The Netherlands all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate's brilliant all-round effort went in vain as England huffed and puffed their way to a six-wicket win in a group B encounter of the World Cup on Tuesday.
Chasing a stiff target of 293, England batsmen were made to work hard by a determined Dutchmen who were finally done in due to lack of big match temperament as Paul Collingwood and Ravi Bopara added a crucial 55 runs for the fifth wicket to win the match with eight balls to spare.
But no one can take the credit away from Ten Doeschate (119 and two for 47) who almost single-handedly threatened to take the game away from the Englishmen at the VCA ground in Jamtha here.
After their bowlers faltered, England openers started the chase in right earnest as Andrew Strauss (88 off 83 balls) played an out of character innings while Kevin Pietersen (39 off 61 balls) looked scratchy in between some good shots. It was Strauss who made full use of the fielding restrictions as England scored 100 runs in 17 overs.
The England captain scored his 27th ODI half century off ony 34 balls with the help of nine boundaries.
Pietersen was the first to depart when he drove uppishly off left-arm spinner Pieter Seelaar to skipper Peter Borren at short cover.
Strauss and Jonathan Trott (62, 65 balls, 4x4) then consolidated the innings for the second wicket adding 61 runs.
Strauss who looked good for sixth ODI century then mistimed a pull shot off Mudassar Bukhari's bowling to Tom Cooper stationed at square leg.
Trott and Ian Bell (33) didn't take too many risks in the middle overs as they were more intent on taking the singles and twos hitting the odd boundaries in between. They added 58 runs in 10.5 overs.
Ten Doeschate once again came to the rescue of his team as he struck at the start of the batting Powerplays with Wesley Barresi effecting a brilliant stumping to send back Trott.
If that wasn't enough, he cleaned up Bell in the 43rd over to get his second victim. But Bopara and Collingwood then ensured there was no further collapse and helped England script the third successful runchase in World Cup history.
Earlier, Ten Doeschate played the innings of his life as his superb century helped the Netherlands reach a challenging score of 292 for six in 50 overs.
The first cricketer from an Associate Nation to get an IPL contract (for KKR), Ten Doeschate during his innings of 119 (110 balls, 9x4, 3x6) showed why he is quite a few notches above his colleagues in the Dutch team.
The ICC Associate Cricketer of Year was never in awe of opposition bowlers. He showed special fascination for the region between mid-wicket and deep mid-wicket as most of his scoring shots were hit in that particular arc. The three sixes (one each of Paul Collingwood, Kevin Pietersen and Graeme Swann) were a delight.
Save a mistimed lofted shot on 47, the others were pure cricketing shots. When Pietersen provided a juicy full toss, Ten Doeschate stepped out to hit him over deep mid wicket for a six.
His third wicket partnership of 78 with Tom Cooper (47, 73 balls, 3x4) and 64 for the fifth wicket with Tom de Grooth (28) off 60 balls helped him take his team to a commanding position.
However, the last surge was provided during the batting Powerplays when Ten Doeschate in company of skipper Peter Borren (35 not out, 24 balls, 4x4) added 61 runs in only 5.2 overs.
The best ever cricketer to have played for the country, Ten Doeschate, who had earlier hit two half centuries in the previous edition (vs SA and Scotland) reached his fourth ODI century and first against a Test playing nation due to five overthrows off 98 deliveries.
When he was finally caught at mid-wicket boundary off Stuart Broad's bowling, his team had already reached a score of 274.
The sloppy fielding of the English fielders also helped the Dutch as they failed to stop the rival batsmen from running twos, misjudged catches and gave away at least 15 extra runs.
Save Swann (two for 35), the other frontline bowlers also failed to impress. Even pacers James Anderson and Stuart Broad went for 73 and 65 runs from their 10 overs respectively.