England v Netherlands live World T20 2014

England will face the Netherlands in their final pool match of the ICC World Twenty20 Tournament, with nothing but their pride to play for.

After a disastrous winter, in which they were thrashed in every format of the game by Australia, and then undertook a less than successful limited overs tour to the Caribbean, they came to the World tournament without a great deal of real hope of making an impact.

So it proved, as they slipped out of the competition before their final game. Although with a little bit more luck, and perhaps self belief, they might have been going into the match against the Dutch looking for a win to take them into the last four.

Having lost their opening match in controversial circumstances, when the umpires played on, with lightning striking around the ground, just long enough for New Zealand to complete five overs and force a winning result on the Duckworth-Lewis method, England then produced a stunning and surprising win against one of the competition favourites, Sri Lanka.

Against the Proteas however, England fell to an AB De Villiers-inspired side, who themselves booked their spot in the knockout stages. Standing in as captain, for the suspended Faf du Plessis, De Villiers smashed 69 off 28 balls as he lead his team to 196-5, with the last three overs yielding 55, which ultimately proved the difference.

The Dutch will hope that they can repeat the heroic performance that saw them defeat England at Lord’s in the very first World T20 competition. But even if they lose as expected, they will be extremely pleased with their efforts in the competition as a whole.

In a qualifying group that contained Zimbabwe and Ireland, there seemed little hope of even making it to the Super10 stage, but an amazing batting performance against Ireland ensured that they emerged from the toughest of groups.

A world record low score of 39 followed against Sri Lanka, but the men in orange picked themselves up like no-one could have expected, and with a little more composure, they would have beaten the South Africans, instead of slipping to a narrow defeat.

A steady effort against the Kiwis might just be the lull before the Dutch storm, cricket lovers in Holland, will certainly hope so.

Rajeev mcallister
Sports Pundit staff writer

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