Cricket News

UPDATE 2-Cricket-Dutch upset England in spectacular start

* Dutch secure famous last-ball victory

* England captain pays tribute to 500/1 outsiders

(adds quotes, detail)

LONDON June 5 (Reuters) - The Netherlands scrambled an overthrow from the final ball of the match to upset hosts England by four wickets at Lord’s on Friday in a spectacular start to the Twenty20 World Cup.

Victory by an associate member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) over the country who invented the game was hailed by captain Jeroen Smits as the greatest in the nation’s history.

The Netherlands defeated Australia in a one-day match after they had retained the Ashes in 1964 and beat a useful England second side in 1989. Smits was 12th man on the latter occasion.

Friday’s win means the 500/1 outsiders will automatically go through to the second round if they can beat the unpredictable Pakistanis next Tuesday (1630GMT). England must beat Pakistan on Sunday (1630) to avoid the humiliation of a first-round exit.

“It’s a huge victory, I can’t wait for the Dutch papers,” Smits told a news conference. “I’m really proud of the boys.”

England captain Paul Collingwood, who made no attempt to hide his disappointment, said the Dutch had played “with plenty of freedom and belief.”

“They surprised a lot of us with their batting,” he said. “They ran better between the wickets.”

Nobody could have visualised the exuberant Dutch celebrations at the start of play when Ravi Bopara eased the first ball through point for four.


Bopara (46) and Luke Wright (71) put on 102 for the first wicket but England then fell off the pace, exposing their lack of power hitters after Kevin Pietersen had withdrawn with a recurrence of an achilles tendon injury, and running without urgency between the wickets.

Their 162 for five still looked more than competitive but the Dutch started brightly with Darron Reekers (20) pulling two of the Dutch team’s four sixes. No English player cleared the boundary.

Smits said he had told his team they were going to get the runs. “I said ‘play hard, play your shots and we have got nothing to lose’.”

Man-of-the-match Tom de Grooth, a cricket coach in the Netherlands who has played club cricket in South Africa, Australia and England, bolstered the middle-order with 49 from 30 balls.

England also faltered in the field as light rain began to fall, missing three run-outs and dropping a catch and leg-spinner Adul Rashid, playing instead of the more experienced Graeme Swann, conceded 36 runs from his four overs.

With seven required off the last over, the Netherlands had only to keep their nerve to win. Two were still needed from the final ball which Stuart Broad bowled full to Edgar Schiferli.

Schiferli got bat to ball, raced for the single and then jubilantly turned for the winning run as Broad missed with a throw at the stumps at the bowler’s end.

“We want to be full members of the ICC,” said Smits. “It cost me a lot of money to come here because I had to take days off. But I don’t really mind at this moment.”

Editing by Dave Thompson; to query or comment on this story email