Netherlands series has placed Eoin Morgan's future in even more doubt as poor run continues
Out-of-form captain Eoin Morgan fell for a second duck in as many games but it did not stop England wrapping up their one-day series against the Netherlands with a game to spare at Amstelveen.
After posting an ODI world-record total of 498 for four in the opening match on Friday, Morgan’s team were handed the relatively straightforward task of chasing down 236 to win the second in a game reduced to 41 overs per side after the covers were blown off the square during an overnight downpour.
Half-centuries from Jason Roy and Phil Salt during an opening stand of 139 broke the back of the chase.
But the loss of three wickets in 19 balls – including a seven-ball duck for Morgan – saw them collapse to 177 for four in the 26th over with 59 runs still needed.
Things would have been worse had Moeen Ali not successfully reviewed an lbw decision on three after he had been struck on the front pad by Aryan Dutt.
Ball-tracking showed the delivery would have been going over the top of the stumps, preventing England from slipping to 181 for five.
In the end, Moeen hit the winning runs off Shane Snater to help his team ease to their target with 29 balls to spare during an unbroken 62-run stand with Dawid Malan.
This was not the cakewalk most expected after the fast start given by Roy and Salt, whose dismissal for 77 by Dutt sparked the mini-collapse that also accounted for Morgan and Liam Livingstone.
Despite the victory, the form of Morgan at the start of a summer where his long-term future has been questioned will be a concern for England. This latest failure also came on the day that Dutch captain Pieter Seelaar announced his retirement from international cricket after 16 years, the 34-year-old stepping away before this second match two days after his side were hammered in Friday’s series opener.
Already battling persistent thigh and groin injuries that means the 35-year-old may not be able to play every game for England this summer, Morgan’s duck here continued a run of poor form that has seen him only make one score above 42 across both ODI and international T20 cricket since the end of August 2020.
Like Morgan, Roy had also missed out on Friday’s run fest when he was dismissed for just one. But he cashed in this time, scoring 73 in his 100th ODI appearance before becoming Dutt’s first wicket.
Roy, whose wife Ellie and daughter Everly flew in to Amsterdam on the morning of the game to see him presented with a commemorative 100th cap, backed his captain, saying: “We won the game. He’s put it to bed and he’s happy. That’s just the fickle nature of sport. He’s just an incredible worker, he’s an incredible guy so I’d back him for sure.”
This was also the first time Roy had spoken publicly since being fined £2,500 and given a suspended two-match ban by the England & Wales Cricket Board in March for an unspecified offence.
Roy took a two-month break from cricket afterwards and although he is unable to speak about the specifics of his disciplinary case, he said: “It’s not been spoken about since it all came out. The break definitely benefitted my game. Things mentally weren’t right with me at the PSL [Pakistan Super League]. I was in a weird place because I was playing good cricket but I wasn’t enjoying myself, I wasn’t happy and it was just a dark time.
“It was just a good two months to come home and live a normal life for a bit after a tough couple of years.
“There were a lot of months away. Over 50 days of hotel quarantine the year before and then having a [second] child in January and having to spend time away from him was just a bit too much.”