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Jonathan Agnew column

Jonathan Agnew
By Jonathan Agnew
BBC cricket correspondent

Stuart Broad (left) is dejected after England's defeat
England only have themselves to blame for their embarrassing performance

It was always a possibility that one or more of the 'minnows' could create a shock in this tournament, but we did not necessarily expect it on the opening afternoon.

For the Netherlands to beat England at the home of cricket represents an astonishing achievement, and they were thoroughly deserving of their victory.

England only have themselves to blame for their embarrassing performance. Paul Collingwood pointed to deficiencies in their bowling and fielding - and there were some - but after 11 overs of their innings, England were heading towards a seriously imposing total.

At 100 for no wicket, a score of 190 or even 200 was on the cards. But the Netherlands stuck to the basics, fielded keenly, and let England make the mistakes.

Admittedly, it is always difficult playing against teams you are expected to beat easily. It is tempting to set an unrealistic score in your minds, and this might be where England lost their way.

Ravi Bopara is still in excellent touch, and moved to 46 from 33 balls without playing a cross-batted shot in anger until he then attempted to hit Ryan ten Doeschate for six. The mis-timed stroke was taken in the deep, and it all seemed rather a waste.

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Owais Shah quickly followed, picking out the deep square leg with unerring accuracy for five, and Eoin Morgan's innings was another reminder that it might not be so easy transferring his improvisations from the county game to international cricket.

He was hit a stinging blow by the big fast bowler, Dirk Nannes, which he did not appear to see and then, with two fielders set for the shot, he played the reverse sweep and was easily caught for six. Collingwood hit a catch straight to long-on for 11 and the Dutch players were rewarded for keeping things simple.

Wright is a totally uncomplicated batsman in this form of the game, and very adept at getting his left leg out of the way to allow his bat through like a club. He scored an excellent 71 from only 49 balls before falling to another catch in the deep to ensure that the Dutch target was achievable.

Despite losing an early wicket, the Netherlands bludgeoned their way to victory with uncomplicated hitting from Darron Reekers, Tom de Groot and Peter Borren.

The game would have been tied and gone to a golden over had Stuart Broad - who bowled a brilliant final over - not aimed a throw at the stumps off the final ball and given away an overthrow. It summed up England's efforts.



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see also
Superb Netherlands shock England
05 Jun 09 |  England
Collingwood hurt by shock defeat
05 Jun 09 |  England
World Twenty20 day one photos
05 Jun 09 |  Cricket
England v Netherlands as it happened
05 Jun 09 |  England
Stage set for Twenty20 showpiece
04 Jun 09 |  Cricket
Napier's long apprenticeship over
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Twenty20 takes centre stage
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World Twenty20 teams guide
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World Twenty20 ones to watch
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ICC World Twenty20 2009
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ICC World Twenty20 2009 squads
10 Jun 09 |  Cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
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