The Day the Netherlands beat England (again) – and other cricketing upsets

There was some great cricket viewing late Monday night that went largely unnoticed in this country. A Twenty20 World Cup match in Bangladesh between England and the Netherlands. The Dutch batted first and made 5/133 off their 20 overs. Below par, especially on a flat Bangladeshi wicket. But more than enough for the men in orange, who bowled the hapless Poms out for just 88. The best win from the Dutch since they beat England in the 2009 T20 World Cup at Lords of all places. In 2009 the Netherlands attack was lead by Victorian quick Dirk Nannes and had the services of South African (with Dutch heritage) all rounder Ryan Ten Doeschate who has since found his fortune playing on the international T2o circuit. In 2014 the Dutch had 3 Australians in South Australian Sheffield Shield player Tom Cooper, his younger brother Ben and former West Australian Shield player Michael Swart, plus Pakistan born Mudassar Bukhari, who took 3/12 in the rout on Monday.
The win by a minnow has been a highlight of International cricket tournaments since the One-Day World Cup began in 1975. In that first World Cup, the six Test nations at the time (South Africa were banned) were joined by Sri Lanka (7 years from Test status) and East Africa, a team made up of mostly Kenyans with the odd Ugandan, Tanzanian and Zambian. Both were mainly uncompetitive except from a Sri Lankan score of 4/276 in pursuit of an Australian total of 5/328 at The Oval in London. But in the 1979 World Cup, Sri Lanka beat India, making 5/238 batting first and then bowling India out for 191. By the 1983 World Cup Sri lanka were a Test nation.
The biggest upset yet came in the 3rd match of the 1983 World Cup at Trent Bridge, where Zimbabwe, playing it’s first One Day International, shocked Australia with a 13 run win. Duncan Fletcher, who later coached England, led the way with 69 and 4/42. John Traicos, who had played Test cricket for South Africa in 1969/70 against Australia, was miserly with 0/27 off 12 overs (60 over games in that World Cup). Traicos’ daughter Catherine is a well renowned singer/songwriter based in Perth. 5 great albums into her career, do yourself a favour and have a listen. Very talented.
There were no major upsets in the 1987 World Cup apart from a young Australian team winning the final. They are somewhat forgotten heroes as there was minimal TV coverage. The feats of AB’s team deserve more recognition.
I’m at the MCG as a 12 year old in 1992 for the final match of the qualifying rounds of the World Cup where Australia are playing the West Indies. Neither team can make the semi’s. David Boon makes a wonderful even century but the biggest roar from the crowd all day comes when the ground announcer reveals that Zimbabwe have beaten England in Albury. A month later Zimbabwe gain Test status. Probably should have got it in 1983, or at least after the 1987 World Cup.
Three new teams qualified for the 1996 World Cup, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates and Kenya went to the Sub-Continent for their first crack at the big time. The UAE captain Sultan Zarawani, one of only two native Emiraties, showed his courage and stupidity when he went out to face Alan Donald without a helmet

The Netherlands were more competitive, and chasing England’s 4/279 made 6/230. Kenya announced their arrival with several good performances and an upset win over a West Indies team in decline. All out for 166 shouldn’t have been enough but was as the East Africans bowled the Windies out for just 93.
Kenya struggled in the 1999 World Cup. Zimbabwe took it up to the major nations with probably their best ever team, making it to the last 6. But Bangladesh, playing in their first World Cup, scored a win over Pakistan in the last group match. What a shock – Pakistan, who were assured of top spot in their group, losing this game. A game that went a long way to giving Bangladesh Test status.
Kenyan cricket reached it’s peak in 2003, a wins over Sri Lanka and Bangladesh as well as New Zealand forfeiting their match in bomb hit Nairobi. A Semi-Final appearance, makes a great trivia question. The ICC treatment of Kenya following the 2003 World Cup was disgraceful, nowhere near enough games for a team on the rise. Kenyan cricket is now in a sad state, no One Day International status anymore, but all national players are fully paid professionals, albeit at a rate only Kenyans appreciate as good pay.
Ireland made their first appearance at cricket World Cup in 2007 and upset Pakistan in a famous St Patricks day win. A few other good results and Ireland made the super 8’s. While they didn’t go as far in the 2011 World Cup, the Irish win over over the Poms is surely as good a win as ever recorded in an ODI. England would have been very confident after making 8/327 at Bangalore but were blown away by a Kevin O’Brien knock of 113 off just 63 balls that won the game for the emarald greens.
I love Irish cricket and have banged on here before about their future prospects. Should already be a Test nation. Going by my Grandparents, I’m a 1/4 Irish. By my paternal Grandfather. Otherwise 50% English and 25% German. I prefer the Irish aspect. But just love watching emerging cricket nations come through. There’s no better story than Afghanistan’s rise in cricket. And Papua New Guinea now have One Day International Status. Ahead of Kenya, the Netherlands and others. Looking forward to cricket and the ICC continuing to get the message about the greatest game of all out there. As for the the Netherlands, despite beating England, nearly beating South Africa and New Zealand and being bowled out for 39 against Sri Lanka, they are in limbo with losing their ODI status and not qualifing for the 2015 ODI World Cup. A US $1million funding cut. They are better than that, and better than the UAE and Scotland who we will see out here in the World Cup. But you must make the most of your chances. Like the Sri Lankan, Zimbabwean, Kenyan and Irish teams of old.

About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134


  1. Great history of upsets Luke. I remembered the Kenyans. Didn’t Peter Roebuck captain England A once for a loss to the Dutch?
    Ned and Harmsy will be approaching “John the Bookie of Mumbai” for sponsorship of your cricketing pieces.

  2. “Not wearing a helmet is enough to intimidate any bowler.” Jackers is a tool.

  3. Luke Reynolds says

    Spot on Peter, think it was 1990 that Roebuck lead that team to defeat in Amsterdam. He gives a great account of that trip in his book ‘Tangled up in white’.Will weather reports also be required if John gets on board?

    Tony-ridiculous comment by Jackers. Love watching that clip though.

  4. E.regnans says

    Not only John Traicos’ miserly bowling figures from a match in 1983, but news that his daugher Catherine is on the singing circuit in Perth?
    Luke – you have outdone yourself with this one.
    And despite Irish heritage remaining hidden in my family tree back 3 generations (Swedish/ English/ Scottish), I’m supremely confident that it’s there.
    Another cracking cricket piece. Well played Luke.

  5. Way back in 1964, long before ODi’s, let alone T20’s, Australia lost a one dayer against the Netherlands. This followed our tour of the UK, which we won 1-0. I have an idea that Jack Potter, Victorian middle order batsmen, got sconed in that match, effectively curtaling any future prospects of furure international honours.


  6. DBalassone says

    Superb stuff Luke. You’ve shown there’s always a major upset at World Cups. People expect the 8 major cricketing nations to automatically qualify for the quarter finals, but there always seems to be minnow that gets through.
    I too have a soft spot for the Irish and always get behind them no matter what. Started with Oscar. U2. Steve Wickham. George Best. Gaelic football. Even heard somewhere that both Lennon and McCartney were of Irish descent.
    The nationality you choose to be is more important than the nationality of your ancestors.

  7. My understanding has always been that the Irish only started taking an interest in having a cricket team when it was explained to them that they would be able to run in fast from a long distance and hurl a hard object at an Englishman’s head

  8. Andrew Starkie says

    All roads lead to tipperary eventually Damo. Greatstuff Luke

  9. In that match in The Hague, way back in 1964, we scored 197, all out off 50. 1 overs. Norm O’Neil top scored with 87. The Netherlands overhauled our tally with 7-201 off 57.4 overs. In that period, one day games, weren’t necessarily limited overs.


  10. Just to show my age, after the 1964 loss by Aus to the Dutch, the late, great Paul Rigby, cartoonist for the Daily News in Perth, had a classic showing a clog wearing, meershaum (sp?) pipe smoking Dutchman twirling down the 1964 equivalent of a doosra, leaving an Aus batsman hopelessly tangled, while saying “If you’re a Test team, I’m a Dutchman’.

    The game, as with all games in Holland at the time (and many of the games on the subcontinent) was played on matting.

  11. Skip of Skipton says

    Anything is possible in T 20 cricket.

    Athanasios “John” Traicos is one of the most interesting players in cricket history.
    A Greek Egyptian born Rhodesian who debuted and played in South Africa’s final three tests before they got banned. His fourth test came 22 years and 222 days later.

    Read his wikipedia entry to save me crapping on.

  12. John Butler says

    Onya Luke.

    Sadly, many of the upsets concerning Pakistan now carry the shadow of gambling influence over them. Some proven, others strongly suspected.

    1987 was really the turning point for Oz cricket after some dark days. Border and Simpson deserve much credit for getting an unfancied team up in conditions we don’t usually relish (cf recent T20 flop). To recall how times change, I was travelling in England and only found out we’d won days afterwards. No internet then.

  13. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Great write up Luke Skip is spot on re John Traicos he is a fascinating cricket story 22 yrs between test matches is fascinating in itself . JB is correct in pointing out that unfortunately results such as Pakistan losing a game when over whelming favourite must be taken with a grain of salt , gambling with all of it’s types has affected cricket more than any other sport it seems . The 87 world cup winning team does not get the credit it deserves the irony of that game is Gatting getting out to AB playing a unheard of reverse sweep and being heavily criticised for it compared to today when it is a run of the mill shot Thanks Luke

  14. DBalassone says

    Poor Mike Gatting! Captained the triumphant 86/87 team, but is remembered for finger-pointing a Pakistani umpire, a barmaid rumour, a reverse sweep and of course ‘that ball’. Malcolm, you’re right about the 1987 World Cup win. A monumental effort that got us back on the path to glory. Mike Veletta’s little gem of an innings at the conclusion of the innings is also strangely forgotten. It effectively got us over the line.
    Skip, great stuff on Traicos. What a story! The Macedonian Marvel of cricket. By the by, how is Mark Doyle?

  15. ‘John’ Traicos is indeed an interesting story. His first three tests in one of the all time great sides, the remainder of his career, two decades, plus, later, with a Test newby. His first test wicket was Alan Connolly, his next two were Keith Stackpole, and Doug Walters. Who was his last test scalp ???


  16. Rick Kane says

    Thanks Luke, a splendid meander through fault lines in World Cup cricket and the struggles of emerging nations to gain a fair footing on Cricket’s big stages.

    As a half Dutch (Mum) and Irish heritage (Dad) Australian I was deep satisfied with The Netherlands most recent win over the Poms. Not on the same plane as our summer Ashes party but good enough.


  17. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    And Andrew Zesers, star of the 1987 World Cup will forever be known as “AFL Chicken Lunch” from now on.

  18. Rick, my Grandmother was half-Irish and my Grandfather was half-drunk.


    I’ll be back for the Saturday matinee. Try the Andrew Zesers chicken…

  19. Rick Kane says

    Litza, if your routine has more zingers like that you’ll have ’em doubled up in the aisles at the matinees and evening shows all week!

  20. Great stuff Luke.

    I watched the Poms lose to the Dutch in 09 in a pub in Shepherds Bush – one of the great memories of that trip. You couldn’t write the story of winning on the last ball with those overthrows from Broad.

    The other defining sporting memory that year was the roar of laughter on the tour bus when the text message came through that Carlton had done Richmond by 14 goals and Cousins had done a hamstring.

  21. James Grapsas says

    @ Glen – Traicos’ last Test scalp was Kapil Dev.

  22. Luke Reynolds says

    Thanks e.regnans- Catherine Traicos’ most recent album, 2013’s “The Earth, The Sea, The Moon, The Sky” is her best work, well worth checking out. Another sister, Chloe, is apparantley an actress but I’m not familiar with any of her work.
    Glen- thanks for that. Was aware of the result of that 1964 game but none of the details. I wonder how seriously that game was taken. Allegedly when Ireland bowled the West Indies out for 25 to record a famous win in Dublin in 1969 the Windies players had had a massive night beforehand.
    Thanks Damian. Spot on about ancestry. Love being able to choose being Australian.
    Well played Sean.
    Thanks Andrew.
    Great point about Dutch games being played on matting. I remember Tim Zoehrer played several seasons there in the late 80’s & early 90’s and took truckloads of wickets with his leggies.
    Thanks John. The 87 World Cup final would have to be by far the lowest profile WC final of all. That game and the Aussie team deserve much more recognition.
    Thanks Rulebook. Yeah the reverse sweep has made a massive comeback after that early setback.
    Damian, what an innings by Veletta. Huge career highlight in a very average International career, though was a superb state player.
    Glen and James- indeed it was Kapil Dev, stumped by Andy Flower. Good effort to take 5/86 off 50 overs against India at Harare in Zimbabwe’s inaugural Test after 22 years too.
    Thanks Rick and Ridgey. Nice work Swish and Litza.

  23. Skip of Skipton says

    How did Pomborneit end up, Luke?

    Skipton topped the table* and beat Carranballac in the semi, but bummed out in the big one to Carngham.

    *Reruited a local gun cricketer who had been playing first grade in Ballarat to captain coach the club, and a couple of other good players came along too.

    Was a good season overall. Started getting a few more locals down to watch and sell a few beers etc.

  24. Luke Reynolds says

    G’day Skip, we lost the Division 1 Grand Final for the second year in a row to Mortlake. Very disappointing.
    Carranballac were in our comp for a few years, sadly never got to play them up there, only at Pomborneit.
    Great to hear a few more locals coming down to the Skipton CC. Will make a point of checking out your ground the next time I drive through.

  25. Skip of Skipton says

    Cheers Luke.

    Mortlake are the team to beat? Pity they can’t reconstitute their football club.

    Is Terang in your comp? We had a mini-bus load of feckless buck’s party boys stop at one of our games, almost drink us dry, then push on to the Lake Bolac pub , god help them.

    Carranballac have improved their clubhouse but still done nothing about the bloody flies.

  26. Luke Reynolds says

    Skip, we have finished on top the last two years. Mortlake have have won the last 3 Division 1 flags. They are a superbly run club.
    Yes Terang are in our comp. They missed the finals this season but have been strong for a long time, and have a wonderful Turf wicket and oval.

  27. Luke Reynolds says

    Terang/Mortlake play 2-3 games a season at Mortlake’s DC Farran Oval, and I think Woorndoo and Deakin University in the Warrnambool league play some games there too giving the town some football prescence. The DC Farran is a very high quality country sports ground.

  28. Skip of Skipton says

    Cheers Luke. My cousin Richard captain-coached the Mortlake Cats back in the ’80s and I saw a few games there*. Instead of being the poor relation with Terang, and a few blokes up at Woorndoo in the Mininera League it would be great to have that club back in one piece.

    *I watched Mortlake vs. Terang and got to see Les Reicha the deaf bloke play. He was AFL standard. Kicked six goals forward flank, would have been ten if he could hear.

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