Harris Sportsthoughts

Thoughts about Sport

The Future’s Not Bright, It’s Orange

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England vs Holland was always going to be a classic. If we were playing football. We weren’t expecting similar entertainment in the opening match of the ICC World Twenty20 Championship.

But they’ll be dancing in the streets of Amsterdam tonight after a splendid performance by the Dutch cricketers squeezed out England, hurtling through for the two runs they needed off the last ball of the game.

England started well having been inserted, but for the last nine overs of their innings looked as if they were batting with those little plastic bats you can buy in petrol stations. Not a single six was smote during the entire 20 overs as the middle order carelessly nurdled away the advantage that Luke Wright and Ravi Bopara had accrued in the earlier overs. England thought they had more than enough with a smug total of 162.   

And if England had fielded properly then the Dutch may have fallen short. But they contrived to assemble an embarrassing gallery of missed opportunities, which culminated spectacularly in the final over when Stuart Broad must have broken some kind of record by flunking three run-out chances and dropping a catch.

England do employ a fielding coach. His name is Richard Halsall. I am not sure what the ECB are paying him, but on the evidence of this display, it’s too much. He must have been tempted to throw himself off the dressing room balcony. Maybe one of the members could have caught him to show him how it’s done.

Not too many complaints can be made about England’s frontline seamers, but Adil Rashid looked out of his depth among the puddles – he is only fourteen years old, bless him – and in hindsight seems like an optimistic replacement for Andrew Flintoff. The selection debate for this tournament and this game will continue. Even ‘Too Nice’ Nick Knight was bashing his fists against the glass facade of the Lords Media Centre. The dissections will abound in the newspapers tomorrow – with more eloquence than this blog could ever muster.

So I will end with the heartiest of congratulations to the Dutch. They bowled well, fielded well and ultimately batted well. I think that is what is called total cricket.

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Written by harrisharrison

June 5, 2009 at 10:27 pm

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