Minnows with a Mighty Heart
The English and the Dutch have fought many a battles both on and off the field. History has witnessed and documented these battles right from the Anglo-Dutch conflicts that took place from 1652 to 1783. Come 2011, history witnessed another battle but this one was on the field, a battle that has set the standards high for the rest of the Tournament.
The Dutch were the underdogs and a seemingly overconfident English side was caught on the back foot thanks to some daring performances from the Dutch.
The English definitely had an upper hand as they won their previous two encounters against the Dutch at the 1996 World Cup and at the 2003 World Cup respectively. They were definitely in for a surprise this time as the Dutch were hungry for some revenge and they also wanted to prove a point to the ICC that their exclusion from the next edition of the World Cup is not justified.
In a warm up game,Ryan ten Doeschate scored an unbeaten 98 against Kenya which Netherlands went on to win by two wickets.
In their stand off against England, Ryan Ten Doeschate came up with an amazing knock and it was more like a ‘Dutch Blitzkrieg’ of 119 off just 110 which included 9 boundaries and 3 huge sixes!
In the end some fast knocks from Tom De Grooth and Peter Borren saw the Dutch amass an impressive 292/6 from their 50 overs.
The English batting second at the new Vidharba Stadium at Nagpur, had a run for their money as the Dutch fielders were literally putting their blood into the fielding efforts and it showed. A Stumping and a couple of catches paid off for their efforts and the disciplined bowling was praise worthy. The whole side seemed to play with a lot of heart and im sure that their performance surely raised a few eyebrows among the cricketing fraternity.
England went on to win the game by 6 wickets with Paul Collingwood and Ravi Bopara taking the English team through.
Even though the English survived the Dutch scare, one fact that must be acknowledged is that The Netherlands Cricket team is definitely a rising team to look out for with some promising players already paving the way.
Players to look out for:
- Ryan Ten Doeschate
-Averages 71.21 in ODI’s from 28 matches which is currently the highest batting average by a batsmen who has played more than 20 innings given the fact that Netherlands plays only against the top sides.
-Was named the ICC Associate and Affiliate player of the year award in Oct’ 2010
- Plays for ESSEX, Mashonaland Eagles, Tasmanian tigers and Cantebury Wizards
- Alexei Kerveze
-Plays for Worcestershire
-Fourth ever Dutch player to score a first class century in English Cricket, third being Ryan ten Deoschate
- Bas Zuiderant
-Played for Sussex
-Was named Player of the tournament during the 2005 ICC Trophy played between the associate nations.
- Tom Cooper
-Plays for South Australia Red Backs
- He became the first cricketer to score half-centuries in each of his first three One Day Internationals
The big defeat against the West Indians might have hampered their hopes a little but we must not underplay the fact that the Dutch team can fight back with one good instance being their famous win over England in the 2009 Twenty20 World Cup when they chased down the home side’s score on the last ball with four wickets to spare.