Netherlands fall agonisingly short
The Netherlands came within a whisker of extending their stunning start to the Clydesdale Bank 40 campaign in remarkable circumstances at Lord’s today.
Middlesex openers Scott Newman and Dawid Malan guided the hosts to 286 for five with 73 and 90 respectively but the Dutch, who stunned Yorkshire and Derbyshire last weekend, gave themselves every chance of victory.
Tom Cooper made a magnificent unbeaten 126, the same total as his partnership with Tom de Grooth who hit 58, and Mudassar Bukhari hit 36 not out from just 18 balls as the visitors left themselves needing three from the final ball - but could only muster a single and lost by one run.
Also in Group A Worcestershire edged past Kent with three balls remaining at Canterbury.
Kent made 232 for eight led by a run-a-ball 81 from Martin van Jaarsveld, Darren Stevens adding 41 at the same rate as the pair put on 70.
But Gareth Andrew's 3-41 gave the visitors hope and 59 from Vikram Solanki plus 69 for Alexei Kervezee saw them to their target, James Cameron finishing the job with 31 not out from 24 balls.
Derbyshire eased past Sussex with 14 balls to spare at Derby.
Sussex limped to 193 for eight and were grateful for an unbroken stand of 62 between tail-enders Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Will Beer.
Left-arm spinner Chesney Hughes took 3-19 and fellow top-order batsman Greg Smith 2-17, but the bulk of the run-scoring was left to Wes Durston’s 70 and Wayne Madsen, whose unbeaten 48 wrapped up a six-wicket success.
Essex chased down 288 to complete a superb seven-wicket win over Nottinghamshire at Chelmsford in Group C.
Notts’ imposing total was built around a stand of 124 between in-form pair Alex Hales and Samit Patel, who made 116 and 69 respectively.
Ravi Bopara followed up his tidy 2-40 with a 39-ball half-century, but even his efforts were eclipsed by England colleague Alastair Cook’s 96 and a devastating unbroken stand of 108 between James Foster and Matt Walker which saw Essex home with an over to spare. Foster and Walker finished unbeaten on 66 from 44 balls and 45 from 26 respectively.
Somerset had to work hard for victory against the Unicorns at Wormsley.
The Unicorns reached 218 for eight as openers Jackson Thompson and Michael Thornely made 44 and 45 respectively, while captain Keith Parsons added 41 against his former team.
Sri Lanka spinner Ajantha Mendis took 3-32 for the visitors, who then chased down their target with seven balls and four wickets to spare. Nick Compton’s 104 saw them overcome a poor start and Jos Buttler guided them home with 30 not out.
Warwickshire won a high-scoring Group B clash with Leicestershire by nine runs at Edgbaston.
Varun Chopra continued his astonishing start to the season with 115 as Warwickshire piled up 294 for five, Mohammad Yousuf adding 56 and Rikki Clarke a quickfire 39.
James Taylor led the Foxes’ reply with a sparkling 101 and Matt Boyce smashed 48 from 31 balls but they came up just short on 285 for seven.
Surrey cruised to a seven-wicket win over Scotland with seven overs to spare thanks to their England hopefuls.
Jade Dernbach claimed 2-13 from eight overs as Scotland were restricted to 196 for nine at the Kia Oval despite Josh Davey’s 50, and Steven Davies then hit 96 and put on 128 with Jason Roy - who made 60 - to see Surrey home with ease.
Northamptonshire also enjoyed a comfortable victory, beating Durham by five wickets at the Emirates Durham ICG with nine balls in hand.
Andrew Hall and James Middlebrook took three wickets apiece as Durham were dismissed for 172 despite Gordon Muchall and Dale Benkenstein, who hit 70 and 44, putting on 97.
Stephen Peters anchored the chase with a steady 55 before Alex Wakely’s unbeaten 78 saw them home.