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Dutch pull off English surprise

ENGLAND'S defeat by the Netherlands in the opening game of the Twenty20 World Cup was branded "the ultimate humiliation" by British newspapers yesterday.

England lost by four wickets against the 500-1 outsiders to the embarrassment of players and fans alike at Lord's on Friday with The Times praising "Dutch courage" for the shock win.

The Daily Express said: "England have had some embarrassing moments in World Cup cricket but none as embarrassing as this, coming on their most famous of grounds ..."

"Clogs 1 Clots 0" was the headline in The Sun which said England bowler Stuart Broad, who missed with a throw at the stumps to hand the Dutch victory off the final ball, "was made to look a total lemon by the orange men of Holland ..."

The Daily Star noted: "The rank outsiders gave Paul Collingwood's side a lesson with bat, ball and in the field. And the hosts could have absolutely no argument ..."

The Times added: "Fluffing your lines against the likes of Australia or India is one thing, but England played like headless chickens in the closing two overs ..."

The Telegraph's verdict was just as damning with the newspaper telling readers that England had lost to "a rag-tag assortment of Dutch cricketers made up of downhill skier, a debt collector and a 37-year-old advertising executive.

"It's lucky the Dutch didn't pick Burger King employee Mudassar Bukhari or England could have made even more of a dog's dinner of their World Twenty20 campaign."

England must beat Pakistan today to avoid a first-round exit, while the Netherlands will clinch a second-round spot if they produce another upset against Pakistan next Tuesday.

England captain Paul Collingwood was dignified but disconsolate.

"It hurts," Collingwood said. "I expect it to hurt - we have been beaten fair and square by a team better than us on the night."

After an opening stand of 102 between Luke Wright and Ravi Bopara, England's total of 162-5 was less than it should have been.

"When you have got 160 odd against a team like the Netherlands, you do expect to win," Collingwood said. "We built a fantastic platform - Ravi and Wrighty at the top of the order were superb again and got us off to a fantastic start - but you want to kick on from there and we didn't have another batsman who kicked on. We always seemed to get out and were not able to hit the big shot."

The Dutch, boosted by 49 from Tom de Grooth, needed seven to win going into the final over.

They scored singles until Edgar Schiferli collected two off the final ball when bowler Stuart Broad's shy at the stumps went for an overthrow.

Netherlands captain Jeroen Smits believes his team could go as far as the last four.

"It's a massive boost for Dutch cricket," Smits said. "We'd like to qualify for the Super 8s and maybe the semifinals. I had one goal - to play at Lord's in the opening game against England."


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