Borren p**sed off about batting inadequacies
Peter Borren, the Netherlands captain, has described himself as "p**sed off" by his team's run of poor form ahead of their World T20 campaign, grimly asserting that performances need to improve if they are to make it into the second round ahead of Zimbabwe, Ireland and UAE.
Netherlands have been one of the leading Associate nations in recent years, but in January they failed to secure a spot at the 2015 World Cup. Ranked second for the qualifier in New Zealand, Borren's team finished fourth in their group, leading to their ODI status being revoked.
On Friday, they lost their second World T20 warm-up match by 27 runs to Hong Kong, sliding from 84 for 3 to 100 all out in a spectacular batting collapse. The defeat was their second to Hong Kong in a week - the two teams met in Abu Dhabi during a training camp - and followed a similarly poor batting display against Afghanistan on Wednesday.
"Obviously that's not something we want to continue doing and we're going to have to have a good look at it because it's happened twice in a row now," Borren said. "It's pretty disappointing when you dominate 80 percent of the match and cruising.
"It was just a very poor batting performance there at the end and I suppose we're going to have to look at ourselves in the mirror - that's a cliché but I'm getting a bit p**sed off with it, to be honest.
"I said in the last game, it doesn't really matter too much what happens in this [the warm-ups] as long as we learn from it. Well, we haven't learnt so far. Here's hoping we can for the next game. It's just a shame when you don't get the result because we've been let down there by myself and the middle to lower order, let the bowlers down particularly," Borren said
"If the batting line-up can click, with the bowling at the moment we're in pretty good shape. It can't continue like this, we've lost too many games of cricket in the last few months where we should have won. Now the World Cup is starting, it's about time we put a stop to that."
Netherlands were involved in one of the great World T20 upsets, beating the hosts, England, in the opening match at Lord's in 2009. But, in a mark of how of expectations as well as standards have risen in the Associate world, Borren said that his team could not be content merely to continue buffing their past achievements.
"We've got three chances to get into the main draw. It's Twenty20 and it only takes a couple of players to have their day," he said. "It's a good opportunity for us as a team, after New Zealand, the World Cup qualifiers, having failed to get through there ... If we're going to step back and get scared of that spotlight, or the pressure, then we're going to be in trouble. We're probably not expected to go through but we back ourselves.
"We're a good chance, we've got some dangerous players. I'd love to see us create some more memories. Everyone keeps talking about 2009 but that was five years ago. Since then we've played a lot of good cricket but we've got that opportunity again here."
The disappointment of Netherlands' World Cup qualifying campaign led to Jeroen Smits stepping down as technical director, the team having also parted company with coach Peter Drinnen in October. Drinnen's assistant, Anton Roux, is continuing to run the team on an interim basis, with uncertainty over the level of future ICC funding having put the process of appointing a permanent coach on hold.
Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here