Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ryan ten Doeschate

England v Netherlands, Group B, World Cup 2011, Nagpur

ten Doeschate dazzles as England plumb the depths

Ryan ten Doeschate
Ryan ten Doeschate
Ryan ten Doeschate gave the beleaguered Associate nations a shot in the arm after a torrid first few days of action, and in so doing inflicted on England one of their most embarrassing days in the field in ODI history, as he produced a brilliant 119 from 110 balls in a massive total of 292 for 6. After being asked to bowl first on an easy-paced wicket, England's performance degenerated in a spate of beamers, dropped catches, overthrows and fielding misplacements, as they did their best to reprise their shortcomings at Lord's in the World Twenty20 two years ago - the last occasion they had shared the world stage with the Dutch.
England will need to chase down a stiff target of 293 to avoid a repeat of that infamous defeat, after a performance that was even more awkward than their cagey effort against Canada in Fatullah last Wednesday. With the might of India looming on Sunday, they simply cannot afford to fail against a team that is regarded as the weakest in Group B. But to do so, they will have to complete their second-highest run-chase in World Cup history.
ten Doeschate's prowess in limited-overs cricket is hardly a secret - he averaged 54 in the CB40 last season as Essex advanced to the semi-finals - but England had no answers to his watertight technique and a shot selection that started out composed before exploding in the closing overs with 52 runs coming from his last 26 deliveries. He came to the crease in the 12th over, following the end of a sparky cameo from the rookie wicketkeeper, Wesley Barresi, and though he took 12 balls to get off the mark, the value in gauging the pace of the wicket paid off handsomely.
All told, ten Doeschate struck nine fours and three sixes in a 110-ball stay. The first of his maximums came off a gentle full-toss from Kevin Pietersen, whose two overs were dispatched for 19 and highlighted England's folly in omitting Michael Yardy as the specialist second spinner - Ravi Bopara's medium-pace was not called upon. Swann, the pick of England's attack with 2 for 35, was then flicked supremely over midwicket for another six, while a Paul Collingwood offcutter was also dispatched through the legside.
After calling for the Powerplay in the 43rd over, ten Doeschate lost his fifth-wicket partner Tom de Grooth, the hero of Lord's 2009, who was bowled by a Stuart Broad yorker for 28. But undeterred, he picked off consecutive boundaries from Tim Bresnan to move through the nineties, before reaching his first World Cup hundred from 98 balls and in remarkable fashion, as a sharp single to short fine leg turned into five overthrows when Jonathan Trott's shy ricocheted off the stumps and away to the ropes.
Despite his personal success, it was far from a lone hand that ten Doeschate played. The platform for the Netherlands innings was set by Barresi and his fellow opener, Alexei Kervezee, whose pedigree is well known after he scored more than 1000 first-class runs in his first full season with Worcestershire in 2010. The pair added 36 for the first wicket at nearly a run a ball, with England's bowlers straying all too frequently onto the pads as they strained for non-existent swing in the Powerplay overs.
Bresnan made England's first breakthrough of the campaign when Kervezee top-edged an attempted pull to the keeper Matt Prior, who had earlier been at fault when Barresi - in the midst of an over from Broad that went for 13 - had flashed a high chance past his out-stretched right glove and away for four. Barresi cracked six fours in all before Swann, newly returned to the squad after the birth of his son Wilfred, struck once again in his first over, to have him stumped from 29 from 25 balls.
By this stage, however, Tom Cooper was well into his stride. His first ball had been a gimme from Bresnan, a leg-stump half-volley that was clipped away for four, and all told he made a calm 47 from 73 balls before Collingwood's offcutters tempted him into a loose clip to Anderson at midwicket.
One ball earlier, Cooper had been dropped by a diving Pietersen at fine leg as he attempted a pull off Bresnan, but England's sketchy performance in the field was best summed up by a hideous reprieve for ten Doeschate on 47. Swann, who had conceded just 14 runs from his first six overs, tempted the batsman into an ambitious loft into no-man's land behind the bowler's arm. Anderson and Pietersen converged from mid-off and mid-on respectively, but stopped dead as the ball plugged harmlessly between them.
Anderson's day went from bad to worse when he returned to the attack in the 46th over. His attempt at blockhole bowling resulted in two awful waist-high full-tosses, the second of which swung away down the leg side for four. Both were called as no-balls, and Anderson was very fortunate not to be withdrawn from the attack by the umpires. Or not as it happens, because the Dutch captain Peter Borren was delighted he remained. He belted three consecutive boundaries in a listless ninth over, to finish unbeaten on 35 from 24 balls.
England's embarrassment didn't end there. Though Broad showed some fight to end ten Doeschate's stay via a catch in the deep in the 49th over, he was denied the wicket of Borren in the same over when Paul Collingwood at midwicket failed to take his required position inside the fielding circle. A no-ball was signalled, Borren was recalled, and there was still time for one more howler, as Swann shelled a sitter at third man to reprieve Mudassar Bukhari.
The Netherlands final total of 292 for 6 was their highest against a full-member nation, and the second highest by any Associate, beating the 230 they scored against England on this very day 15 years ago, at the 1996 World Cup. The hero that day was the 18-year-old Bas Zuiderent, who was the only Dutchman to miss out this time around, as he made 1 from 10 balls before becoming Swann's second victim. It was scant consolation for England on a day that they cannot allow to get any worse.
Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinf

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