Playing against the strong English team in the 2011 World Cup, the minnows Netherlands were considered to be nervous, specially after the slaughtering received by other minnows in previous 4 matches. Yet, during the match it was England that appeared more nervous. Luckily, the inexperience of Oranje let England score a win.
Netherlands Shows Minnows Can Bat Too
Batting first on a batsmen-friendly pitch, but against a formiddable English attack that has thwarted many test playing nations in the last few series, the Dutch appeared cautious but not nervous. In fact they played with a plan and as a result reached their highest total against a non-associate team. 292/6 is a good total against any team and it was also their 2nd best World Cup total. Icing on the cake was the cracking century by ten Doeschate.
England, and everybody else probably thought the much-awaited upset of World Cup is on the cards.
England’s Confident Chase
English bowlers had an off-day. The batsmen knew they must stay calm to prevent an upset and get a winning start to their WC 2011 campaign. Pietersen, in the company of Strauss, appeared shaky as an opener, probably anybody would be. His calibre as opener can be checked in later games. The team started on a confident note and ended on the same note finishing the match an over before. Almost all the batsmen contributed and England losing only 4 wickets to start their campaign on winning note.
First 100+ Partnerships
The newly formed opening couple of Pietersen and Strauss, surprised all by sharing a 105 run partnership for the 1st wicket, the first of the tournament for 1st wicket. Besides that there were 2 more 50+ partnerships in the in the English innings. Partnerships played a crucial role in making victory look simpler than it was. They successfully completed the 3rd biggest chase in the World Cup history.
Finally, an associate nations looks like a contender for the next round. Whether it will happen or not would be decided in their next few games. But, from their first game, if they can work on their bowling, they can surely be a big challenge for other Group members. Ryan ten Doeschate may emerge as the best player at least in the Group stage.
England still a Championship Contender!!
The shaky start to their World Cup campaign would put all their supporters in backfoot. Their game against India will confirm if they can be still counted. But, the dropped catches, the spineless bowling and also some irresponsible batting (specially the way Strauss got himself out and Pietersen playing more dot balls than the runs he scored) as for now, they will find it difficult to reach even the next round.