|Scorecard:||England v Netherlands|
|Player:||RS Bopara, LJ Wright, JM Anderson, DP Nannes, RN ten Doeschate, PW Borren, TN de Grooth|
|Event:||ICC World Twenty20 2009|
DateLine: 5th June 2009
The overthrow that gave Netherlands a sensational win in the first game of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup was pretty deserved. You cannot miss the stumps five times in less than five overs, from distance ranging from five feet to two inches in a crunch situation, as England did, and still expect to win.
For the Dutch however, it was by far the best moment in their cricketing history as they held their nerves even as the odds grew, running England ragged and out of the game, as they clambered past the difficult target of 162 with four wickets and little else to spare.
The chaos of the rain in the afternoon, which forced the cancellation of the opening ceremony, graduated to suspense as the rain kept up its constant wet reminder, with Duckworth-Lewis looming.
It was an incredible chase, since 162 one would have thought was way past the Dutchmen’s league, especially as they lost Alexei Kervezee almost immediately. But the giant Darron Reekers set the pace, hitting two sixes, which were two more than what England hit in their entire innings.
But the middle-order, especially man of the match Tom de Grooth, made the difference. He hammered 49 runs off just 30 runs with six boundaries and a six was worth its weight in gold. His stand with Peter Borren, worth 40 crucial runs and then the stand between Borren and Ryan ten Doeschate really turned the screws on England.
At one stage, it did look like England’s experience would decide the issue, but they seemed to feel the nerves more then the Dutch, missing the stumps repeatedly and dropping two crucial catches, giving ten Doeschate two lives, which were enough as he guided Edgar Schiferli and Holland over the line.
Earlier, the England batsmen seemed to have gone in with ambitions to absolutely clatter the Dutch bowlers out of the competition but they fell rather short of their target of getting close to 200.
This kind of a total looked likely as Ravi Bopara and Luke Wright went about the job of gathering runs with competence and occasional flourish. Wright however, with his classic bludgeoning style, missed as many as he hit.
This combined with some decent fielding from rivals and surprisingly long boundaries ensured that the big hits almost invariably found fielder, or fell well short of the ropes, which explained the lack of any sixes in the innings, despite Wright’s best efforts.
Bopara on the other hand was his efficient best. He has struck a rich vein of form, and the Indian Premier League seemed to have helped him immensely to get going in the shorter version. He has also taken to the opening slot like duck to water.
The opening stand was worth 102 runs but the Dutch bowlers stuck to their job, not losing heart. Dirk Nannes was fiercely fast but all the rest were largely military medium or less. But they tried to be as accurate as they could and that, combined with the slowness off the pitch, made scoring just a shade more difficult.
Once Bopara fell, the English batsmen were not quite able to capitalise and even Wright seemed to lose steam as the score fell short of being massive. Given that these two had scored 102 runs off 11.2 overs, surely England would be expecting more than 162 runs.
The Dutch held their catches and would, at the end of the innings, be happy not to be completely crushed.