T20 cricket began in England way back in 2003 and it pretty much came back home when the country hosted the 2009 T20 World Cup. However, they didn”t have a great start as they lost to minnows Netherland at the home of cricket in the tournament opener on this day, 11 years ago.
Many people would have expected that to be a walkover for the hosts but the night of June 5 in 2009 at Lord”s instead ended up being one of the greatest in the history of Dutch cricket.
England got off to a good start in the match, thus reinforcing the belief that this would be nothing more than a routine win for Paul Collingwood”s team. Openers Ravi Bopara and Luke Wright posted a brilliant partnership of 102 runs. However, the Netherlands made a good comeback in the innings, restricting England to 162/5 from 102/0 in the 12th over.
The Netherlands lost early wickets during their chase but they were kept in the hunt by Tom de Grooth, who scored 49 off 30 balls.
It all came down to Netherlands needing seven to win off the last over which was bowled by Stuart Broad. Ryan Ten Doeschate, who would over the years build the reputation of being one of the greatest associate players of all time, was in the middle with Edgar Schiferli. The pair chipped away at the target, eventually running two off the final ball to secure a memorable win.
Star England batsman Kevin Pietersen, who missed the Netherlands match, returned in their next game against eventual champions Pakistan and his 58 off 38 balls proved to be the difference as they won the match by 48 runs to go through to the Super 8s. They however could not move forward from there, finishing behind West Indies and South Africa. Netherlands, on the other hand, were beaten by Pakistan by 82 runs in the group stage and were knocked out of the competition.
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