England v Netherlands

World Twenty20, 2009

At Lord's, June 5 (floodlit). Netherlands won by four wickets. Netherlands 2 pts. Toss: Netherlands. Twenty20 debut: A. N. Kervezee. Twenty20 international debuts: J. S. Foster, R. W. T. Key, E. J. G. Morgan, A. U. Rashid; D. P. Nannes, B. Zuiderent.

A stunning victory for the Netherlands on their first senior visit to Lord's marked a wretched nadir in the painful saga of England's one-day humiliations. The tension built throughout the Dutch reply, culminating in a final over of impossible drama that included three missed run-outs and a dropped catch. Bowling round the wicket from wide of the crease, Broad stifled the scoring by maintaining a full length, but since he committed all four fluffs, here was England's villain. The Dutch needed seven from that last over. From the first ball Broad somehow missed the non-striker's stumps from close range; from the second he tried a Jonty Rhodes dive, but broke the wicket with his hand, not the ball. From the third he put down a sharp return catch from ten Doeschate. Three balls, three missed chances, three singles. A scrambled bye - Foster's offers to stand up were ignored - and a run to mid-on left Schiferli needing two from the final ball. Lord's held its breath. Schiferli mistimed his shot; he knew there wasn't a single, let alone two, but he had no option, and charged for the other end as the bowler fielded in his follow-through. Hard-wired to attack, Broad turned, shied at the stumps and, to his utter horror, missed, as England had all night. The courageous Dutch filched an overthrow - and thousands of orange supporters were tickled pink. Had Broad allowed the tie, England would have had a tilt at victory in a "super over". But this was the right result; they had been punished for disdainfully underestimating their opponents, rashly giving a debut to Rashid rather than playing the reliable Swann. A tense finish looked improbable after Bopara and Wright had put on 102 to equal England's best stand in Twenty20 internationals. But Pietersen was absent with an injured Achilles heel, and England had an Achilles heel of their own. Key, a strange selection for the squad as he had been out of form, was played in the unfamiliar position of No. 6, instead of Graham Napier. After their opening stand, England scored 60 from 8.4 overs, and their other five batsmen hit one boundary from 37 balls. Having clawed back the initiative, the Dutch batsmen started out with belief. The stocky Reekers pummelled two leg-side sixes before de Grooth combined powerful strokes, some learned on the hockey field, with deft placement. They scored predominantly on the on side, while the English batsmen, against a more disciplined line, had favoured the off. Borren weighed in to ensure that, as rain fell, the Dutch were always ahead of the Duckworth/Lewis par score. Then came the riveting denouement…

Man of the Match: T. N. de Grooth. Attendance: 23,665.

© John Wisden & Co.