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Lookback at ICC WT20 2009: The Netherlands pulls off opening thriller over England

It went down to the last ball, but heroics from Tom de Grooth and Ryan ten Doeschate ensured the visiting side chased down 163 at Lord's

Lookback at ICC WT20 2009: The Netherlands pulls off opening thriller over England - Cricket News
De Grooth played the innings of his life to propel Netherlands to a memorable win.

The ICC World Twenty20 2009 got off to the best possible start one could have hoped for. There were runs scored, there were moments of brilliance, there were slip-ups too in this thriller that went down to the last ball. In the end, it was a memorable win for the Netherlands over England, the home side. 

Asked to bat at Lord’s, Ravi Bopara (46 off 34) and Luke Wright got England off to a brisk start, with the 100 coming up in the 11th over. Bopara fell first with the score on 102, while trying to up the ante so England could push for a total more than 200. 

Then, even as Wright went about his business, England suffered a mini-collapse to be 127 for 3 in the 16th over. It was the Netherlands' chance to restrict England to a manageable score. 

And that it did. Wright, who had eight hits to the fence, fell for 71 off 49, caught at midwicket by Peter Borren off Ryan ten Doeschate. England couldn't quite recover and posted 162 for 5. 

Having spiritedly fought back, the Netherlands would have fancied its chances. Any confidence, however, took an early hit when Stuart Broad dismissed Alexei Kervezee in the very first over. The side strung together a few partnerships, but England didn't allow them to flourish, and the Netherlands found itself on 66 for 3 in eight overs. 

That’s when it found its hero. Tom de Grooth, the right-hand batsman, collaborated with Borren to propel the team. The duo scored 50 runs in just 4.5 overs to take the score past 100 in the 12th over. 

De Grooth, playing the innings of his life, fell just short of a half-century when he was dismissed by Paul Collingwood for a 30-ball 49. Borren fell soon after for 30 off 25, but the two had by then hit a combined seven fours and two sixes. 

The onus was now on ten Doeschate to carry the team home. The Netherlands needed 17 off the last two overs, and that’s when nerves got the better of England. Ten Doeschate thumped the ball to deep-extra cover, but Eoin Morgan, falling full length to catch that one, couldn't grab on. 

Ten needed off the last over. Stuart Broad had two opportunities to run both ten Doeschate and Edgar Schiferli out, but couldn't pull them off.  

Two runs needed off the last ball. Schiferli drilled the ball back to Broad and took off for a single. The pacer, trying to go for the run-out, ended up conceding an overthrow and the Netherlands sealed an exciting four-wicket win off the last ball of the match. 

At the start of the match, David Lloyd, during his commentary stint, had said, “The Netherlands is a competitive side.” It was more than competitive on that day as England found out.

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