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England survive scare

NAGPUR, February 22 – Error-hit England survived a huge scare to get their World Cup bid off to a winning start with a six-wicket victory over the Netherlands Tuesday despite Ryan ten Doeschate's all-round heroics.

South Africa born ten Doeschate dominated England’s attack in making 119 as the Netherlands piled up 292 for six and he then took two for 47.

But with England captain Andrew Strauss making 88, the Test side scraped home in front of a meagre crowd of only a few thousand.

England were cruising at 166 for one before medium-pacer ten Doeschate struck twice in quick succession.

Jonathan Trott was stumped for 56 down the legside by wicketkeeper Wesley Barresi and then he bowled Ian Bell (33) middle stump with his final delivery, leaving England needing 52 off the last seven overs with six wickets standing.

The match was back in the balance and England still needed 13 off the last 12 balls.

But Ravi Bopara then lofted medium-pacer Bernard Loots for six over long-off and levelled the scored with four over long-on off the same bowler.

He then smashed the next delivery to the boundary as England won with eight balls to spare.

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Bopara and Paul Collingwood both finished on 30 not out.

Earlier, ten Doeschate faced just 110 balls with three sixes and nine fours as the Netherlands, who beat England at Lord’s in the opening match of the 2009 World Twenty20, eyed another upset victory in this Group B clash.

There was no denying both the quality of ten Doeschate’s batting or the ineptitude of much of England’s display, which included wayward fast bowling, dropped catches, sloppy fielding and ‘wickets’ chalked off when Strauss had too few fielders inside the circle.

England spearhead James Anderson’s 10 wicketless overs cost 72 runs.

Ten Doeschate shared several fifty stands, the best a third-wicket partnership of 78 with Tom Cooper (47).

He drove part-time spinner Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann and Paul Collingwood for straight sixes.

Ten Doeschate had an escape when, on 47, he skied Swann only for the ball to land safely as Anderson at long-on and Pietersen at long-off left the chance to each other.

Off-spinner Swann (two for 35), kept things tight in the first match since the birth of his son as the Netherlands flew the flag for associate nations at this World Cup after Kenya and Canada were both thrashed last week.

England started briskly in reply before new opener Pietersen (39) got bogged down and once again fell to a left-arm spinner in Pieter Seelar with the aid of a catch at short extra-cover by Dutch captain Peter Borren.

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Strauss looked as if he would steer England home until, in sight of his century, the left-handed opener pulled the second ball back from paceman Mudassar Bukhari, a burger restaurant manager in his day-job, to Cooper at square leg. He faced 83 balls with nine boundaries.

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