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Kervezee reminds Dutch what they're missing

Worcestershire Royals condemned the Netherlands to a sixth successive Yorkshire Bank 40 defeat, with Alexei Kervezee scoring an important half-century against his former team-mates in Rotterdam.

Worcestershire, who moved up one place to fourth in Group A while their opponents remained bottom, posted a testing total of 293 for four. The returning Kervezee made a quickfire 81 and skipper Daryl Mitchell top-scored with 92, before the hosts were dismissed for 249 with two overs remaining.

Chris Russell’s haul of 4-32 hastened the home side’s demise but Tom Cooper was unlucky to finish on the losing side after a fine all-round display.

Kervezee, who represented the Netherlands at all levels from the age of 13, announced he would no longer be available earlier this year - instead choosing to focus on his county career. His return to a familiar stomping ground was profitable as he hit 81 from 68 balls.

Visiting captain Mitchell outscored Kervezee in his 104-ball innings, sharing an opening stand of 98 with Moeen Ali.

There were also handy runs late in the innings as Ben Cox clubbed 34 not out, including three sixes, and Gareth Andrew added 20.

Peter Borren’s eight-over spell cost 64 and yielded only the wicket of Mitchell, but he did take both catches as Australia-born all-rounder Cooper removed Kervezee and Andrew. The other wicket went to Tom Heggelman, who struck first to dismiss Moeen for 48.

The Dutch made a positive start to their run-chase, adding 41 in seven overs before Jack Shantry removed Stephan Myburgh for 25.

Eric Szwarczynski was run out for 18, paving the way for a momentum-shifting partnership of 92 between Wesley Barresi and Cooper. While they were together, the Netherlands seemed to be in sight of victory but Barresi’s departure to Shantry for 65 put Worcestershire back in control.

Cooper continued to score freely, ending on 78 not out from 59 deliveries, but saw wickets tumble at regular intervals at the other end. Five of the next seven batsmen failed to reach double-figures as Russell, abetted by Andrew, ran riot.

Pietar Seelaar’s 18 was the best support Cooper found before Russell wrapped things up by bowling List A debutant Vivian Kingma.

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