Netherland's throwaway game

How four wickets in four balls is hard to really learn from

There are games and moments where you need to analyse every part of them as a team. Because they help you understand where you are going wrong. Often the results dictate whether you look at them or not. In wins, teams sometimes ignore problems, and in losses, they tend to over analyse.

A good recent example was one of the recent finals between Delhi and Kolkata in the IPL. Everyone was looking at what Delhi did wrong. Kolkata went within a Rahul Tripathi mishit of losing that game. They made as many mistakes as Delhi, but we obviously don’t worry as much about Kolkata.

For the Netherlands, there will be a side of them that wants to look at what went wrong against Ireland, but in truth, it was a throwaway game.

If you have heard me use that phrase before, it’s something that I use a lot in T20. Because so often there is just very little to look at in a loss, it’s just a loss, they happen so often in T20, it’s so hard to take them all seriously. A bad toss, a couple of run outs, and you don’t have time to recover.

This one for Netherlands was especially so. They lost four wickets in four balls, and it’s hard to learn anything other than it’s very bad to lose four wickets in balls.

If you have the choice, you shouldn’t lose four wickets in four balls.

But what would you find if you looked at them.

Colin Ackermann is a quality player who has played in a few different T20 leagues, he’s a top quality player. And in this case, he received a ball down the leg side that he tried to glance from Curtis Campher. Only Campher really seemed to appeal, the others were doing the fake lets-hope-the-umpire-forgets-the-wide appeal. Ackermann can’t be blamed, this is just one of those things, a rubbish ball that he had to try turn for runs, and ends up dismissing him.

Ryan ten Doeschate is the second oldest player in the World Cup. He’s retiring at the end of this year, and everyone in world cricket knows what he can do. And also what he can’t. Most teams try to bowl full and straight to him early on as his balance is not always ideal. So that is Campher did, and he was out. What do you tell someone who has played this much, who is about to retire about a full straight ball. He can’t fix it, if he could, he’d have done it. Some days he is going to miss it, more often than not, he’s going to be ok.

Scott Edwards is a scooping, lapping kinda guy. He makes fields bend to his will, and he’s had some real success doing this. He hits to weird areas. And today he missed a ball early on. He’s young, still learning his game, but it was a first baller. Almost impossible to tell him much more than don’t miss your first ball when it is on the stumps.

Roelof van Der Merwe saw an ordinary delivery and tried to score from it. I think he’s been one of the most underrated T20 players of this generation. And despite starting as someone who swings wildly he’s become one of the most dependable scorers in the middle overs. He got a half volley, he tried to hit it. The fact he somehow managed to drag it on is largely unfortunate. Even if he had a weakness to medium paced half volleys I’m not sure he’d be around now. And what percentage of the time would he drag this ball on? It’s low, right.

It’s also worth noting here that the Netherlands bat him at number seven. He has played for South Africa, and in the IPL, BBL and all sorts of places.  That’s incredible depth for an associate team.  And yet they still never crossed 100 runs.

What happened was a random set of events that had a game ending consequence for the Dutch. They’d be much better off looking at their slow start, and if O’Dowd chewed up too many balls. Those are things that could help them. The four balls does not.

I went to have a look at how many times in the last two years in T20 there have been four or more wickets (there was one five) in an over. This was the 13th out of over 48,470.  As you’ve probably noticed, this is not a common thing.

But then I wanted to see just when they usually happen.  Because my guess was that most of them occur at the end. And I was right.

In fact, this was the earliest occurrence in the last two years. It just makes it all the more unlucky for the Dutch.

Now, if this was from some very fast bowler, you could say the Dutch struggle with that. But they may possess the fastest bowling attack in associate history. And also, Campher is not that quick.

If it was a spinner you could say that was the problem. But a right arm seam bowler who isn’t that quick, some of these guys have probably faced 50,000 deliveries of this by this point in their life.

And Campher has hardly bowled much at all. He’s an all rounder with 34 games to his name. Today he took his 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th pro wickets.

A strangle down leg, two straight ones and a half volley that was somehow dragged on. Not the most frightening stuff.

They just happened to be the wickets that lost the Dutch a match that has thrown their entire campaign into disarray here.

And it’s also remarkable that this is a throwaway game for the Dutch, and it will be what Curtis Campher will always be remembered for.