4th over: Netherlands 10-0 (Singh 6, O’Dowd 2) There we go! Singh sees width and flings hands, looking to drive over cover, instead edging over second slip for four. That’s what we need to see from Netherlands – they don’t get to play England often, and don’t want to go home wondering what might’ve happened had they been bolder. Anyhow, a single and a wide follow.
“On the subject of school punishments,” says Chris Fowler, “I had a sports teacher at secondary school who evidently enjoyed giving them. He would announce to the boys getting changed after the sports class that the last boy out of the changing rooms would be given a punishment, which guaranteed him the thrill of screwing up somebody’s free time without the need of any kind of infraction. One day another boy and I were racing to get out before the other, being the last two in the changing room, and he decided to give us both an imposition (the name used in our school, as I remember) rather than wait to see who was last. We both had to write 200 words on Speed. I wrote an essay on Speed (I was 13 or 14, so I probably didn’t even know the word could also mean a drug), and took it to the staff room to give it in. As it turned out, I could have written my 200 words on the amphetamine trade, as he simply looked to check that there were probably 200 words on the paper, and then tore it up. Ritual humiliation of pupils for his enjoyment. Smarting under the injustice of it all, half a century later, me?”
Our PE teacher used to take the hands of the slowest pupils, lead them halfway around the track – a playground in Camden Town – then laugh his arse off as everyone overtook them quicksmart.
3rd over: Netherlands 3-0 (Singh 2, O’Dowd 1) Willey beats Singh’s outside edge, then that same bat-part squirts a single to third man. I’m not sure we’ve seen a single big shot so far, which is testament to some challenging bowling, but also to the batters’ refusal to give it away.
“Is Luke Wood injured,” wonders Paul Speller, “or was his selection purely to deplete Lancashire’s pace bowling resources even further?”
2nd over: Netherlands 2-0 (Singh 1, O’Dowd 1) If I was going to criticise Netherlands, it’d be for their circumspect batting on Sunday. I totally understand why they opted for that approach, but I hope they’ll throw hands today – if not now, in the first powerplay, once they’ve settled into the match. Anyway, here comes Payne, in for his first delivery in international cricket, and he finds swing first up, beating O’Dowd with his second ball and inducing an inside-edge with his third. It’s relatively rare to see someone of his age make a debut, but I find that when it happens, we see cricketers – and, indeed, sportspeople – who properly know their game, so are able to deliver the best version of it. Maiden, and a really good one too.
1st over: Netherlands 2-0 (Singh 1, O’Dowd 1) Singh guides a single to deep point, then O’Dowd plays and misses outside off. But he doesn’t dwell, shoving to Roy at cover then, deceived by a touch of extra bounce, edging to fine leg for another single.
Righto, David Willey has the ball and off we go!
Buttler also spoke about the new practice of players receiving their caps in the huddle, but with their family present. I love it, but I’d be in bits.
Watching the toss as live, we learn that we’re playing on a fresh wicket today, which should be a bit less active. Buttler reckons if there’s owt in it, it’ll be early, while Scott Edwards hopes that spin and slower balls will be useful when England bat.
Also found was the below – so go on then, let’s have the best lines and punishments you were dealt.
The other day my parents finally persuaded me to come round and go through my old gear, and in among all the nonsense, I found this treasure, Say what you like about my old fella – and given he was a teacher, many people did – but when it came to inculcating this thing of ours, he didn’t mess about: I was five in 1984.
That England batting line-up still looks alright doesn’t it? And that’s before you’ve brought in Bairstow, Root and Stokes. I said this on Sunday, but Rashid aside I’ve still little clue which bowlers constitute the first-choice attack – I guess Archer is a lock when fit, but otherwise.
Netherlands: 1 Vikramjit Singh, 2 Max O’Dowd, 3 Tom Cooper, 4 Bas de Leede, 5 Scott Edwards (capt/wk), 6 Teja Nidamanuru, 7 Logan van Beek, 8 Tim Pringle, 9 Aryan Dutt, 10 Paul van Meekeren, 11 Fred Klaassen.
England: 1 Jason Roy, 2 Phil Salt, 3 Dawid Malan, 4 Jos Buttler (capt/wk), 5 Liam Livingstone, 6 Moeen Ali, 7 Sam Curran, 8 David Willey, 9 Brydon Carse, 10 Adil Rashid, 11 David Payne.
Netherlands also make two changes: Fred Klaassen and Paul van Meekeren replace Shane Snater and Vivian Kingma.
I apologise for the slight delay in bringing you that news: I appear to have somehow gouged my earlobe while sleeping and have been wandering about this morning with the offending body-part caked in blood. I wonder what my fellow parents thought at drop-off; par for the course, most likely.
As well as Payne for Morgan, England bring in Sam Curran for Reece Topley.
After the events of the first match, I daresay that call will be a relief for the home side.
Lovely news: David Payne has received his cap, report Cricinfo – with no batter waiting in the wings, the Gloucestershire left-armer will make his debut in place of Morgan. He’s 31, so must’ve feared his chance had gone, but his captain’s misfortune is his gain. Go well, old mate.
The question with Morgan, though, isn’t so much about today but about tomorrow. This isn’t his groin’s first remonstration and given the punishing schedule over the next few month, you wonder if it’ll need managing – which might lead to managing out. We shall see.
Er, or not. Morgan has a “tight groin”, so Jos Buttler captains
It’d be easy to look at this series, conclude that England are just too good, and move on to the next thing – which happens to be a Test match against New Zealand, starting tomorrow. But there’s more to things than that.
First of all, though the winning margins have been conclusive, despite intense provocations to the contrary, Netherlands have not been shown up so far. In both matches, they’ve batted reasonably well, and had they risked a little bit more a little bit sooner on Sunday, they might just’ve put England under a little bit of pressure.
But they plumped for the conservative so, despite a bowling flurry towards the end, the outcome was never in serious doubt, and that is the challenge for them today: they’ve proved they can play; now, can they compete?
As for England, there oughtn’t be anything to say, but sport being sport and people being people, there’s always something to say and this time it’s about Eoin Morgan. It’s true that his form is poor, and competition for places is such that he can’t simply rely on his authority to keep him in his team – and it really is his team. But it’s also true that few leaders in the history of British Isles sport have earned the leeway he has, and you can bet that his players are best-placed to perform with him guiding then. He could, though, use a score today – another failure, and the fussing rolls on.
Play: 11am local, 10am BST