|Thursday, 13 February 2003|
India's bowlers make amends for fragile batting
PAARL, South Africa - Sachin Tendulkar became the World Cup's highest run-getter and Javagal Srinath surpassed 300 wickets, but India's 68 run win over the Netherlands here at Boland Park on Wednesday failed to inspire.
Fast bowler Srinath claimed four for 30 as the minnows were shot out for 136.
Earlier, the star-studded Indian batting line-up showed its fragile nature by making just 204 all out.
Opener Daan van Bunge's 62 added to India's embarrassment with the Netherlands taking the match into the penultimate over.
India captain Sourav Ganguly said a drastic batting improvement was required if his team were to match defending champions Australia in their next game at Centurion on Saturday.
"We need to put more runs on the board," said Ganguly, who himself managed just eight. "The batsmen are still to get into the groove, they need to put their heads down."
India leg-spinner Anil Kumble, who strangled the life out of the Dutch innings with four for 32, was more upbeat: "This game helped me get back into rhythm. I did not get a chance to play much in New Zealand, so it was important to get 10 overs in.
"Wickets in this World Cup are dry because of the hot weather, skid a bit and have variable bounce. So spin could play a major role," he added.
"Australia on Saturday will be a big game. They are the number one side."
Dutch captain and former Somerset fast bowler Roland Lefebvre was proud of the way his side competed. "I'm incredibly pleased with our bowling and batting," he said.
"If ever there was going to be an upset in the World Cup, this was the day. Unfortunately we lost too many wickets."
Dutch seamer Tim de Leede was made man-of-the-match after returning career-best figures of four for 35.
"This slow wicket suits our military medium style of bowling," said the modest de Leede.
"We are here to enjoy all the big games and look forward to the rest of the tournament."
Tendulkar, restored as opener where he has scored 32 of his world record 33 one-day centuries, was the lone Indian batsman to show form with 52 off 72 balls.
The 29-year-old passed Pakistani Javed Miandad's tally of 1,083 runs when he reached 25 to lead the World Cup list with 1,061 runs.
Tendulkar, playing his 304th one-dayer, has scored more runs (11,598) and more centuries than any batsman in limited-overs cricket.
He has also scored 8,811 runs from 105 Tests with 31 centuries.
But Tendulkar's 57th one-day half-century did little to lift the gloom in the Indian camp as the part-time cricketers from the Netherlands struck at regular intervals.
India's three top batsmen, Ganguly, Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid, managed only 31 runs between them to leave their team gasping at 114-5 in the 32nd over.
Nearly half of those runs came off Tendulkar's blade. He hit seven boundaries before being caught behind trying to cut de Leede.
Dinesh Mongia made 42 before he was run out as the last four wickets fell for 18 runs.
Srinath reached the 300-wicket mark with the fourth delivery of the innings, Feiko Kloppenburg caught in the slips.
Opener van Bunge, whose fifty came off 101 balls, including five fours, became only the fourth Dutch batsman in history to reach the landmark in a one-day international.
But well though he played, the Netherlands were never in the hunt after collapsing to 31 for three in the 10th over.
Van Bunge, however, at least ensured some respectability before he was ninth man out to a well-disguised Srinath slower ball.
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