The more hungry win …

June 6, 2009

… that really in a nut shell was the story last night . A very clinical performance by Netherlands in the last 30 overs of the match, albeit with some nerves at the closing stages of the game has put England in a deep spot of bother in this tournament and now they are left with no choice but to beat Pakistan to make it to the next stage.

England seemed to be rolling in the first 10 overs of the match as the nerves of the big match stage took some time to settle down for Netherlands. But after the runaway hundred by England, the Dutch pulled back magnificently allowing almost nothing in the second half of the England innings and restricting them to a more manageable, though still formidable total. The English batsmen did not look hungry enough, Netherlands bowlers stuck to their guns and their catching aided them brilliantly to keep England at bay.

And then what ensued in the next 20 overs was simply fantastic.

Netherlands never looked out of the chase, keeping up with the asking rate, rather ahead almost throughout with Tom de Grooth leading the way with a beautiful knock. He found the boundary almost every over, always keeping the pace up and no bowler seemed to really worry him. And ofcourse, England fielding was shocking. Bopara, Foster and then the biggest of them all, Stuart Broad conspired to take Netherlands to victory.

As victory got closer, nerves jangled for the Oranjees and they almost made a hash of it but then they had Stuart Broad on their side, missing the stumps thrice in six balls from a distance of almost four yards! Well, if you are going to do that, if you are going to not take your chances when you are already staring down the barrel, then you will face defeat.

The fact is, England did not put up enough runs at the end of their innings with complacent shots from their batsmen, Netherlands believed they could chase it down, put up a fantastic batting performance surprising English bowlers who thought they will find easy meat and then when the time for nerves came, Netherlands held up better than their illustrious rivals.

The fact is, yesterday, Netherlands looked the part rather than England and now its left England an ugly prospect of facing elimination as the host nation and in a format, rather the game, which they founded! How ironic is that !

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