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Netherlands shock England in World T20 opener

Last updated on: June 06, 2009 02:43 IST

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Hosts England suffered an embarrassing upset in the opening match of the World T20 tournament, losing to the Netherlands by four wickets at Lord's on Friday.

Chasing England's competitive score of 162 for 5, the Dutch were home off the last delivery of the match following an overthrow that fetched them two runs.

The 500-1 tournament outsiders batted with spirit and initiative while England panicked in the field, missing several run-out chances in treacherous conditions after light drizzle had forced the opening ceremony to be cancelled.

Seven runs were needed from the final over bowled by Stuart Broad and two from the last delivery.

Edgar Schiferli got his bat to ball off the last delivery and set off for a run, even as the ball travelled to the bowler. Broad did well to collect and hurl the ball at the stumps at the bowler's end, but missed and the batsmen raced for two to secure a famous victory.

It was man of the match Tom De Grooth who led the Netherlands' run chase, scoring 49 from 30 deliveries, inclusive of six fours and one of his team's four sixes. He was well-supported by Ryan ten Doeschate, who scored an unbeaten 22 off 17 balls, inclusive of two fours.

None of the England batsmen could clear the boundary.

Earlier, Luke Wright hit a blazing 71 and shared a 102-run opening partnership with Ravi Bopara (46), but England's lack of power hitters was exposed after Bopara departed and only 38 runs were scored off the last five overs.

Put in to bat, openers Bopara and Wright laid a strong foundation for a big score but England, without the services of former captain Kevin Pietersen, who had to sit out of the match because of an Achilles injury, lost quick wickets and the plot in the end.

Once Bopara was dismissed in the 12th over, England struggled to forge partnerships. While their first 100 runs was raised in 11 overs, they could score just 62 runs in the subsequent overs.

Ryan ten Doeschate, who dismissed both Bopara and Wright, was the most successful bowler for the Netherlands, giving away 35 runs in his four overs.

Bopara provided an apt start to the second edition of the T20 World Cup by hitting the first ball of the slam-bang event for a boundary off Dirk Nannes.

Luke Wright and Bopara in fact gave England a decent, if not spectacular, start, hitting boundaries with ease and rotating the strike and keeping the scoreboard ticking.

The duo raised 50 runs within first six overs even though runs were not easy to come by under the conditions.

As the innings progressed, stroke-making became easier and two batsmen got involved in a sort of battle to outscore each other.

The Dutch bowlers bore the brunt of this competition between the English batsmen, as the scoreboard read 89 without loss at half-way mark.

Left-arm spinner Pieter Seelaar was only the bowler who left some impact on them with an intriguing spell in the first-half of the innings.

But it was Doetschate who stemmed the rot by sending back Bopara, who went for maximum, miscued the shot and ended up in the hands of Seelaar.

Owais Shah (5) joined Wright in the middle but only to return early. Wright completed his half-century but the twin-blow put the brakes on the scoring rate.

The stage was set for a massive score but suddenly the Dutch began dominating, as Eoin Morgan (6) and skipper Paul Collingwood (11) too started their walk back to dug-out.

Wright kept one end for some time but as pressure mounted to get some runs, he tried to break the shackles and got out though not before hitting eight fours in his 49-ball knock.

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