India beat the Netherlands by five wickets
India today became the first team to qualify for the quarter-finals of the World Cup with a five-wicket win over Holland in 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, Holland 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.
On top of a pedestrian run-rate, the Dutch were in further trouble with the losses of Ryan ten Doeschate (11) and Tom Cooper - who had stabilised things with his 29 off 47 balls - in successive overs to Yuvraj and Ashish Nehra respectively.
Khan dismissed Bas Zuiderent to leave Holland 101 for five, while a quick throw by Chawla had Tom de Grooth run out at the striker's end.
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 World Cup runs.
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.
As Voltaire once said, “Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal”
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