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Netherlands back on track

After the disappointment
of losing to Afghanistan in its first game, Netherlands put in a quality
performance to beat home favorite Scotland convincingly at the Grange. It sets
Group B up nicely with Afghanistan and Kenya both unbeaten after two matches
but Scotland and the Netherlands are hot on their heels.

 

Having won the toss and
elected to bat first, the Dutchmen were intent on registering a big total and
despite losing the early wicket of Stephan Myburgh, opener Wesley Barresi was
not rattled as he scored freely from the other end.

 

Barresi’s 75 came off
just 40 balls, a knock that included five sixes, and he was brilliantly
assisted by skipper Peter Borren, who hit a rapid-fire, 28-ball 57. A
well-timed cameo from Roelof van der Merwe (24 off 18 balls) towards the end of
the innings brought the Netherlands up to the biggest score of the tournament
so far, 191-6.

 

The only real positive
for Scotland in all of that was the bowling of Alasdair Evans, who took the
event’s best figures so far of 5-24 from his four overs, including an
impressive 10 dot balls. As his team-mates were being smashed to all parts of
the Grange, Evans took wickets and kept his economy-rate to a parsimonious run
a ball. Indeed, his figures are the all-time 13thbest in T20Is.

 

But set that imposing
total, the Scots never really looked like threatening it. They lost George
Munsey – their man of the match from day one’s impressive victory against the
UAE – in the first over under unlucky circumstances. Kyle Coetzer smashed one straight
back at the bowler, Timm van der Gugten, only for the ball to deflect off the
bowler onto the stumps with Munsey stranded, out of his ground.

 

Momentum stayed with
Borren’s men after that with the home team collapsing to 79-7 in the 12th over.
Captain Preston Mommsen gave the Netherlands a few worrying moments after that,
hitting an unbeaten 68 off 44 balls and putting on 80 with Safyaan Sharif. But
they left their run too late, needing an ultimately unrealistic 36 to tie off
the final over.

 

Despite being on the
losing side, Evans won the man-of-the-match award for his remarkable bowling
effort but, understandably, he was not celebrating too wildly afterwards.

 

“It’s always nice to
take wickets in any format of the game but, obviously, it would have been nicer
to get it in a winning performance. Never mind, we will now focus on our next
game against Afghanistan and we’ll go again,” said the 26-year-old
medium-pacer.

 

“I’m always very clear
before the game – I want to keep it simple. I have two or three plans in place
that I want to stick to and you always know that Twenty20 batters will always
go after bowlers but bowling plans will still come off more often than not if
you can execute them properly.

 

“Batters are going
harder and harder these days but as a bowler if you’re sticking to your plans
and keeping things simple that’s all you can do. If you bowl where you want to
and the batsman hits you for four or six then you’ve still done your job,
that’s all you can do. They’re taking risks, at the end of the day, and that
will bring wickets eventually,” he said.

 

Meanwhile, in its
first-ever match in this competition, Jersey got off to a winning start at
Bready with left-handed opener Peter Gough putting in an innings of real
quality to carry his bat and see his side home by nine wickets. Gough shared an
opening partnership of 112 with Edward Farley which broke the back of the total
of 153-6 set by Hong Kong. Gough finished unbeaten on 81 off 60 balls with
Farley’s wicket the only one of the islanders to fall.

 

This win will give
Jersey a huge confidence boost as they prepare to take on PNG tomorrow at
the same venue.

 

“Amazing, unbelievable,”
said Gough afterwards. “It was a lot to do with the way we bowled and fielded
to be honest. On that wicket, to keep Hong Kong to around 150 was a great
effort from the bowlers.

 

“We hadn’t batted very
well in the warm-up games so this was very pleasing. We have batted well all
season so we didn’t worry too much (after the warm-ups)… Yes, we are top of the
table (in Group B) today, which is great, but we have a game against PNG tomorrow and
so it’s our goal to be top of the table tomorrow night as well. We
are pretty fired up for that.

 

“We are here to win
games of cricket. If we turn up and put in the same amount of effort as we did
today we know we have a good chance of winning tomorrow. If we have the
same frame of mind as today, then we’ll be in with a good chance. It’s a great
competition, a great tournament and you have to be on your mettle all the time
or you will be found out,” said the 30-year-old.

 

At Watson’s in
Edinburgh, Kenya maintained its 100 per cent record with a second win in the
competition, albeit only by seven runs against an Oman side that will rue this
lost opportunity. Chasing an achievable 144 for victory, the batsmen from the
Arabian peninsula made starts but lost their wickets at the most inopportune of
times. Shem Ngoche bowled well for Kenya finishing with figures of 3-21 but
Oman will know this is one that got away.

 

Nepal inserted Namibia
at a damp Stormont and, after a delayed start, promptly regretted that decision
as the Africans got off to a good start reaching 61-1 after 7.4 overs when the
rain returned to east Belfast. Stephen Baard on 39 was leading the way with
some crisp hitting as the Nepalese struggled a little bit with a wet ball and
greasy outfield. But it mattered for nought as the match was eventually
abandoned with each team receiving one point for a no-result.

 

Today’s scores:

Sat, 11 July –

At
Bready: Hong Kong 153-6, 20 overs (Anshuman Rath 43; Ben Stevens 2-22)

Jersey
154-1, 17.2 overs (Peter Gough 81 not out, Edward Farley 57)

Jersey
won by nine wickets

 

At
the Grange: Netherlands 191-6, 20 overs (Wesley Barresi 75, Peter Borren 57;
Alasdair Evans 5-24)

Scotland
159 all out, 19.5 overs (Preston Mommsen 68 not out; Mudassar Bukhari 3-22,
Pieter Seelaar 2-19)

Netherlands
won by 32 runs

 

At
Myreside: Kenya 143-7, 20 overs (Collins Obuya 50; Rajeshkumar Ranpura 2-17,
Munis Ansari 2-23)

Oman
136-7, 20 overs (Jatinder Singh 31, Amir Ali 30; Shem Ngoche 3-25)

Kenya
won by seven runs 

 

At
Stormont: Namibia 61-1, 7.4 overs (Stephen Baard 39 not out)

Nepal

Rain
stopped play. No result – one point each

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