Netherlands pull clear with impressive win
The Netherlands extended their lead at the top of Group A in the Clydesdale Bank 40 with a comprehensive five-wicket win over Essex at Schiedam.
Fresh from beating Lancashire at the same venue 24 hours earlier, Peter Borren’s team dismissed their visitors for just 112 today after the game had been reduced to 36 overs a side due to rain.
Timm van der Gugten led the way with 3-29, including two wickets in the first over of the match, while Mudassar Bukhari, Ahsan Malik and Pieter Seelaar all chipped in with two wickets apiece.
Essex’s paltry total was never likely to pose a threat to the Netherlands, who eased home with more than 13 overs to spare thanks largely to a 26-ball 40 from opener Michael Swart.
Peter Drinnen’s side have now won four of their opening five matches and are well placed to secure a semi-final berth for the first time.
When play belatedly got underway at 2:30pm, Essex - who have yet to win in this year's CB40 - could hardly have made a worse start.
Mark Pettini was caught behind off the game’s first delivery and Owais Shah lasted just two balls before falling lbw to van der Gugten.
Alviro Petersen soon followed in similar fashion to Shah and Adam Wheater was bowled by Bukhari to leave the visitors on 21 for four in the eighth over.
James Foster and Greg Smith then departed to Seelaar for single-figure scores before Tom Westley, Essex’s top scorer with a patient 32, was trapped in front by Malik.
An eighth-wicket stand of 45 between Tim Phillips and Graham Napier, who mustered 28, at least took Essex into three figures, but both men fell to successive deliveries, from Swart and Malik before Bukhari removed Charl Willoughby to bring the innings to an end.
The Netherlands lost Stephan Myburgh to Napier with only five runs on the board, but soon recovered through some belligerent hitting from Swart.
Phillips claimed three wickets for Essex, including that of Swart, but a home victory was never in doubt and Wesley Barresi struck 20 not out to see his side home.