard to come by.
Trott then went (stumped from the bowling of ten Doeschate) before Bell soon followed him, clean bowled by that man ten Doeschate. The score was 241 for 4. The run rate required was creeping over 8 per over.
Cue Collingwood – who has been out of form of late – and Bopara – who has moved up and down the order looking for a place to make his own – to come in and, following a slow-ish start, steady the ship, before adding the required runs with some deft shots.
Both collingwood and Bopara made 30 Not Out, though it took Collingwood 23 deliveries to Bopara’s 20, England did not require the power of Matt Prior to get things finished.
The scoreboard ticked past the Netherlands’ total with 48.4 overs bowled – eight balls were left in what had proved to be the best match yet seen in ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.
England have India next – if they bowl with the wayward lack of desire demonstrated today, it is difficult to imagine Sehwag and Tendulkar doing anything other than filling their respective boots.
The Netherlands, fresh from this solid performance, will hope to get a more positive outcome from their next match, though their task is no less difficult than today’s: they face the West Indies.
England v Netherlands – ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 Scorecard
|Netherlands 1st Innings||Runs||Balls||4s||6s|
|Kervezee||c Prior||b Bresnan||16||25||2||0|
|Barresi||st Prior||b Swann||29||25||6||0|
|Cooper||c Anderson||b Collingwood||47||73||3||0|
|ten Doeschate||c Bopara||b Broad||119||110||9||3|
|Zuiderent||c Collingwood||b Swann||1||10||0||0|
|de Grooth||b Broad||28||31||3||0|
|Extras||3nb 2w 3b 3lb||11|
|Total||for 6||292||(50.0 ovs)|
|England 1st Innings||Runs||Balls||4s||6s|
|Strauss||c Cooper||b Bukhari||88||83||9||0|
|Pietersen||c Borren||b Seelaar||39||61||5||0|
|Trott||st Barresi||b ten Doeschate||62||65||4||0|
|Bell||b ten Doeschate||33||40||1||0|
|Extras||11w 1b 2lb||14|
|Total||for 4||296||(48.4 ovs)|