Scotland squeeze past the Netherlands

18 Aug

BowledScotland 190-9 (50 overs), H Gillin 38, P de Graaff 3-24, beat Netherlands 166 (46.4 overs), B de Leede 61, K Nana 37, by 24 runs

On the penultimate day of this year’s championship, Scotland saw off a lower-order fight-back from the Netherlands, running out winners by 24 runs to set up a title decider against Ireland tomorrow.

Having won the toss, Scottish captain Shujaa Khan elected to bat and, at 81-2, that looked a good decision. But, when both ‘set’ batsmen, Albert Culley and Finlay McCreath, were dismissed, a few more wickets followed: 81-2 became 105-7.

The Scottish innings was rescued, though, by a fine eighth-wicket stand of 62 between Hughes Gillin (38) and Thomas Dryden (28*). Gillin was particularly brutal, his knock taking only 35 balls and featuring three boundaries and two sixes. 

The final score of 190-9, in damp and blustery conditions, was a fine effort.

For the Dutch, Tushar Sharma returned ten overs for only 26, while Pieter de Graaff record the excellent figures of 8-2-22-3. 

Despite bowling all fifty overs, the Dutch were required to bat for seven overs before lunch, something which proved decisive as two top order wickets were lost before the break.

Starting again, wickets fell regularly, although with Lex Otto run out backing up there was not much luck for the Dutch. Khan had also picked up a couple wickets for the Scots; at 73-6, there looked to be no way back for the Netherlands. 

CelebrateBas de Leede and Kerten Nana, though, had other ideas, sharing a seventh-wicket stand of 62, wresting momentum away from the Scots.

Yet, when Nana was dismissed for 37 by the returning Gillin (2-29), and when another wicket fell the next ball De Leede was left to shoulder the burden. Despite his epic innings, the Dutch fell 24 runs short; he was he last man out, caught at cover for an excellent 61 from 112 balls, with the score on 166. 

The Netherlands, then, the champions of 2012, face Guernsey tomorrow to determine fourth and fifth places. Scotland, though, go top of the table on net run rate and will face the Irish in a winner-takes-all clash to decide the championship. 

Meanwhile, Jersey cruised to a seven-wicket win over Guernsey, claiming Channel Islands bragging rights to finish this year’s tournament with two victories and two defeats. 

Despite batting first on a damp and windy morning, Guernsey had progressed calmly to 41-1. But when William Robertson dismissed William Fazakerley, the medium-pacer then ran through Guernsey’s middle order, reducing them to 57-5 and claiming figures of 6-1-13-3. 

Daniel Le Mesurier and Declan Martel (28 off 41), to their credit, staged a recovery of sorts, reaching 102-5 with the latter striking three boundaries. Yet, when returning opening bowler Robert Duckett picked up Martel’s wicket, Guernsey lost their last five for just 24 runs. 

There was two wickets apiece for Duckett (2-31), William Kaye (2-18), and Solomon Warner (2-37) as Jersey finished their week in the field on a high. 

Jersey faced a tricky period before lunch, but openers Grant Donaldson and Robertson did more than survive: they reached 68-0, all but guaranteeing victory. 

They ploughed on after lunch, taking their stand to an impressive 97 before Robertson fell for 37. Jonty Jenner soon followed and Donaldson was dismissed eventually for a well-made 52, but this was a comprehensive victory.

There were, however, at least two very bright spots for Guernsey: skipper Tom Nightingale returned the most economical spell of the week, taking 2-11, while William Fazakerley delivered ten overs of relentlessly hostile fast bowling, and deserved better than a solitary wicket. 

Jersey, then, finish the week with a 50:50 record, guaranteed at least third place; Guernsey now face the Dutch tomorrow in what has become a wooden-spoon decider.

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