Wednesday, March 9, 2011

India first team to seal quarter-final place

India became the first team to qualify for the quarter-finals of the ICC Cricket World Cup with a five-wicket win over the Netherlands in New Delhi.

Chasing 190 to win, the home side were wobbling at 139 for five - thanks largely to Pieter Seelaar's three for 53 - and it needed a patient knock of 51 from Yuvraj Singh to see them through.

Earlier, Netherlands were thankful to a face-saving 38 off 36 balls from Peter Borren after two wickets apiece from Yuvraj and Piyush Chawla and figures of three for 20 from Zaheer Khan had threatened a collapse.

Having won the toss, Holland got off to a positive start and reached 50 in the 14th over, but spin came to the hosts' rescue as Chawla bowled Eric Szwarczynski (28) and Yuvraj had Wesley Barresi (26) given out lbw.

Borren, who smashed three boundaries and two sixes during his late cameo, and Mudassar Bukhari (21) together put on 38 for the eighth wicket as Holland managed to scrounge out 55 runs in their last seven overs.

In reply, openers Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag were boisterous from the word go, as the former hit three successive boundaries off ten Doeschate to become the first batsman to record 2,000 ICC Cricket World Cup runs.
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The duo raced to 69 inside eight overs, but Seelaar's inroads brought Holland right back into the game.
First Sehwag's hasty cut had him caught at point for 39, before Tendulkar (27) and Yusuf Pathan (11) fell in the 10th over to leave India on 82 for three.

Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj steadied the ship after Virat Kohli's (12) dismissal and comfortably notched a 40-run stand before Gambhir was stumped out after a run-a-ball 28.

However, India seemed well in sight of the win at that point and Yuvraj, partnered by captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (19 not out) fittingly hit the winning boundary that brought up his 50 as well.

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