Netherlands v Sri Lanka, World T20, Group 1, Chittagong March 25, 2014

Netherlands down but not out, says Borren


A storm drenched Chittagong on Monday evening but Netherlands had been blown away long before then. The side that made history last week during a stunning chase against Ireland set another record against Sri Lanka in their first match of the Super 10 stage, bowled out for 39, the lowest total in T20 internationals. From the ridiculously sublime to the plain ridiculous.

Peter Borren, the Netherlands captain who has already experienced a number of highs and lows at the World T20, was at a loss to explain how a batting line-up that had made 193 for 4 in 13.5 overs could tumble to 39 all out in 10.3 a few days later. The quality of the bowling was one element, with Lasith Malinga and Ajantha Mendis snaffling five of the cheapest wickets after Angelo Mathews made three early incisions.

"We batted poorly. You've got to give yourselves a bit of a chance when you go out there, assess conditions, assess the bowlers and we didn't do that, " Borren said. "We played too many shots early and we were 1 for 3 - you can't leave your middle to late order to face Malinga and Mendis, the top order had to take more responsibility. Maybe we got a bit carried away, anyone can get out early but it was the way we were getting out that was poor."

Borren admitted embarrassment at the performance, although it is worth noting that Sri Lanka have a habit of summarily crushing the smaller teams at global tournaments - the three lowest ODI scores were all made against Sri Lanka. Expectations had risen after Netherlands became the only Associate side in the second round and Borren said the team would still be aiming to take down a Full Member in their three remaining games.

"Because this was a pretty embarrassing performance, the temptation could be to sit back and try and get through the rest of the games without making absolute idiots of ourselves. For me, that's not an option," he said. "I look at our top order and we have guys there who can really play and have played at this level and done fine before. This is my fourth World Cup and this is the first time something like this has happened. I know this team can play, I believe in this team and I hope we can show that in the next three games. It certainly won't be a case of damage limitation.

"We don't have an awful lot of experience at this level, however, we're better cricketers than that. We're not going in to every other game thinking about damage limitation, we're going to go and try to make an upset, we've got players in our team who are capable of that and hopefully that will show. Right now we feel a bit embarrassed about that, we've let down ourselves and also Associate cricket. Let's hope we can do better in the next few games."

Borren made his ODI debut in a match where Sri Lanka racked up 443, still the highest one-day score, although the Dutch at least passed 200 in reply (and Malinga's eight overs went wicketless). He described this innings, which lasted an hour only due to a ten-minute power cut, as "a slow-motion car crash" and said the top-order failed to shield the tail from Malinga and Mendis.

"You can't let your lower-order batters play against those two, because they'll just eat them for breakfast.

"I think I was standing there in the dugout, at the end of six overs, and it was 11 for 4 [15 for 4]," he said. "I walked off at the end of the six overs in the last game at 91 for 1. It's definitely a rollercoaster, we were on a bit of a high... Sri Lanka are a good side. But if we'd batted like we just did against Ireland we would have got thrashed. It's not like we haven't faced guys bowling 130kph outswingers before and we were just chipping them to cover and hitting them straight up in the air, so it's a bit strange. It's definitely a rollercoaster."

Dinesh Chandimal, Sri Lanka's captain, was understandably chipper afterwards, noting how difficult it was for the smaller teams to face bowlers as unorthodox as Malinga and Mendis. "They come in and put in those performances every time," he said. "They played really good, we never underestimate anyone."

Asked if they could repeat the trick against England, who are on a particularly poor run of form, on Thursday, in a game where victory would effectively seal them a spot in the semi-finals, Chandimal grinned. "We'll have to do the correct things," he said. "We will try do that, we'll have to see."

Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Android on March 25, 2014, 19:07 GMT

    ismail -,keep praying to all the gods cus you're god didn't saved pak from loosing the Asia cup, look at recent SL vs Pak record, both won one test each and apart from that lions trashed Pak, two in a row in the Asia cup

  • Shameera on March 25, 2014, 10:50 GMT

    @mohammed-ismail How about the pak team without old Ajmal

  • Kalindu on March 25, 2014, 10:34 GMT

    @ SANG1: Very well said mate. These people try to spread hatred among nations.Its a treat to SL whether in the defeat or in the win, they play their cricket with full of respect to other nations.

  • Subramaniam on March 25, 2014, 9:47 GMT

    NL You fall down to get up. Remember the hurt now and convert it into positive energy and prove the world what is good about you. That is how SL became what it is now. Failing is finding ways of not failing.

    Also to all counter parts: The SL team is awarded with the spirit of the game on behalf of the whole country may be. Because we Sri Lankans know to accept failure more than any other cricketing nation "WE HAVE LOST 4 WORLD CUP FINALS", but we never burnt their houses or throw them stones. And its the 2 old horses which got them their every time. RESPECT

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2014, 8:53 GMT

    @mohammed-ismail well I dont know what is the reason behind your hate for Sri Lanka but seriously you are talking too much about Pakistan's win over Sri Lanka in UAE but no words about the most recent defeats against us in Asia cup...well I hope as an Asian all 3 Asian teams to be in semifnals and as a Sri Lankan I hope my nation to wi the cup because Sanga and Maiyya deserve it...both of them are legends in modern cricket and the the old horse Sangakkara is way better than the entire Pakistani batting unit..if you have any doubt check stats...not only against minnows check stats against Australia,SA , Englang etc. too in their home grounds... you'll see how good he is...

  • ESPN on March 25, 2014, 8:43 GMT

    Haven't you had any old players in Pakistan? Oh sorry, your players gets out of the team in 2, 3 years after the debut, they just can't keep their performance that long....

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2014, 8:43 GMT

    Yeah, in a stretcher actually. Expected atleast some fight from the Dutch.

  • Harsha on March 25, 2014, 8:39 GMT

    @Mohammed: watch matches before you comment my friend. You are the only team apart from Bangladesh that got beaten by sri lanka twice in last 2 months. And before you comment make sure you team get to semis since if s.Lanka gets there and don't see Pakistan it will be a shame. And hope real pakistan team turn out instead of the joker side comes every couple of matches. But i thank you for your jinx. Last time in Asia cup few of you guys did the same and predicted even Afghanistan will beat sri lanka.well look back sri lanka is over 3 months in bangladesh and 14 international matches played against 7 different nations and still unbeaten. Quit a fluke in my guess..

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2014, 8:21 GMT

    Any prediction change according to the situation. India will get cup.

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2014, 7:41 GMT

    @mohamed ismail- its really funny hw u tlk after getting thrashed twice recently at the ASIA CUP and last year T20 world cup semis. SL is the Best and hv been keeping the rank NO.1 4 a long tym :)

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