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India Wins against Netherlands and Sachin scores 2000 World Cup runs

Sachin becomes first batsman to score 2000 world cup runs    Today’s match against Netherlands was match number four for India. Like the previous one with Ireland this one was also supposed to be a cake walk for India. But again, our batting order incomprehensibly made a meager total almost look like a small mountain. Thanks to a steady hands of Yuvi and some sensible batting lower down the order by Dhoni, India at the end, reached the target relatively easily and registered 3rd win in 4 matches.
    Even though Dhoni lost the toss, India ended up getting what they would have opted to do anyways. Netherlands decided to bat first. I am almost certain that given our performance in the last two matches, every time we lose the toss, our opponents are going to put us in to bowl first. India will have to watch out for that.
    The Dutch got off to a slow but steady start. As far as India’s bowling was concerned it was a mixed bag. Nehra – mildly put – proved again that he is not only physically unfit but also on criteria of quality (or lack thereof) of his bowling, doesn’t belong at this level. Dhoni was quick to put an end to his misery. In the 3rd over, Dhoni handed the ball to Yusuf. And he bowled his first 4 overs better than any of the new bowl bowlers so far. In that first spell, he only conceded 9 runs with a maiden. Harbhajan was introduced early on too, however, even in this match, he went wicket-less. In the last 4 outings, he has taken only 2 wickets. If India has to go anywhere in this world cup we have to get more out of our strike bowlers. Chawla was disappointing too. Yes he took 2 wickets, but honestly, only the first one seemed like a wicket taking delivery. The second one was a Dutch gift from Kervezee and judging by Chawla’s reaction, he wouldn’t disagree. He still has long way to go to be a strike bowler at this level. I am worried that against good batting side like he might be a liability. Zaheer, as usual, got the ball to reverse-swing and ensured that the tail did not wag much. Yuvi, got the wickets when needed the most but with an average of 4.77 runs per over he was the most expensive bowler today. One can only expect the similar trend when India starts playing the major teams.
    Our innings started with swashbuckling batting from Sehwag and Sachin. Their fluent stroke play ensured that we had our highest score in the first power-play. While they both were at the crease, it seemed like the game could get over much sooner. Sehwag, as usual, threw his wicket. In the last couple of years it has been a welcome sight to see Sachin hit those lofty sixes again, but sometimes, like today, he can get caught out at the deep and with that India were 80 for 2. Yusuf’s soft dismissal was the saddest one to watch. He lost an opportunity to build a solid innings and stay through the end. Kohli, was probably the only batsmen who lost his wicket to a good ball that cut in sharply and took his off-stump. In the last match, Gambhir didn’t know where the fielder was, in this match he didn’t know where his leg stump was. He sure needs to get a grip on his batting.
    Yuvi again played a restrained inning. He seemed determined to stay through the end and sure enough scored the 3rd consecutive fifty. Dhoni played patiently too. Towards the end he played out few dot balls and allowed Yuvraj to hit the winning boundary and get to his fifty. I think that was good gesture of camaraderie . One can only hope that Yuvraj, doesn’t get complacent with his accomplishments against 2 of the weakest sides.
    India’s spot in the next round is all but assured irrespective of the outcome of the next 2 games. However, as a die-hard fan, I would love to see team India to remain undefeated. On that note … watch out this space for my blog after Saturday’s match.