Wednesday, February 23, 2011

England vs. Netherlands

England 296 for 4 (Strauss 88, Trott 62) beat Netherlands 292 for 6 (ten Doeschate 119*, Cooper 47) by six wickets

Cricket Observer's (unofficial) Ryan ten Doeschate gave the beleaguered Associate nations a shot in the arm after a torrid first few days of action, and in so doing inflicted on England one of their most embarrassing days in the field, as he produced a brilliant 119 from 110 balls in a massive total of 292 for 6. Having struggled in his role as the overseas player for Tasmania in the recent T20 Big Bash. he and Tom Cooper made up for early wickets by putting on a 99 run partnership. However, his very best efforts were not quite enough to propel the Netherlands to an incredible victory in their World Cup opener at Nagpur.

England needed to buck up their ideas after a awful performance in the field, and with Pietersen and Strauss embarking on their first opening partnership in a full international fixture, the pressure was on in more ways than one. KP even in his 39 from 70 proved to be a strong opening partner and may have solved England's problems at the top of the order, Strauss and KP put on 105 together. Strauss will be disappointed he gave away a possible 100 with poor shot selection, holing out to deep square leg on 88.

Trott again proved his worth at No.3 again he righted the sinking ship with a strong 62 from 91, only to be wasteful and chase a ball down leg to see his bails taken by Barresi. Ian Bell scratched about pushing singles until the man of the moment ten Dosechate rattled his pegs.

It was left to Collingwood to see England past this World Cup record run chase as he kept the scoreboard ticking with a strong 30, and his guidance I'm sure stopped Bopara from losing his nerve. Bopara had plenty to prove, and despite maybe testing the long-on fielder one to many times for my liking he was able to hit the winning 6 & 4 required for England's victory.

England on paper won this game by 6 wickets, but that doesn't tell the full story. Jimmy Anderson could not get any rhythm in his stride and when he couldn't bowl swinging, seam up deliveries he resorted to off-cutters at waist height. Swann was the pick of the bowlers 10-0-35-2, and showed Strauss that he should have had Yardy in this side today. KP break a partnerships in a test match with his bowling, but he should not be used in a game when every ball is valuable, the Dutch took to him quickly and punished him for sloppy deliveries.

England had a bad day in the field and this will be a day they will long forget, but they won, and to show they can win when playing terrible is a positive sign. Sometimes you get to coast to the total and other times you have to fight yourself and everything else to get the result, they didn't grind this one out, but kept their heads above water, and for now they are 1-0.

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