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Dutch surprise Warwickshire

Warwickshire Bears’ dismal limited-overs campaign went from bad to worse with a five-run defeat to the Netherlands at Edgbaston.

The Bears have endured a season to forget in the shorter formats and were out of the Yorkshire Bank 40 qualification race almost before it had started.

And when the Dutch, having chosen to bat, charged to 100 without loss in the 16th over, it seemed that more misery was on the way for a Warwickshire side resting key bowlers Chris Woakes, Keith Barker, Rikki Clarke and Boyd Rankin to safeguard them for the LV= County Championship run-in.

The Netherlands’ charge slowed so that they eventually totalled 248 for seven, no more than par on a good batting pitch. And an opening stand of 134 in 24 overs between Varun Chopra and Will Porterfield then put the Bears well on the way to their target.

But after Porterfield perished for 62 from 70 balls, there was a loss of momentum. Chopra posted a polished century but found no support from the middle order and an equation of 49 from the last four overs proved too demanding.

Warwickshire's inexperienced bowling attack suffered early on as Stephan Myburgh and Michael Swart put 50 on the board in seven overs. Abetted by some wayward bowling, the openers added 125 in 21 overs and were only parted by their own misunderstanding. Both ended up at the same end and Myburgh's aggressive knock was terminated as he was run out for 76 from 72 balls, with eight fours and three sixes.

Swart found another assertive partner in Eric Szwarczynski, who thumped 28 from 19 balls in a third-wicket stand of 51 in six overs. When the Netherlands passed 200 with eight overs left, they appeared to be heading for 270-plus but after Swart (67 from 85 balls) was well caught by wicketkeeper Pete McKay off Darren Maddy, the innings lost momentum.

Wesley Barresi swiped 37 from 28 balls but the target was much smaller than had appeared likely - and was soon looking very small indeed as Chopra and Porterfield worked the ball round adroitly against a workmanlike but limited attack.

But after Porterfield fell to Pieter Seelaar, Jim Troughton made 17 from 18 balls on his return to the side after six weeks out with a back injury.

He perished on the offensive, though, as did Darren Maddy and excellent bowling from Ahsan Malik further tightened the screw.

Chopra was stumped off Peter Borren, having made 111 from 117 balls with 11 boundaries, and the Netherlands were soon celebrating a West Midlands double having already beaten Worcestershire in this season's competition.

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