ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News
Netherlands v West Indies, Group B, World Cup 2011, Delhi
Dutch devastated, West Indies resurgent
Firdose Moonda in Delhi
February 28, 2011
West Indies came sashaying back into this World Cup with a performance so calypso it was a pina colada for the eyes. It had flamboyant batting, destructive bowling, over-the-top celebrations and that essential ingredient, something orange that had been turned to pulp.
The colour was provided by Netherlands, who came into this match on a high, anticipating a decent performance after their competitive showing against England. Ryan ten Doeschate's century had propped them up comfortably, and even though they weren't able to secure victory with the ball, they had shown a determination beyond their minnow status. They had arrived in Delhi with a real base on which to start from.
They came to the capital with so much to live up to, so much promise, so much expectation and so much belief that they were going to compete in the tournament. Against West Indies, they were even spoken about as competing as equals. In a daze of hype, it looked as though the Dutch forgot that beyond the confidence and the positivity, they would actually have to turn up and play, before any of that became a reality.
They had spoken about an improved performance in the field, which they were not able to execute half as well as they talked about. Even though batting has been their strength, without getting the other half of their game to work, it's negated. Peter Borren had no answers, no excuses and by the looks of it, no motivation at the end of the match.
After the game, his one statement summed up an evening that left his team gutted. "If we are going to bat and bowl and field as poorly as we did today, it actually makes no difference if we bat or field first." With that empty statement, and the hollow expression that accompanied it, he left the room. It's going to take a lot for Netherlands to pick themselves up from this demoralising defeat, and they only have three days to figure out how to.
For West Indies, the three days between games can't be over with soon enough. After their initial defeat to South Africa, their 12th in succession, the critics were saying the same thing: that the West Indians were not good enough and would have to battle for their place in the quarter-finals. Then, albeit against an associate side, all the big guns fired. Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard belted out half-centuries and Kemar Roach, their premier strike bowler, ended up with 6 for 27, including the tournament's first hat-trick.
Roach said the victory buoyed the team, particularly for their next challenge in Dhaka. "We take a lot of confidence into the game against Bangladesh," he said. "This match was good preparation for the Bangladesh game. We'll go there on a high. Bangladesh are an improving team but we are better than them."
That kind of confidence is rare for a current West Indian bowler, especially because bowling is considered their weak link, with some suggesting that they would always need big runs because they would struggle to bowl sides out. Roach, who often operates as the lone strike bowler, said that although being a seamer in the subcontinent is challenging, he is adapting. "It's tough coming here as a bowler to the subcontinent, you have to be very accurate and consistent, once you get that right, you get wickets."
Roach opened the bowling with spinner Sulieman Benn in the last two matches, and even though West Indies were renowned for hunting in fast-bowling pairs, he said he doesn't miss not having another quick on the other end. "I don't feel as though as I am left out. Benn is a very good partner of mine. To see that two guys from Barbados are opening the bowling for the West Indies is great."
Although Ravi Rampaul and Andre Russell are waiting in the wings to add to the seam contingent, Roach is happy to carry the load, with Kieron Pollard to help out, if he has to. Roach has been particularly inspired by a message the injured allrounder Dwayne Bravo gave him. "He is my big brother. He said go hard and enjoy it and be confident in whatever you do."
If it is to be a meaningful step in their campaign to regain the World Cup, there are a few areas they need to take a good look at
England's selectors have delivered a couple of surprises with their Ashes picks
Some learnings from the eye-popping numbers that made the rounds yesterday
1941 Not for nothing was the autobiography of John Snow , who was born today, called Cricket Rebel
1956 An insomniac's dream at Karachi, as Pakistan and Australia blocked their way through the slowest day in Test history