England survives scare at cricket World Cup

RICHARD MAUNTAH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:08 PM ET

TORONTO - Ravi Bopara and Paul Collingwood rescued England from potential disaster. Ryan ten Doeschate proved that magical things still can happen from associate nations.

The six-wicket win by England over the Netherlands on Tuesday temporary calmed the nerves of the suits watching back at Lords but also raised concerns over their future in a tournament where at least one good Test nation from Group B will be sitting out come quarterfinal time.

After the Dutch gave England a mountainous task during the afternoon in Nagpur, they made England fight for every run in the evening. And it looked with 15 overs to play like ‘the Oranje’ may be pulling off the upset.

But Collingwood (30 off 23 balls) and Bopara (30 off 20 balls including the final 12 runs off four deliveries) ensured the victorious total of 296 for four with just eight balls remaining.

English captain Andrew Strauss led the charge as the opening batsman with 88. Jonathan Trott (62), Kevin Pietersen (39) and Ian Bell (33) contributed to the cause as well but were frustrated by a Dutch bowling attack that, while not able to consistently take wickets, gave them little more than singles with the occasional four thrown in. England stayed close to the required run rate to start but there was a point where it looked to be slipping away from it.

But this match will not be remembered for the performance of the English but rather a One-Day International performance for the ages from ten Doeschate.

The bowling line was a very tidy 47 runs and two wickets in 10 overs against a batting lineup many claim is one of the best in the World Cup field. The batting line was an even more impressive, a two hour and 40 minute extravaganza featuring 119 runs off 110 balls with nine fours and three sixes.

Statistically, ten Doeschate is considered the best all-rounder in ODI cricket but a lot of the numbers come off fellow non-Test competition. So to have the day he did on this stage was something special.

“I have been struggling with my form and to have come out with such a performance has been overwhelming,” he said at the post-match ceremony. “We paced our innings well. We were brave enough to bat first.

“We kept assessing our total after every five overs and went on to post a competitive score. We need to carry on and play better cricket.”

Tom Cooper added 47 to the Netherlands’ 292 for 6 total. Graeme Swann took two wickets and surrendered 35 runs in his 10 overs for England. But Strauss knows his team must improve in a hurry.

“We got a lot of things wrong with our bowling and we let them off the hook a couple of times,” he said. “We need to learn from our mistakes. We were disappointed in the field and thankfully the batsmen got us through.

“We got off to a good start, we were a little more nervy, and we have to improve as the tournament goes on. Looking forward to playing against India on Sunday. Hopefully we spoil the Indian party at Bangalore.”

richard.mauntah@sunmedia.ca


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