Bangladesh v Netherlands, WT20 Qualifier, Group A, Dharamsala March 9, 2016

Dispirited Netherlands feel pain of tough format

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Listen to Peter Borren after a fairly close defeat to a Test-playing nation, and you will feel the helplessness of these teams going through a cruel qualifying process. Clearly, Netherlands were not a side outplayed by Bangladesh. Perhaps, they bowled a couple of length balls too many at the death. Perhaps they missed one big shot in overs 17 and 18 when they batted. There shouldn't be a way you put in such a show on day one of the tournament, and get knocked out. They almost are.

Three hours into their tournament, Netherlands are almost out, and they know it. Now, they need a big win against Oman, Ireland to beat Bangladesh, and Oman not to win anything. A day before this started, the team was looking to downplay the pressure of the format and looking to put up a brave face, but in Borren's voice now you could hear broken spirits and hearts.

"It is such a tough tournament this you know," Borren said. "You don't get a warm-up or one bad result. Eight-run margin here, and I can find so many different moments to make up that eight runs. It's going to be difficult. We have two more opportunities to play better cricket than we did tonight. We have some real characters in the team. It's going to be tricky to qualify but I believe in the team and the character in the team."

It is a tough tournament, and it requires tough standards, which is why Borren was tough on his bowlers, who did a really good job for the most part of Bangladesh's innings. "To me it is really disappointing," Borren said. "To beat Bangladesh, who are a quality team, you have to play really good cricket, and I don't think we did that today afternoon. Think with the ball, we bowled quite a few in the slot and went for six or seven sixes down the ground."

With the bat, Netherlands wanted to take the game deep and then back themselves under pressure. "We talk about getting into a position where any team can win the game and I'm pretty sure with four overs to go in this game, we were probably in the box seat," Borren said. "And the 17th over, from Mashrafe Mortaza, was probably the one that's killed us, I think. Three runs and the big wicket of Roelof van der Merwe. Very disappointed to have got us into a position where we should have won the game and not closed it out. Obviously credit to the Bangladesh bowlers. Taskin Ahmed hardly missed a yorker. But in saying that, very disappointing not to win having been in that situation."

That situation was 54 required off the last five overs, leading up to which Borren had managed 18 off 22 balls. From the 16th over onwards, you could see a clear and sudden shifting of gears, which perhaps left them too much to do. Borren agreed that perhaps they could have aimed for one big over earlier. "Ideal situation we would win in 18 overs," Borren said. "But I think we got ourselves into a reasonable position to be honest. I agree I would have rather gone further ahead of the rate and not have to win it at the end. It's true. Chasing 154, you don't want to win the game in the last over."

Even if they learn that lesson, chances are it won't help them in this tournament.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • BetterCricket on March 10, 2016, 5:16 GMT

    Truly speaking, Mushfiqur is not for T20 Player. Being Keeper you have to give confidence to the Pacer to bowl wherever he wants, need to be inspiring and overall you have to be hard hitter, but he has neither. If he contributes much Team can reach only 150 which is par in T20. But I guess, he is one of the best BD One day/Test batsman.

  •   Manoj Damani on March 10, 2016, 4:50 GMT

    I would rather have Netherlands in the tournament than Pakistan or Sri Lanka. They have lots of spirit and energy!

  • BetterCricket on March 10, 2016, 4:38 GMT

    Netherlands played well........

  • ashrafchowdhury103 on March 10, 2016, 4:19 GMT

    i son't agree with you borren about playing quality cricket. Netherland has played excellent cricket. they are quite capable of playing cricket at the highest level. don't be dishearten. in cricket one team has to lose whatever best you play. it could have been bangladesh also. bangladesh had to go through the same pain. netherland can be proud that they put bangladesh in such a close contest. bangladesh has beaten south africa, pakistan, zimbabwe and mighty indians in last one years. so just be proud of what you played yesterday. we congratulate you netherland.

  •   Arnab Anwar on March 10, 2016, 3:11 GMT

    I think the gap btwn the associates nd the test playing nations hv been diminishing, this WC format is undoubtedly a bit too cruel nd unjust.

  •   Jono Makim on March 9, 2016, 21:10 GMT

    True that it's tough but it is the same for all the sides, the Dutch truly had this one in their grasp, just as Scotland, Hong Kong and Oman all had the chance to close it out, Oman amazingly did so and really that should make it a bit easier for the Netherlands to get through, so it's just a bit of a lottery really. One thing is for sure though, the depth is growing amongst the associate teams and any of them would be worthy of going through into the main rounds, Oman were super impressive today.

  •   Shantanu Sen Akash on March 9, 2016, 20:37 GMT

    Being from Bangladesh and seeing how Netherlands have played today and being playing overall for last few years i am nothing less than satisfied and happy for Netherlands, and i'll be hoping to see them play with the same spirit as today and succeed in the future tournaments. Well played Netherlands!

  •   Ashiqur Rahman on March 9, 2016, 19:58 GMT

    Good article SIDHARTH.....But now if u look from the perspective of BD,,,,they were denied a plumb LBW to the bowling of Sakib and few half chances....so there is always a two side of a story :)

  • Bangla_Team on March 9, 2016, 18:08 GMT

    Netherlands fought really well today.I am sure If it was India instead of Bangladesh, Netherlands would have beaten India by 6 or 7 wickets.But because of icc they are not getting the chance to beat teams like India and show the world they are better than India in talent.Only infrastructure, facilities and interest on the game amongst populations separating India and Netherlands.

  • BanglaBandhu on March 9, 2016, 17:17 GMT

    I wish the author would put the match into context. Only 2 days ago, Bangladesh had flown from Dhaka and landed. They have not had time to adjust or acclimatise to the environment and still won. It was close but hopefully they will get a bit of time to recover until the next match against Ireland. Unlucky on NED, let's hope international cricket is allowed to be more encompassing.

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