New Delhi, March 9: India overcame some tense moments against the Netherlands to win their World Cup fixture at Delhi's Ferozshah Kotla stadium by 5 wickets with 13.4 overs to spare. A calm and composed Yuvraj Singh, unbeaten on 51, and a supportive M S Dhoni on 19 not out, took India home.
It was either a case of shrewd bowling from the Dutch off-spinner Pieter Seelaar or the Indian batsmen's tendency to implode that saw the home side slip from 69/0 in 7.2 overs to 99/4 in 14.3 overs. But credit must go to Seelaar for putting the skids on some rampant Indian batting. Fortunately for India however, Yuvraj Singh and Gautam Gambhir put their side back on the rails, before the former was bowled around his legs leaving the score at 139/5 in 25 overs.
India's innings got off to a blazing start. Virender Sehwag set the tone of the match's second session when he struck Mudassar Bukhari first ball for a four. Then Sachin Tendulkar took two boundaries off ten Doeschate in the second over, before clobbering the same bowler for three consecutive fours in the 4th over.
Not to be outdone, Sehwag subjected Bukhari to similar treatment in the 5th over. He then took a single off the bowler's next over to bring up India's 50 in just the 7th over, before carting him for a huge six. Sehwag was evidently on a roll, smashing off-spinner Pieter Seelaar for a six and four, but played one shot too many when he was caught at point off the third ball.
With a view of finishing off the match as soon as possible, Yusuf Pathan was sent ahead of Gautam Gambhir. But after he hit a four and six, came a dramatic 10th over. Seelaar first had Tendulkar caught at long off for 27, before caught and bowling Pathan for 11 four balls later. Suddenly India were 82/3 and looking in slight distress.
New batsmen Kohli and Gambhir seemed to be settling into a comfortable partnership when they nearly caused a run out. Then in the 15th over, Kohli was bowled by Borren for 12 off 20 balls. India were 99/4 and in dire need of a partnership.
Soon after India crossed 100, Gambhir upped the ante, sending Seelar for two fours. In the following over, Yuvraj did the same to Borren as the momentum gradually shifted back India's way. But just when it looked like India had things under control, Bukhari bowled Gambhir around his legs. The batsman was on his way for 28 off 28 balls, and India were 139/5 in 23.5 overs.
Then M S Dhoni joined forces with Yuvraj Singh to take the fight to he Dutch and knock off, slowly but surely, the remaining 51 runs to win.