On this day in 2009 The Netherlands stunned the hosts England on the opening day of the T20 World Cup at Lord's. Rod Lyall was there and we reproduce his match report and analysis from the game.


It's 115 years since the Dutch first played at Lord's. The legendary prince K.S. Ranjitsinhji made a century on that occasion as the Gentlemen of Holland lost by an innings and 171 runs, and while they came back many times afterwards, they had never played a full England side there before yesterday, still less in a major global tournament.

Long as the history of The Netherlands' cricketing relationship with its much more illustrious neighbour has been, the recent past has not exactly been easy.

While Ireland and Scotland have been granted full ODIs against England since they gained that status in 2005, the Dutch have not, and their exclusion from a restructured English one-day domestic competition from that same year continues to rankle.

It's hardly surprising that Jeroen Smits used the press conference after Friday's sensational win to renew his call for The Netherlands to be welcomed back into the ECB's domestic fold.

A fatalist might conclude that this epic battle was somehow written in the stars. (Can an event as small-scale as a Twenty20 match be ‘epic'? Perhaps not, in which case we'll call it a Greek tragedy, with Stuart Broad cast in the role of plaything of the gods.)

The tournament schedule was drawn up more than a year ago, before Zimbabwe's ‘withdrawal' and the Associates' qualifying tourney in Belfast. Then the top-ranked qualifier would have opened the competition against the hosts, and that would have been Ireland.

But when Zimbabwe pulled out, Ireland moved up into their slot, into Group A with India and Bangladesh. Had the original plan been fulfilled, the Dutch would have been meeting New Zealand and South Africa, and the cricketing world would have looked a bit different.

No amount of fatalism can account, however, for what happened at Lord's on Friday. It was, as England captain Paul Collingwood magnanimously acknowledged afterwards, a triumph of passion, commitment and belief, and it was those qualities, imbued in the side by Smits and the quietly inspirational coach Peter Drinnen, which enabled the Dutch to produce, in Man of the Match Tom de Grooth's words, ‘a day we could only dream of'.

It was a day for Dutch players and fans alike to savour, despite the miserable weather. It was a day marked by lurid orange hats, the increasingly fervid chanting of the crowd in the Mound Stand as their conviction mounted that they were watching a moment of pure cricketing history, and grown Dutchmen who were not ashamed to admit that they had tears in their eyes as Schiferli and Ten Doeschate completed the winning runs.

It was a day, too, when most – but not quite all – of the truly memorable individual moments were produced by the men in dayglo orange: the Dirk Nannes delivery which ripped through Ravi Bopara like an Exocet; Peter Seelaar's opening over which conceded just four runs and briefly slammed the brakes on England's relentless progress; Peter Borren's effective variations of pace; Darron Reekers' defiant sixes, especially the second, over square leg; the cut with which Tom de Grooth despatched his first ball and set the tone of his innings; Borren's huge six over square; Daan van Bunge's perfectly-timed cover drive which hit the fence so hard it bounced about twenty meters back into the field of play.

And then, of course, that final over, Broad's nemesis. Ten Doeschate played, by his high standards, a fairly minor role, his arrival at the wicket delayed until the end of the 15th over when four men were out.

But it turned out to be an inspired decision, as his experienced hand managed those final overs and helped Schiferli ensure that there was no last-moment reversal of fortune to wreck the steadily building celebration in the Mound Stand.

As the crowd dispersed and the press sat waiting for their conference, the Dutch players stood in the floodlit outfield, watching in unconcealed awe the replay of their feats on the big screen.

Many of them had played in the 2007 World Cup, and a few, like Smits himself and Bas Zuiderent, go back to 2003 and beyond – in Zuiderent's case, to The Netherlands' World Cup debut in 1996.

But they had never known a moment like this. It owed a good deal to their preparations over the past week, which did not come without a massive behind-the-scenes effort from, among others, ICC High Development Manager Richard Done to make sure they got the chance to work out against Bangladesh and New Zealand.

Most of all, however, it is the determination and conviction of Drinnen and Smits which has moulded this squad into a winning combination, capable of absorbing everything Bopara and Luke Wright threw at them in the first eleven overs and then coming back to gradually, inexorably, take control of the match.

It is still possible to envisage a scenario in which they fail to progress to the Super 8s: if England beat Pakistan on Sunday and the Dutch then lose to the Pakistanis on Tuesday, it will all come down to net run rate, and the closeness of this result does The Netherlands no favours. T

hat would be, after the courage and endeavour of this performance, both cruel and undeserved; but that's the nature of top sport.

Nothing can detract, however, from the glory of the moment, or the reinforcement it gives to the ICC's programme of global development. It won't be the last time a shell-shocked Test nation yields to one of the so-called ‘minnows'.

It might not even be the last time in this tournament.


It was the most dramatic conclusion to the tournament's opening match that could have been imagined, and it ended with the greatest day in Dutch cricketing history, and one of the greatest upsets in any global tournament.

In the end it was the full-time professionals of England who cracked, and the Dutch batsmen held their nerve admirably to pull off a sensational last-ball victory.

The Dutch reply could scarcely have got away to a worse start, Alexei Kervezee swinging across the line at James Anderson's fifth ball and succeeding only in skying a simple catch to Stuart Broad at mid-on.

Undeterred by this setback, Darron Reekers smacked two fine sixes, the second of them, off Anderson, magnificently struck just in front of square leg.

But in the following over, having made 20 off 13 deliveries, he mistimed another hefty blow off Broad and was caught by Owais Shah at midwicket.

At 23 for two the Dutch could have been teetering on the brink, but Tom de Grooth, who now came to the wicket, demonstrated his determination to take the fight to the English bowlers by cutting his first ball from Broad to the point boundary.

He proceeded to unleash a series of fine attacking shots, pulling Broad for four and then belting the same bowler back over his head for a splendid six.

One could sense the belief of the Dutch rising as England started to feel the pressure, occasional little slips in the field showing the strain. So well did the Dutch pair combine fine attacking strokes with well-judged placements and running that they went ahead of the Duckworth/Lewis par score at the end of the 6th over, and stayed there as ever-darker clouds built up and rain began to fall.

Adil Rashid, after being reverse-swept for four by De Grooth (pictured), beat Zuiderent as he came down the pitch, and Foster completed the stumping. Even this wicket did not put the Dutch behind the D/L rate, and Peter Borren maintained the momentum by emulating De Grooth, flat-batting his first ball through wide midwicket for a superb boundary.

They did have a certain degree of good fortune: Borren mistimed a sweep which might have gone to hand but didn't, and a couple of overs later his desperate dive going for a second wouldn't have been enough had Bopara not muffed the attempted run-out.

Borren was composed enough to clown to his partner, miming wading through wet concrete, but he pulled Collingwood's next delivery into the top tier of the Grand Stand, undoubtedly the shot of the day.

Two balls later, however, De Grooth fell, caught off a leading edge by Key at mid-off, and The Netherlands were 116 for four. De Grooth had made a superb 49, off 30 balls, with six fours and that one six. Still the Dutch led on the D/L rate, and Borren and Daan van Bunge proceeded at a steady six an over, surviving another run-out chance before Borren swung Anderson round the corner and was caught by Shah for a 25-ball 30.

He was furious with himself, and the English majority in the crowd erupted as the players celebrated. But this brought Ryan ten Doeschate to the wicket, with 30 needed off 24 balls. Nine came off Rashid's final over, but then Anderson claimed a third wicket, as Van Bunge carved him to Luke Wright on the cover boundary, and he just held on to the catch.

A succession of singles maintained the momentum, and then Ten Doeschate drove powerfully in the air through cover, just beating a desperate but unavailing dive from Eoin Morgan on the boundary. It would have been a catch of a lifetime, but as it was it was another, crucial four.

So 7 were needed off the final over, and it was an almost unbelievable climax. Ten Doeschate chopped the first ball back to Broad, whose throw missed the stumps as the striker raced to the bowler's end. It was Schiferli's turn to dive off the next one, and it took a referral to establish that it was Broad's hand, and not the ball, which had broken the stumps before he was home.

Broad dropped a difficult return catch off the next delivery: four needed off three. They ran a bye: three off two.

Ten Doeschate drove the penultimate ball, but only to mid-on and they could only get a single, the batsman slapping his pads with the bat in frustration as Schiferli ended up on strike. One for a tie and a Super Over; two for the win.

Schiferli mistimed his swipe, they ran anyway, and then Broad's throw missed again and the ball went for an overthrow.

The Dutch ran onto the field as if they'd just won the World Cup, and in a way they had. Then they made their way over to their supporters, and gave them the salute they deserved.

It's a fair bet that many of them will be back on Tuesday, when the Dutch take on Pakistan. After this effort, who'd bet against them?