Myburgh and Seelaar leave Gloucs short
Stephan Myburgh’s hard-hitting 77 laid the foundation for a thrilling one-run victory by the Netherlands over Gloucestershire in the Clydesdale Bank 40 Group A match at Bristol.
The opening batsman made his runs off just 72 balls, with 11 fours and two sixes, as the visitors ran up 239 for six after losing the toss.
Cameron Borgas, Mudassar Bukhari and Wesley Barresi lent positive support with thirties, and Ed Young returned 2-31 from eight overs.
After falling behind the run rate, Gloucestershire rallied with a brilliant 72 not out off 51 balls from Benny Howell, only to fall agonisingly short as Pieter Seelaar picked up 4-42.
The home side required 13 off the last over, bowled by Bukhari. Jonathan Batty hit a boundary but, with three needed to win off the final delivery, Howell could manage only a leg-bye.
The visitors celebrated reward for a good all-round team performance while Gloucestershire were left to rue their early batting, which saw them make only 87 for one off their first 20 overs.
Alex Gidman, who opened with brother Will, took 69 balls to make 41 and, when he was caught in the deep, 141 runs were needed off just 16 overs.
Howell, signed on a trial basis after being released by Hampshire, did his hopes of a contract no harm by hitting four fours and two sixes but could not quite pull off victory.
Earlier, Myburgh had signalled his intent from the start, dispatching the second ball of the match from Will Gidman over midwicket for six.
The 28-year-old left-hander went on to dominate an opening stand of 84 with Michael Swart, reaching his half-century off 42 balls with eight fours and two sixes.
Left-arm spinner Young made the breakthrough in the 14th over, bowling Swart for 24. Chris Dent followed up by having Peter Borren caught at midwicket for 15.
The impressive Myburgh helped take the total to 152 before being snapped up by Ian Cockbain at long-on off spinner Dent.
It was 167 for four when Borgas was adjudged lbw to Young for 38 to end a bright 44-ball knock, and 176 for five when Tom Cooper was taken at deep square-leg off Kane Williamson’s off-spin for 13.
The visitors were far from finished as Barresi and Bukhari added 58 in quick time to boost the total before the former was bowled for 30 by the first ball of the final over from Ian Saxelby. Bukhari was unbeaten on 32.