England v Netherlands, World T20, Group 1, Chittagong March 31, 2014

Netherlands humiliate England


Netherlands 133 for 5 (Barresi 48) beat England 88 (van Beek 3-9, Bukhari 3-12) by 45 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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England 'flipped' to new low by Bukhari

There is a great deal of competition for the lowest point in the history of English cricket. They have been defeated by Ireland and Netherlands, bowled out by a chicken farmer in Zimbabwe and whitewashed by India, West Indies and Australia. They were even knocked out of the World Cup they hosted in 1999 before the theme song was released.

But defeat at the hands of Netherlands - the second time they have lost to them in two meetings following the result in the 2009 World T20 at Lord's - in Chittagong ranks among the worst of England's defeats. In a winter stuffed with setbacks and disappointment, England left the most ignominious moment until last. The term double-dutch has rarely seemed so appropriate.

It is a defeat that might also prove a fatal blow for Ashley Giles' hopes of gaining the England coaching job. While those at the ECB charged with appointing the next coach might have been expected to take a sympathetic view towards some modest results in light of the transitional phase in which the team find themselves, it may prove harder to overlook a defeat at the hands of Netherlands: a team that were beaten by Zimbabwe early in the tournament; a team that were bowled out for 39 by Sri Lanka a few days ago; a team that recently lost their ODI status.

Those same men charged with appointing the coach might also like to reflect on the wisdom of dispensing with Kevin Pietersen weeks before the tournament, too. Whether he is disruptive or not in the dressing room - and the evidence of those who shared it with him is mixed - there is no doubt that, without him, England are a weaker team on the pitch.

This was a wretched performance. While Netherlands hit three boundaries in the first over of the game, England managed only four in their entire innings. While Holland took 47 off their six Powerplay overs, England managed only 26 for the loss of three wickets off theirs; their second lowest in T20 history. Their final total - a pathetic effort of 88 - was the lowest ever recorded by Full Member nation against an Associate.

It summed up England's awful performance that defeat was sealed by a shambolic run-out. Had an unknowing spectator sauntered into the ground, they could have been forgiven for concluding that England was the Associate nation and Netherlands were the Test regulars.

But it is harsh to focus on England's shortcomings when Netherlands performance warrants praise. Certainly their bowling - intelligent, disciplined and calm - was highly impressive and their fielding calm and assured. They deserve huge plaudits for defending a target that looked some way below par, albeit on a pitch that rendered stroke-making difficult.

Timm van der Gugten bowled with pace and control in taking the key wicket of Eoin Morgan, falling to an old weakness and edging one pushed wide of his off stump, while Mudassar Bukhari's control and variations preyed on an England batting line-up chronically lacking in confidence on a sluggish surface. Logan van Beek also claimed three wickets in two overs by virtue simply of maintaining and decent line and length and preying on England's increasing panic.

However, the key difference was the composure of Netherlands compared to England. While the Dutch played to the conditions, England attempted to play as if on a quicker surface. With the ball not coming on to the bat as England might have liked, the batsmen were encouraged to hit the ball in the air and presented a succession of chances to Netherland's grateful, and sharp fielders. Only three men made double-figures and none made more than 18.

Earlier, it seemed as if England had clawed Netherlands back to a manageable total after a bright start. Stephan Myburgh and Wesley Barresi put on 50 for the second wicket in 43 balls, with Stephen Parry, playing in place of the much-derided Jade Dernbach, punished for 23 off his two overs.

The fielding lapses that have marred England's winter were prevalent once again. Michael Lumb, mistiming his leap, was unable to cling on to a pull stroke by Barresi on 8 off Parry's first delivery - a long-hop - and instead of catching it, tipped the ball for six. Tom Cooper, on 4, was badly dropped by Alex Hales, while Peter Borren might have been run-out had Buttler not dislodged the bails with his elbow before collecting the ball.

But, having made 84 from the first 11 overs, Netherlands scored only 49 from their final nine as Ravi Bopara, in particular, bowled with excellent control and variation. Only 27 came from the final five overs and it seemed they had squandered their fine platform.

It proved to be more than enough, though. England's run-chase never gained any momentum. Nobody took responsibility for their chase, no-one had the composure for the job at hand. Complacency is one potential excuse, but how a team that has been thrashed all winter can be find room for complacency is hard to say.

Either way, while the result may prove a hammer blow to Giles' chances of gaining the England job his counterpart, Anton Roux, must have given himself an excellent chance of gaining the Netherlands job on a full time basis.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • associate cricket fan on April 1, 2014, 17:34 GMT

    England should thank SL for saving their embarrassment. First we spoiled netherlands net run rate. Then we gifted a game to England, which we should have won it. This effectively prevented England coming last in the group and also prevented from going to the qualifying round for the next T20 world cup.

  • Ross on April 1, 2014, 17:33 GMT

    Conditions very much against 'England' in this game so probably unfair to criticize. Netherlands had 11 players for instance, many of whom had played cricket before. Apart from the losing, 'England' did very well in the circumstances & I'd see it as yet another legacy game from them.

    Expect a much better showing by them in the upcoming test tour of Greenland.

  • Srinivas on April 1, 2014, 15:24 GMT

    @Mervo, if T20 is as easy as you make it sound, then what's preventing some teams with centuries of history to put up a good show in the conditions provided? Sour grapes is it? Get well soon son!

  • Dummy4 on April 1, 2014, 14:26 GMT

    Well look on the bright side..England can't get any worse.....

  • Dummy4 on April 1, 2014, 13:15 GMT

    Part of the big 3!! Really!!

  • Shanij on April 1, 2014, 13:02 GMT

    May be conditions in sub continent effect England progress. They have to prepare to bat against spin and atleast produce spinner like swan

  • John on April 1, 2014, 12:40 GMT

    @Aqeel AbdulRehman on (March 31, 2014, 19:38 GMT), it's not a case of the English public not being interested in cricket any more because they're interested in football. There's just as much interest in cricket as there has always been but there has always been far more interest in football in England. Cricket has always been a long way behind football in terms of interest and participation. I only lived in England for a couple of years when I was about 11-12 but I recollect the level of interest being probably greater than 10 to 1.

  • Alan Bain on April 1, 2014, 12:40 GMT

    Pathetic!. The only good thing about this shambles is that surely the ECB won't appoint yes man Giles and go for someone else. What is Tom Moody doing just now? But well done Holland you wanted it more. And if we had no KP, Holland had no RTD (who embarrsed us at the last World Cup).

  • Chris on April 1, 2014, 10:19 GMT

    The Netherlands bowled and fielded well against a very lacklustre England team who seemed to be waiting for the plane home. But those who imply they are ready for full test status should look at Division A of the Yorkshire Bank 40 over competition last season. Netherlands finished next to bottom with two wins out of 12 games against county teams several of which didn't normally even have their best players available.

  • Jonathan on April 1, 2014, 10:19 GMT

    There seems to be a culture within English cricket of looking to blame someone else everytime something goes wrong. We had that with Pietersen who was the fall guy for the Ashes capitulation, worryingly the future coach was busy pointing the finger at everyone else for their complacency in this debacle. Giles is a nice fella but I'd like to see someone a bit tougher take on the role, maybe Nasser Hussein.