March 9th, 2011 by Ravi Matah | Posted in Sports   Comments Off on INDIA BEAT NETHERLANDS
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Netherlands won the toss and elected to bat at the Feroz Shah Kotla Grounds,Delhi on Wednesday in their Gp B encounter against India. Their openers started very well and the Indian attack looked very feeble in front of their batting. They lost their first wicket after posting half a century on board, which is their highest opening wicket partnership, and were 86 for 2 at the  half-way stage.

Yuvraj Singh

Yuvraj Singh

India defeated Netherlands at the Feroz Shah Kotla with more than 14 overs to spare though the margin of victory couldn’t mask a lacklustre performance from the home side. The Indian bowling was just about tidy against some dour Netherlands batting, and their bunch of big hitters came unstuck for a while against the left-arm spin of Pieter Seelaar in a low-intensity match.

In the Netherlands batting, there were a couple of avoidable run-outs as well, but the dismissal that was most embarrassing for Netherlands was Alexei Kervesee’s; he swiped a long hop from Chawla, expertly picking out Harbhajan Singh at deep midwicket.

Sachin Tendulkar became the first man to reach 2000 World Cup runs with a hat-trick of boundaries in the fifth over, and Virender Sehwag backing that with three more fours in the sixth.

The hard hitting and lofty shots were enjoyed by the Delhi crowd, and when Sehwag carved Seelaar over extra cover for six and then hit him for  a four, India were 69/0 in the eighth over. The chase of 190 runs looked a lot easier at that stage as it appeared that India was already over the hill.

Seelaar, though, ensured that there was lot of excitement in the match for the spectators even though Sehwag was caught at the point boundry, and then he dismissed both Tendulkar and the promoted power-hitter Yusuf Pathan in the 10th over to rein in India.

Why did Dhoni have to promote Yusuf Pathan at one-down position? Sunil Gavaskar who was running the commentry then, said that this is a practice match and Pathan has been sent up to practice some batting and finish the match early. Not a mature statement, I must say. The moment he uttered this, Tendulkar was caught at long-on,Yusuf Pathan was caught and bowled and India were in dire straits at that moment. 

Virat Kohli didn’t last too long before being bowled by Peter Borren, but Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh steadied the innings. They added 40 runs before Gambhir was bowled round his legs.That was a superb delivery and that bowled round his legs seemed impossible to believe. It was left to Yuvraj and MS Dhoni, India’s finishers over the past few years, to steer India to victory with Yuvraj getting his third half-century in a row.

The Netherlands captain, Peter Borren, had spoken of playing brave cricket before this game, and it was his adventurous hitting that lifted his side towards 200. He warmed up by lashing Yuvraj for a couple of powerful fours in the 42nd over, before taking the batting Powerplay and damaging Chawla’s figures with a couple of muscular hits over long-on. Mudassar Bukhari joined the fun, swinging two sixes over the leg side before both he and Borren were dismissed by Zaheer in the same over to wrap up the innings.

Yuvraj Singh was declared Man of the Match for his two wickets for 43 runs and a brillianat and patient knock of half-century.

The win puts India top of the table, but they are through with their easy outings in the tournament, with only South Africa and West Indies remaining in the league phase before the knockouts.

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