June 6, 2009

ICC World Twenty20

Beaten by total cricket

Nishi Narayanan
Ryan ten Doeschate celebrates as Stuart Broad sinks to his knees as  Netherlands' seal a dramatic last-ball win, England v Netherlands, ICC World Twenty20, Lord's, June 5, 2009
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The Dutch victory, which came as England’s fielding completely disintegrated under pressure, was one of the biggest upsets in one-day cricketing history, writes Mike Atherton in the Times.

Where did it all go wrong for England last night? Questions must be asked initially about team selection. With Kevin Pietersen unavailable through injury, the selectors had the perfect opportunity to stiffen an already thin bowling line-up and substitute Pietersen’s firepower by bringing in Graham Napier or Dimitri Mascarenhas. They did neither, replacing Pietersen with Robert Key, who after England’s bright start was demoted in the order and came in late on precisely when a big hitter was needed. Mascarenhas should have played.

Why was England's middle order replete with players possessing no power of stroke, asks David Hopps in the Guardian.

Broad will wonder how victory eluded England. He should tell himself that in the final moments of their humiliation, he did nothing wrong. His reliance on a round-the-wicket approach to the right-hander, slanting the ball across, worked like a dream. All that happened was that he did not get the breaks.

In the same paper, Mike Selvey writes that for Twenty20 the coaching manual has been torn asunder and a new one drawn up for the modern age that would have had The Don blanching.

True to their footballing cousins, the Dutch played total cricket, a brand that mixed equally the lusty slogs of the village blacksmith with subtler shots of the Pro cricketer, of which there are four in this side, writes Derek Pringle in the Telegraph.

The Netherlands have only 5,000 cricketers and that includes the women who play the game, so this was a massive humiliation for England despite Twenty20's ability to make fools of the favourites, and despite the last ball finish.

On cricinfo.com, Andrew Miller writes that England got exactly what they deserved as they dared to treat a global tournament as a side-show.

Nishi Narayanan is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

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