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Cricket World Rewind: #OnThisDay - Netherlands script history with last-ball win over England in 2009 T20 World Cup's opening encounter

Netherlands' Ryan ten Doeschate celebrates their victory as England's Stuart Broad looks dejected
©Reuters

June 5, 2009 - As Netherlands qualified for the 2009 T20 World Cup, many of the Dutch players took a two-week leave from work to play the tournament. When the team began approaching a victory against England in the opening fixture, some players were actually worried about taking more time off work, if the team made it to the Super Eights.

 

There were questions about ICC's scheduling with England facing an associate nation, Netherlands. Suggestions were that the council should have chosen a full member nation to cash in on the hype of the opening fixture. How daft of them! As it turned out, the match headlined the newspapers in Holland and England the next day.

 

 

Some believe that England became a bit complacent against the so-called minnows, which is why they benched Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann and Dmitri Mascarenhas for that match. It was hardly the case in reality as Pietersen was carrying a slight niggle and was not a 100% to take the filed. The truth is that Tom de Grooth and Peter Borren played one of the best knocks of their respective careers and the England team was simply not up for the challenge.

The way Ravi Bopara and Luke Wright started off the England innings, all thoughts about the selection were pushed to the side. By the 11th over, England had crossed the 100-run mark with both Bopara and Wright still at the crease and going well.

Both batted at strike rates of over 135. Inspite of Dirk Nannes, who was playing his first T20I, bowling some serious heat, the openers tackled him well with a flurry of boundaries.

With 9 overs to go, England were expected to score somewhere around 200. However, after the opening partnership got them flying, the Netherlands bowlers pulled things back. England, in turn, became overcautious as a result of which, the home team could manage only 73 runs off the last 10 overs.

It remains a point of amazement that not a single six was hit in their innings. In the absence of big hitters Pietersen and Mascarenhas, Rob Key, a top order batsman playing his first and the only T20I match, had to come in at number 6 and off the last few balls of the England innings, all he did was take singles. Paul Collingwood and Eoin Morgan were no different.

However, a target of 163 still seemed too big for Netherlands, especially when they lost their first three wickets quickly and England were on top.

Tom de Grooth was promoted ahead of Ryan ten Doeschate and he looked in great touch, right from the outset. The batsman batted at a strike rate of over 160 for his 49, and along with Peter Borren, kept Netherlands in the chase.

A good hand from ten Doeschate (22 off 17) further made England nervous. Stuart Broad and Adil Rashid, both of whom bowled their full quota, conceded a total of 68 runs from their 8 overs and failed to make a mark.

The nervousness took its toll as England dropped catches and missed multiple run-outs in the last couple of overs. With 7 required off the last over, Broad dropped ten Doeschate on the third ball and Schiferli ran a bye on the fourth delivery. ten Doeschate again pinched a single on the penultimate ball.

Making it worse for himself and the team, Broad missed another run-out chance on the last ball of the match. With no one backing up, Schiferli stole two off the last ball. Had Broad not had a shy at the stumps on the last ball, the match would have gone into a Super Over, but had he hit, England would have won. Several what ifs were left in the air as Netherlands went berserk with their celebrations.

They were at Lord's, the home of cricket, with the spotlight on them and they made sure of making it count. After Ireland's shock victory over Pakistan in the 2007 World Cup, the triumph of the Dutch against England shone a light yet again on the excitement and significance of associate nations coming into the mainstream.

 

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