Spineless Netherlands fold for 160

Bangladesh spinners destroy Netherlands at Chittagong

By Suneer Chowdhary

Chittagong: Mar 14, 2011

Shafiul Islam can consider himself very unlucky. In a spell of bowling that saw him send down 9.2 overs, there were only 15 runs that came off it but Islam failed to pick up a wicket. At the end of the Netherlands innings, who had decided to bat first after winning the toss, the team was bowled out for 160 in the 47th over and Islam s bowling can take a lot of credit for the paltry score.

It was a performance that exemplified the gulf between an Associate nation and a Test-playing side. The pitch had something in it for the bowlers to begin with but a total of four run-outs spoke another story.

Even at the start of the innings, instead of giving the Bangladeshi bowlers the respect due, the openers frustrated themselves into playing unfathomable strokes. To top it all, they did not connect much and nine overs into the game, Netherlands had scored 28, missed many more and were fortunate not to have lost a wicket.

Wesley Barresi was the first to go when Shakib al Hasan got the batsman out lbw prompting the Dutch skipper to send out Mudassar Bukhari a pinch-hitter. The intention may have been noble to try and disperse the Bangladeshi bowling but the execution seemed inappropriate. Bukhari tried to waltz everything to the leg-side and was soon enough walking back to the pavilion the Dutch at 37 for 2 in 13 overs.

While both wickets had been scalped by the spinners, it was the bowling of Shafiul Islam that seemed to have done the damage, as he bowled his six overs for seven runs.

At the other end, Eric Szwarczynski batted long enough but neither was he comfortable and nor could he convert his start into anything substantial. His 63-ball essay got him only 28 runs. However, by the time he was run-out in that unfortunate manner off the tip of the bowler s fingers, the Dutch may have actually heaved a sigh of relief to see his agony end.

Tom Cooper tried his best to release the pressure with a couple of boundaries but Mushfiqur Rahim ran him out to overcome the earlier dropped catch. Cooper s 29 came off 41 and he clearly looked like he could go on to get a big one.

The fall of these quick wickets made life further difficult for the scoring on a pitch that seemed to be easing out. There was a brief resurrection through a fifth-wicket stand of 34 between Alexei Kervezee and Ryan ten Doeschate but once the latter had been stumped and growled at by the keeper Rahim, the rest of the side could not hold a candle to the Bangladeshi spinners.

There was no other batsman who supported ten Doeschate, with the rest of the four down the order being dismissed for 4, 0, 3 and 0. The Batting Powerplay was taken with the team having lost the nine wickets but the 19 runs got in those five would have been crumbs against a side which possesses the batting to overhaul the total.

A win here will push Bangladesh to six points in five games and that will also give them a decent chance of going through to the quarter-finals. Netherlands have also lost all their games so far.

Brief Scores: Netherlands 160 all out in 46.2 overs (Ryan ten Doeschate 53*, Tom Cooper 29, Eric Szwarczynski 28; Abdur Razzak 3 for 29, Suhrawadi Shuvo 1 for 33, Ruben Hossain 1 for 36, Shakib Al Hasan 1 for 38) vs Bangladesh.

(Suneer is a Mumbai-based cricket writer and can be contacted at suneerchowdhary@gmail.com and Tweets here @suneerchowdhary)

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