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Netherlands bank on strong batting

Netherlands cricket team captain Peter Borren (centre) addresses media as teammates Ryan ten Doeschate (left) and Tom Cooper look on at a press conference in Colombo. (AFP)


The Netherlands enter their fourth World Cup buoyed by some famous wins in the past two years and a powerful batting line-up as they seek to battle past the first round for the first time.

The Dutch competed in 1996, 2003 and 2007 but have never beaten an ICC full member country at the 50-over showpiece, although they boast wins over Namibia and Scotland.
But last July the Netherlands beat Bangladesh in a one-day international, their first ever victory over a full-member nation, and followed up with victory over a Zimbabwe XI featuring most of that country’s ODI players.
Those twin successes followed a sensational win in the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 over England.
One of the mainstays of the batting will be big-hitting Essex all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate, snapped up by Indian Premier League side Kolkata Knight Riders for $150,000.
In 27 ODIs he has scored 1,234 runs at a formidable average of 68.55 - the highest in ODIs - with three centuries and eight 50s. He also has 48 wickets.
Australian-born Tom Cooper, who plays state cricket for South Australia and who qualifies to play for the Dutch on his mother’s side, is another one to watch.
Cooper made his debut in June 2010 for the Netherlands and made three half-centuries in his first three games. In 10 matches he averages 65.44 with one century and five 50s.
Another member of the Netherlands’ strong top order is Alexei Kervezee, who plays for English county side Worcestershire and averages 26.56 with the bat in 30 ODIs.
Kervezee scored 47 against Sri Lanka on his debut in 2006 at just 16.
New Zealand-born Peter Borren, who represented New Zealand at under-19 level, will captain the side, ranked 12th in the ICC one-day international rankings.
The squad was selected well ahead of the January 19 deadline because several of the players are not full-time professionals and need to balance the World Cup with their other jobs.
National selector Darrin Murray said he was happy with progress over the past year as they gear up for a tough Group B fixture list alongside Bangladesh, England, India, South Africa, West Indies and Ireland.
“Recent series have shown we have made progress in one-day cricket, and we will be looking to continue this form during the cricket World Cup,” he told the Cricinfo website.