India seal comfortable win over Dutch
Yuvraj Singh's undefeated 51 saw India home against the nuggety Netherlands, as the hosts won their Group B match by five wickets with 13.3 overs to spare in Delhi.
“It’s nice to contribute,”Yuvraj said as he collected his man of the match award. “My job is the play the middle overs and try to take the team to the end. “
India looked to chase down the Dutch target in a blaze of boundaries, but a trio of wickets put the skids on them, and it was left to the middle-order to steer the side home to a victory that virtually assures MS Dhoni’s men a spot in the next round.
The Netherlands had won the toss and elected to bat, as they looked to improve on their heavy defeats to the West Indies and South Africa in recent matches.
Eric Szwarczynski and Wesley Barresi added a decent 56 for the first wicket, as India’s pacemen found little joy in the lifeless track.
Piyush Chawla provided the breakthrough, as he lured Szwarczynski into a cut shot with his googly, and the turn back in accounted for the opener.
Barresi went soon after, as he was trapped leg-before by Yuvraj Singh in his opener. That was Yuvraj’s 100th ODI scalp, and continued the all-rounder’s excellent start to the tournament.
Tom Cooper hung around for an obdurate 29, but there was little else in the way of resistance from the Dutch, as India picked up regular wickets.
Ashish Nehra, back in World Cup action for the first time since 2003, got rid of Cooper with a clever off-cutter, inducing an edge which was gobbled up by Dhoni behind the stumps.
Zaheer Khan also returned with greater effect with the older ball, as he trapped Bas Zuiderent leg-before for a duck, before getting rid of Dutch skipper Peter Borren for a defiant 38.
Borren’s innings, which included two sixes and three fours, gave the Dutch something to bowl at, and he received handy support from Mudassar Bukhari, who chipped in with 21 at the end, as the Dutch were rolled over for 189.
Zaheer ended with fine figures of 3 for 20, while Yuvraj and Chawla snared two wickets apiece.
FLURRY OF BOUNDARIES
The Indian chase started with a flurry of boundaries, as Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Shewag clattered 59 off the first seven overs.
In the process, Sachin Tendulkar became the first man to reach 2 000 runs in World Cup matches.
That joy was short-lived, though, as Sehwag fell soon after, slashing Seelaar to point for 39 off 26 balls.
Eleven balls later, and Tendulkar was also back in the hut, as he skied Seelaar towards long-off, and Bradley Kruger took a good running catch.
When Yusuf Pathan then offered Seelaar a simple return catch, the alarm bells were suddenly ringing for India at 82 for three.
“Quite a few objectives were achieved,” Dhoni noted after the match. “ There are still some areas we need to improve. The Powerplay overs. The lower order shouldn't have come in to finish this off.”
Virat Kohli didn’t last too long, as he was bowled through the gate by Borren, to leave the hosts 99 for 4 in the 15th over.
Yuvraj Singh then found an ally in the classy Gautum Gambhir, who sprayed some wonderful shots around during his run-a-ball 28.
Once he fell, bowled a little unluckily off Burkhari, Dhoni joined Yuvraj to see his side home. He and Yuvraj added 52 for the unbroken, sixth-wicket, and Yuvraj brought up his 50 with his seventh boundary, sealing the win at the same time.
Dutch skipper Borren, though disappointed, said his side would take confidence from the game.
“I am proud of my boys.Peter Seelaar won't forget tonight. It came against a serious batting line-up. The two games that are coming up are big games for us; tonight will gives us confidence”.
India: Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautum Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (wk/c), Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Piyush Chawla, Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra.
Netherlands: Eric Szwarczynski, Wesley Barresi ( wk), Tom Cooper, Ryan ten Doeschate, Alexei Kervezee, Bas Zuiderent, Tom de Grooth, Peter Borren (c), Bradley Kruger, Mudassar Bukhari and Pieter Seelaar.