CAPTAIN Andrew Strauss kept his cool to help England scrape an opening World Cup win over the Netherlands after enduring a “shemozzle” of a performance in the field.
Strauss resisted the temptation to vent his frustration as England verged on the shambolic with a series of mis-fields, dropped catches and comical mis-communications to allow the Netherlands to pile up 292 for six.
Ryan ten Doeschate took advantage with a career-best 119, before England responded to a largely self-inflicted mini-crisis with a well-drilled run chase, sealing victory with six wickets and eight balls to spare.
Strauss (88), who shared a century stand with his new opening partner Kevin Pietersen at their first attempt, and Jonathan Trott (62) scored the bulk of the runs.
But an unbroken half-century stand in under six overs between Paul Collingwood and Ravi Bopara was needed to complete the job and ensure there would be no repeat of the defeat to the Dutch at the start of the 2009 ICC World Twenty20.
Asked if it amounted to an acceptable performance in their first match of the tournament, Strauss said: “Certainly not with the ball and certainly not in the field.
“The first 50 overs was a very poor performance, and certainly the last 10 overs was exceptionally poor.”
A disappointed Strauss added: “There were a few teacups on the field, but not in the dressing room. You can’t afford to drop that many catches and we were pretty untidy on the ground as well.”