Dutch delight cannot mask uncertain future
Lord's 2009 was close. Chittagong in 2014 was a thrashing. For the second time in T20, Netherlands humbled England and this time there was daylight between the teams as they finished an embarrassing 45 runs short after a hapless chase.
It was nothing less than Netherland deserved. Bowled out for 39 three matches ago by Sri Lanka - which promoted the unsurprising response from some quarters questioning their presence in the tournament - they showed immense character and fortitude. They should have beaten South Africa, made New Zealand work hard for victory and have now humbled England.
It has, in many ways, been an extraordinary tournament for the Dutch: starting with the controversy of Tom Cooper's call-up to replace the injured Tim Gruijters to its joyous conclusion when James Tredwell and Stephen Parry were left stranded mid-pitch.
"When you win by 45 runs in a T20, it wasn't really close was it?" Peter Borren said, and that should not be taken as arrogance or disrespect: just fact. From the midway point of the match it was not close. England flayed like a village side who had struggled to rustle up XI players for a Sunday-morning match.
Asked to compare this victory to the one at Lord's in 2009, Borren's response was an indication of the belief the side has built up. "This one in a way is more satisfying because it's more of a build-up. We sort of went under the radar in 2009; they didn't know anything about us. This is more of a long-term thing. We just ambushed them in 2009; we won off the last ball. Tonight we won by 45 runs. The last one was just excitement, this one our guys really deserved it."
"In 2009 it was a big shock but if you look at all our cricket we played here I don't feel tonight feels like an upset. It was of course, but if you watched all our cricket then you would have thought we'd beat someone so it's not a big surprise."
One of the ongoing themes of this tournament - due to its structure and due to the recent changes at ICC - has been the place of Associates in world cricket. As Borren has said in victory and defeat, they have been here representing their brethren in the second phase following their stunning chase against Ireland.
They could not have done much more to make those who matter sit up and take notice. Whether they will remains another question, but it would be a foolish, one-eyed administrator who does not acknowledge the vast part Associates can play.
However, Borren knows, for all the joy of tonight, Netherlands cricket is entering a sobering period. They are unsure when their next major fixture will be having lost ODI status.
He called their absence from the English domestic scene - where they played in the 40-over tournament for four years before being ditched as part of a restructuring - as "super bad for us" and said it had played a huge part in developing Dutch cricket but was quick to acknowledge the role of the ECB. "We can't slate them because they've given us four years of fantastic competition," he said.
"We might not have much cricket on the radar and all have to go and find a job," he added. "We've got nothing this summer, not one fixture, so this will be a nice one to finish on for a while. Hopefully is sorted out because we're very proud of our effort here."
Mudassar Bukhari, who earned the Man-of-the-Match award for his 3 for 12, worked in Burger King at Amsterdam airport before becoming a full-time cricketer. "This is my full-time job now, I don't know how long for with what's going on but hopefully we can get some fixtures to play because this sure beats flipping burgers. It's much better than that, I tell you that."
Of course, if they had been good enough to qualify for the 50-over World Cup these concerns would not be so stark. Their performances in Bangladesh will only go to add to the frustration over the missed chance in New Zealand, but after one of their greatest days on a cricket field, it felt harsh on the Dutch to have to contemplate the idea that they may never have it so good again.
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo