When you’ve posted 324 in your first innings and have the opposition 7-3, you don’t really see a five-wicket defeat coming!
Stuart Broad made 64 from number nine but offered little threat with the ball.
Captain Joe Root led from the front in Amstelveen with a half-century, though come the end of the match we would reflect on the controversial run out of Keaton Jennings as a crucial moment in the match. Looking well set having reached 40, Jennings, the non-striker at the time, was dismissed after being blocked by the bowler when England attempted a sneaky single. The ruthless Dutch showed no mercy and Jennings had to go.
James Anderson, in making 55 not out and 10 not out, made it through the entire match without being dismissed… but was it his last Test?
Stuart Broad (64) and James Anderson (55 not out) put on 98 for the last wicket to propel us to a respectable 324. With said players rested after their batting exploits, Jake Ball opened the bowling with spinner Adil Rashid and both struck early with three Netherlands batsman back in the hut having each made just one run. With the Dutch deep in trouble at 7-3, we were contemplating whether or not to enforce the follow-on. Stephanus Myburgh (173) and Peter Borren (94) had other ideas however, as they constructed a double century partnership. The latter had a lifeline in the sixties, dropped on the boundary by Sam Curran after captain Joe Root cannily rolled his arm over, the first over of a new session. Jake Ball recorded impressive figures of 6-72 but senior bowlers such as the likes of Anderson and Broad struggled for effectiveness as the hosts accumulated 413.
After a difficult first half of the match, teenager Sam Curran came to the fore with bat and ball to offer a glimmer of hope for England’s international future.
We then lost too many wickets before eradicating the defecit, Ben Duckett the unfortunate victim of a PS4 button malfunction that resulted in him standing at the crease like a tree, happening to receive a rare straight ball and despite the most optimistic review, being dismissed LBW for what looked like a strongly laid platform of 15 runs, the whole affair pretty much summing up his international career!
It was left to teenager Sam Curran (67) to show his teammates the application required to score runs at Test level, only a belligerent Ben Stokes (46) offered any other resistance as we scraped past 200.
The Dutch were left needing 138 for a shockwave sending victory and soon reached fifty without loss. Sam Curran then came to the party however, dismissing opening bat Michael Swart (19) with the penultimate ball of the third day (Yes that’s right, we actually managed to take a match into a fourth day!). Myburgh then nonchalantly struck the last ball of the day for six but having being bogged down by Adil Rashid the following morning, threw his wicket away to the Yorkshire leggie for just 7. Curran then sent Ben Cooper (1 & 0) back to the pavilion, caught behind by Jonny Bairstow, the very next delivery. The Dutch steadied themselves and despite some much improved bowling from James Anderson who dismissed opener Rahil Ahmed for 53 and the needless run out of Borren for 35, the hosts ran out comfortable winners.
Credit to the Dutch for an excellent victory. Though some may consider it sour grapes, we look back on the controversial and unsporting run out of Jennings with much ire and realise that we have many selection issues to ponder throughout both the batting and bowling elements of our side ahead of our next Test in Scotland.