England win series but Morgan fails once again

Phil Salt in action
Phil Salt backed up his century in the first match of the series with 77 in the second game
Second one-day international, Amstelveen
Netherlands 236-7 (41 overs): Edwards 78, Willey 2-46, Rashid 2-50
England 239-4 (36 overs): Salt 77, Roy 73, Dutt 2-55
England won by six wickets; go 2-0 up in three-match series

England completed a series victory over the Netherlands but under-pressure captain Eoin Morgan once again failed with the bat.

Phil Salt’s 77 helped England to a six-wicket win in the second of three one-day internationals in Amstelveen.

David Willey took 2-46 as the Dutch were restricted to 235-7 after they had won the toss on a worn pitch used for England’s record-breaking ODI total on Friday.

Scott Edwards’ brisk 78 and 34 from Bas de Leede gave the Dutch something to bowl at, but Salt and Jason Roy (73) laid the platform before Dawid Malan (37*) and Moeen Ali (38*) finished the job.

England skipper Morgan endured a miserable day, though, with a second duck of the series.

Inevitably this match was a more low-key affair, reduced to 41 overs a side after overnight rain delayed the start, than England’s dazzling 498-4 in the scorching sunshine two days ago.

The Netherlands middle order brought respectability to their total under grey skies at the VRA Cricket Ground thanks to a 73-run stand from Edwards and Teja Nidamanuru.

But from a circumspect 93-3 after 20 overs at drinks they never kicked on despite a late flurry of sixes from Logan van Beek and Shane Snater.

Salt and Roy then adroitly pierced the in-field during the first powerplay, rather than taking the aerial route, in a clinical 139-run first-wicket stand.

England suffered a few jitters when Morgan and Liam Livingstone (4) departed cheaply but Malan’s cool head and Moeen Ali’s fearlessness got the tourists home with 30 balls to spare.

The victory gave England another 10 points in the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League –external-link used to determine qualification for next year’s tournament in India.

Morgan fails again as Salt and Roy shine

In the build-up to this series, Morgan had again fielded questions about his future role in the team with question marks over both form and fitness.

He is currently managing a groin/thigh problem in Amstelveen, and has previously struggled with longstanding back and knee issues.

In his last 26 white-ball innings he has just one half-century at a time when competition for places in England’s top order has never felt so intense.

He lasted one ball on Friday, trapped lbw, but this was worse. Morgan faced seven balls and, in truth, looked excruciatingly out of touch – his timing off and shot selection wrapped in a whirlpool of self-doubt.

England’s World Cup-winning skipper was dismissed swiping across the line at one tossed up by Tom Cooper – playing in this series after a six-year break – and caught at backward point by Shane Snater.

It was in stark contrast to the fluidity with which Roy and Salt played. Roy took five fours off the first nine balls, hitting both sides of the wicket, showing his intent with brutish crunches through the covers then stepping across his stumps and flicking anything behind square.

Although Jonny Bairstow is Roy’s established opening partner he dovetailed nicely with the more orthodox Salt, who used the pace of the ball to open the face and punch down the ground before skilfully slog sweeping.

Jos Buttler & Jason Roy with commemorative caps
Jos Buttler, left, and Jason Roy, right, celebrated their 150th and 100th ODI cap respectively

England’s bowlers in cruise control

The score from ‘Mission Impossible’ blared out over the public address system moments before the toss, and neatly summed what the Dutch faced when they began their innings in the first ODI.

With Jos Buttler proclaiming in the wake of that victory that England would keep trying to blast 500 it was understandable, then, that the Netherlands’ stand-in skipper Edwards gave his bowlers some respite when Morgan called incorrectly.

The Dutch have twice beaten England in T20Is – chasing 162 at Lord’s in 2009 and defending 135 in 2014 in Chittagong – but Morgan’s side play a different brand of cricket to those days, and the loss of 18 overs made little difference.

With the ball England’s attack did well, yet with the sense they never had to really exert themselves as batter error accounted for four of the Dutch wickets.

Brydon Carse (1-36) showed some zip and nipped one back to trap Tom Cooper lbw as Willey, who also ran out Edwards with a flat throw from mid-wicket, was aggressive. Adil Rashid (2-50) bowled well in patches although Moeen Ali was a touch expensive.

Morgan’s role and influence on the field of play remains undiminished – his tactics and bowling changes here were pretty much spot on.

But on a day when his opposite number Pieter Seelaar retired because of a persistent back problem, similar thoughts must be passing through the 35-year-old England captain’s mind.

Praise for Carse, Roy & Salt

England captain Eoin Morgan: “I’m delighted. With the ball, Brydon Carse came into the game and hit the series with plenty of pace and with something we haven’t seen before.

“And with the bat again Phil Salt contributed for the second time doing what he does. Jason Roy did well in his 100th cap.”

Netherlands captain Scott Edwards: “Maybe we were 30 runs short.

“I was feeling good out there. Today was a missed opportunity to really get that score up to 260.

“We could have been braver but we weren’t that far off to be fair, there were a couple of wickets in the middle overs that cost us. We need to improve on our powerplay. That’s where the game got away from us.”


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