England openers give 2-0 unassailable lead


Roy hit 73 in the chase.

Roy hit 73 in the chase. © Getty

England took ten Super League points and an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series with another comfortable, if less spectacular, victory over the Netherlands in Amstelveen on Sunday (June 19) with Jason Roy and Phil Salt putting down a nearly hopeless 139- . run opening score to set up six wicket wins after the Netherlands posted a respectable but ultimately indefensible 235-7. Stand-in skipper Scott Edwards would take the highest score for the Orange squad with 78 from number five, the Dutch-Tongan-Australian goalkeeper who stepped into the captain’s armband after Pieter Seelaar was ruled out due to the recurrence of a chronic back condition, one that would force him to announce his retirement from international cricket at the end of the game.

The sold-out crowd would have to wait some time after torrential rain overnight left some worryingly damp patches in the square, leading to a two-hour delay and nine overs per inning, but news that the action was finally set to begin received appreciative cheers from the crowd, though less welcome was the news that Edwards had won his first pitch and, perhaps unsurprisingly, opted to bat.

The call would not pay off as the hosts were quickly put on the back foot as three wickets fell into the power play. Vikram Singh and Max O’Dowd would take just 17 for the hosts before the first wicket fell. Seemingly still struggling with a thumb injury, Singh appeared to score mostly behind the wicket and found the first frontier of the innings in the third that sweetly cut Reece Topley off the stump behind the run. But David Willey would get Singh over for a second time in the fourth, a slower bouncer who got the job done, Singh doubted the draw and eventually tamed Carse at midwicket. Promoted to three, Tom Cooper would become the sixth Dutchman to reach 1,000 ODI runs with a punch through mid-off for a pair in Willey’s next, crossing a few guaranteed boundaries early, but the introduction of Adil Rashid on offense would immediate reward. Swiping hard for his third ball, O’Dowd hit sweet and flat, but too close to Malan with his square leg, who made a spectacular dive. Things would go from bad to worse if Morgan sent Carse on the attack, and two balls under his spell had Cooper back in the fold and missed the look, hit high in the leg and good enough for the umpire.

At 36-3, the Dutchman was already looking on course for another beating, and things would have quickly gotten worse, as Edwards might have been sent on his way LBW to Rashid had it not been for a confident review, and five balls later he was on If he had to walk, Buttler would have just bailed properly after receiving a rocket toss from Roy halfway through.

Neither De Leede nor Edwards looked quite comfortable against Carse’s pace, de Leede survived a close LBW rating in 14th but would put the Dutch 2-0 in the broken diamond count in Rashid’s next over, a lofted drive along the ground doing the damage in front of the TV commentators. Edwards would pick up his first frontier in Rashid’s next sweep across the empty midwicket for a one-bounce four, and along with the Leede would add some respect to the score, the pair added a solid 61 in the next ten overs to take the Dutch in the face of triple digits. De Leede would fall for the part-time spin of Liam Livingstone looking for acceleration in the 21st, a misplaced pull that fell to Willey half way through. Teja Nidamanuru would join Edwards for the hosts’ most prolific partnership, Morgan largely got stuck spinning through the middle and the pair took advantage of a further 73 runs at a light pace to take the Dutch to 170-4 with more ten overs, Edwards brought his second consecutive fifty-five-running Carse hard, straight and flat in sight for six.

However, they were unable to take advantage of the platform as Willey returned to clean the bowl Nidamanuru on the drive for 28, and three overs later Edwards would fall for a 73-ball 78 thanks to a phenomenal direct hit from Willey, who shot in. on a single stump of deep square and Edwards just a hair short for safety. Debutant Tim Pringle would be cleared by the googly first pitch he ran into from Rashid in the 37th, the hosts stuttered from 170-4 to 191-7 as they struggled to find late momentum. Van Beek and Snater would give the home fans something to cheer about in the last few, Snater on the court at Topley on the last ball of the 38th to clear the midwicket fence, and Van Beek put up Rashid’s next ball over long for six more. Van Beek would ensure that the Dutch finish with a flourish, past the tree stumps to hoist Willey’s last ball over the long rope, but with only 235 on the board, the Dutch were far from par.

Any illusion that the target could be competitive was dispelled in the first over of the chase, Jason Roy demonstrating the quality of the surface as he drove Van Beek through the covers for four three times. Vivian Kingma fared no better, finding nothing in the air or on the surface, and took four fours in the only two overs he would get. There would be no repeat of Friday’s carnage, at least in the beginning, neither Salt nor Roy playing anything but textbook cricket shots as Edwards cycled through his options, delivering an effortless centenary within 15 overs. Roy set the score, going to fifty from just 43 balls in the 12th and cutting De Leede up into the deep third, and the only hint of a chance had been begging for an over before, when Salt led off Snater high went, but Van Beek coming back from point and de Leede coming in from the rope, pushing off each other enough that the ball would fall safely between them untouched.

The hundred ran out before the first six came, Roy plodding Aryan Dutt across the square leg line on the penultimate ball of the 15th, by the time it became clear that this match would be no closer than Friday’s. Salt would transfer his fifty into the next, from an unusual foul shot, a bottom edge cut off from De Leede running to the border behind the hapless Edwards. Dutt would come in for much more penalty, Salt hit him three straight fours in the 17th and Roy lifted him long for four more two balls later, but would eventually find the breakthrough for the Dutch one ball later, Roy on the court and swung for the long on the fence, but only managed to pop up an outer rim for Nidamanuru to rally to a short third.

Dutt would grab a second shortly after as an already late Dutch kickback came too late to question the result. Eoin Morgan’s personally difficult tour would continue, Tom Cooper introduced and hit his third ball to end the England captain’s innings after seven scoreless balls, and Pringle’s reintroduction would soon pay off too, a perfect delivery of spinners with the left arm past the outer edge of Livingstone and take the top off.

There would be no more joy for the Dutch, however, except to the extent that the Anglophile home crowd appreciates good cricket. Moeen Ali would join Malan in the middle and the pair would cruise home in comfort. Logan van Beek would make another incongruously frugal throw at the end by bowling a girl with the scores to keep the crowd waiting, but Ali and Malan couldn’t be denied finishing on 42 and 37 respectively, taking the winning runs from Ali’s inner edge. came , the first ball of the 37th full of Snater and over the stumps for four and a series win for England. The two teams will meet again on Wednesday for the final game of the series, with England eyeing an emphatic 3-0 sweep, as the hosts hope the glimpses of competitiveness they have spawned today can coalesce into a real one. victory over victory.



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