x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

England shocked by Dutch in World Cup opener

The Twenty20 World Cup is given a spectacular start at Lord's with the Netherlands beating the hosts by four wickets.

LONDON // The fast-food restaurant managers, advertising executives and students which make up the Netherlands squad combined to claim one of the biggest upsets in the history of cricket as the World Twenty20 was given a spectacular opening at Lord's. Ryan ten Doeschate, one of only three professional players in the Dutch side, was the matchwinner as the part-timers secured an amazing four wicket win after a thrilling finish at the home of cricket. Ten Doeschate was dropped on the cover boundary by Eoin Morgan with the game hanging by a thread with 10 balls left. England offered up life after life to the Dutch from that point on. Stuart Broad, the fast bowler on whose shoulders rest many of England's Ashes hopes later this summer, missed two run outs and a catch off the first three balls off the final over. The wicketkeeper, James Foster missed with a throw off the fourth ball as the amateur side harried their way to the brink of a sensation. With the Dutch needing two to win from the last ball, Broad was offered the chance of redemption, as the ball was hit straight back to him. However, his missed shy at the stumps not only lost the chance of a win for the host nation, but granted the Dutch the overthrow they needed for their own victory. The minnows got themselves ahead of the Duckworth-Lewis par score early, thanks to the monstrous hitting of Tom de Grooth. The 30-year-old batsman does not get much down time outside of his job coaching at The Hague cricket club in the Dutch capital, combined with his playing commitments. When he does, he is a keen golfer and much of his lusty hitting would have been well suited to the driving range. Collectively, the Dutch batsmen made clearing the ropes look easy. England's batsmen, by contrast, did not muster a maximum between them. Peter Borren launched England's captain, Paul Collingwood, into the corporate boxes in the second tier of the Grandstand with one mammoth blow. When De Grooth fell to a Collingwood slower ball a run short of the half-century he deserved, the wheels could have come off the underdogs' bold challenge. However, all it achieved was to bring Ryan ten Doeschate, their most established cricketer, to the wicket. He marshalled the run chase immaculately from there on in, and gave the Dutch the win which has started the tournament with a massive shock.

pradley@thenational.ae