England suffer embarrassing T20 defeat to the Netherlands
Dutch bowl former champions out for 88 in Bangladesh
Timm van der Gugten of the Netherlands celebrates dismissing Eoin Morgan of England during the ICC World Twenty20 match in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images
England’s lamentable winter lurched to a new low as they bowed out of the World Twenty20 with a shambolic 45-run defeat to the Netherlands in Chittagong on Monday.
It was a repeat of the 2009 embarrassment at Lord’s but this was arguably an even more abject display against a side blown away for 39 by Sri Lanka but gradually building to this unlikely act of giant-killing ever since.
England were far from flawless in the field, guilty of at least two clear drops and one botched run-out by Jos Buttler, but their batting was littered with errors and complacency.
Chasing the Dutch mark of 133 for five victory, Stuart Broad’s side – who had won the toss and opted to chase – mustered a risible 88 all out, just eight more than their worst-ever score in the format.
The Ashes whitewash either side of new year will always stick in the craw of English cricket fans but at least Down Under they were beaten by the brilliance of Mitchell Johnson.
Here, they were made to look like amateurs by Associate stalwarts such as Mudassar Bukhari and Logan van Beek, who took three for 12 and three for nine respectively.
In their entire innings, England only scored four boundaries in their 17.4 overs – a scarcely believable statistic in the shortest format of the game.
The Netherlands, meanwhile, will celebrate their second success over England for a long time and Wesley Barresi (48) and Stephan Myburgh (39) can take their share of the credit.
Having scored 172, 190 and 193 against New Zealand, Sri Lanka and South Africa, England’s target of 134 looked entirely straightforward.
But nothing has been plain sailing in recent months and by the end of the powerplay it was clear the squeeze was on.
Both openers departed without asserting themselves, Bukhari having Michael Lumb held at cover and then sneaking through an inviting gap to clip Alex Hales’s bails.
Scenting blood, the Dutch bravely inserted a slip to Eoin Morgan who duly obliged by nicking Timm van der Gugten to the waiting Borren.
In between the dismissals there was virtually nothing to cheer, with a paltry 26 runs at the six-over mark.
The scoring continued at a listless rate – Bukhari’s three-over spell taken for just nine – and Moeen Ali was soon joining his top-order team-mates in the pavilion.
He popped Borren’s loosener straight to short cover for three, leaving Jos Buttler and Ravi Bopara as the last recognised batsmen.
But the Buttler did not do it, lobbing Van Beek tamely to deep midwicket leaving his side needing 92 from the last 10 overs.
England were missing a run-out from their collection of errors but quickly rectified that when Bopara and Tim Bresnan attempted a brainless second that saw the latter fall woefully short.
Bopara chiselled out 18 before heaving Van Beek high into the sky and straight into the hands of the cool Pieter Seelaar.
The game was probably gone when Chris Jordan and Broad added to the hauls of Van Beek and Bukhari and when the end came it was fittingly farcical.
James Tredwell was nearly caught chipping over the infield but England would not accept their luck and Stephen Parry was run out by a mile following a dreadful mix-up.
Dutch joy was heartfelt and immediate, while English humiliation was complete.
Spinner Rangana Herath produced the bowling performance of the tournament as Sri Lanka progressed to the semi-finals of the World Twenty20 by rolling New Zealand for just 60.
Herath, making his first appearance of the competition in place of Ajantha Mendis, produced a magical spell — claiming five for three in 3.3 overs of imperious left-arm spin. He ripped the heart out of the Black Caps batting line-up, removing Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor and Jimmy Neesham for ducks.
It meant Sri Lanka’s modest 119 all out was enough for a 59-run win and also condemned the exiting Kiwis to their lowest ever T20 total.