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England Defeats Netherlands in Cricket World Cup

England captain Andrew Strauss said his team made too many mistakes as it survived a scare against the Netherlands before clinching a six-wicket win at cricket’s World Cup.

The Dutch totaled 292-6 in their allotted 50 overs in the Group B game yesterday in Nagpur, India, including 119 by Ryan ten Doeschate. England reached 296-4 with eight balls to spare, with Strauss top-scoring with 88, to avoid a shock defeat.

Ten Doeschate, an all-rounder for English county team Essex, scored nine fours and three sixes in his 110-ball knock. He took advantage of sloppy England fielding to reach his century with a five as a run-out attempt hit the wicket and went for four overthrows. Kevin Pietersen and James Anderson also missed a catching chance off him by letting the ball drop between them.

“We got a lot of things wrong with our bowling, and we let them off the hook three or four times in the field as well,” Strauss said at the post-match ceremony. “It was a very poor first 50 overs, I think we have to take that on the chin and learn from it pretty quickly because you can’t afford to do that too often. Thankfully the batsmen got us out of jail.”

Man-of-the match Ten Doeschate was the last to be dismissed for the Netherlands, caught by Ravi Bopara off Stuart Broad in the 49th over.

In reply, England reached 105 before losing its first wicket, Pietersen for 39. Strauss was out with the score on 166, followed by Trott, who’d scored 62, and Ian Bell (33). The last two were dismissed by Ten Doeschate.

Paul Collingwood and Bopara, with 30 runs each, saw England to victory.

‘Have to Improve’

“We always knew if we kept wickets in hand, we’d have a good chance of chasing it down,” Strauss said. “I’m very happy to have got the win but obviously we’ll have to improve as the tournament goes on.”

The Netherlands, where soccer dominates the sporting agenda, is 12th of 13 teams in the International Cricket Council one-day ranking, while England is fifth.

Before the game, the Dutch were the 9-1 underdog to win the match with U.K. bookmaker Ladbrokes Plc. England was 1-25, meaning a successful 25-pound bet would yield a profit of one pound.

“I’ve worked really hard in the last two weeks and it was just one of those days,” Ten Doeschate said. “Everything came naturally. If we can carry on in that manner, playing brave cricket and having a go at these big teams it will be a great World Cup for us.”

The Dutch previously upset England in the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 competition, the shortest form of the game.

England, a three-time runnerup in the World Cup, next faces India at Bangalore on Feb. 27, and the Netherlands plays West Indies at New Delhi the following day. Today, Pakistan meets Kenya in a Group A match in Hambantota.

The top four teams from each of the two seven-team World Cup groups advance to the quarterfinals after a round-robin competition.

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