England had terrible trouble beating the Netherlands in their first Group B game but West Indies yesterday smashed the Dutch by 215 runs in Delhi, with Kemar Roach taking the first hat-trick of this World Cup in a six-wicket haul.
The Netherlands' captain Peter Borren had to endure seeing West Indies run up 331 for 8 after putting them in first – with his opposite number Chris Gayle hitting 80 and Kieron Pollard striking the third fastest half-century in World Cup history – before his own batsmen collapsed for just 115 from 31 overs in return.
Pollard's half-century of 23 balls was a master class of both power and deft touches around the crease, which critics had seen as a key quality missing from his one-day game. Devon Smith (53) and Ramnaresh Sarwan (49) also made major contributions.
It was the sheer pace of Roach that humbled the Dutch, though the scalp of danger-man Ryan ten Doeschate, who caused England so much embarrassment last week, was claimed by the lanky spinner Sulieman Benn. Roach finished off the innings with his hat-trick, trapping both Pieter Seelaar and Bernard Loots leg-before before bowling Berend Westdijk.
In Group A yesterday, Zimbabwe got off the mark by crushing Canada by 175 runs in Nagpur to record their biggest victory so far in a World Cup. Zimbabwe's 298 for 9 total was built on a national-record third-wicket stand of 181 between Craig Irvine (85) and Tatenda Taibu, who cruelly fell two runs short of his century.
Zimbabwe had included just one fast bowler, putting their trust in five spinners who obliged by squeezing out Canada for just 123 in 43 overs. Ray Price (3 for 16) and Graeme Cremer (3 for 31) took the bowling honours.