Netherlands edge out Lancashire
The Netherlands moved two points clear at the top of Clydesdale Bank 40 Group A courtesy of a dramatic one-wicket triumph over Lancashire at Schiedam.
Chasing 237 to win, Mudassar Bukhari’s 36 from 26 balls and Timm van der Gugten’s unbeaten run-a-ball 15 got Netherlands over the line with two deliveries remaining after Stephen Parry derailed their early progress with 4-29 off eight overs.
After winning the toss, Lancashire wasted an impressive start that saw Stephen Moore and Steven Croft hit half-centuries as they lost eight wickets for just 37 runs.
Michael Swart, who also top-scored for the hosts with 41 from 30 balls, and Ahsan Malik returned 4-40 and 4-24 respectively as the Red Rose were dismissed in the final over for 236.
Openers Moore and Ashwell Prince were soon into their strides, putting on 89 until the latter lofted a leading edge to cover off Malik.
Moore struck 10 fours and a maximum in his 66-ball 77, which ended when he provided a return catch to Pieter Seelaar.
Croft and Karl Brown put Lancashire on course for a mammoth score with an array of fluent strokes. But, with the score on 199 in the 32nd over, Brown’s dismissal - caught and bowled by Swart - prompted the flurry of wickets.
Paul Horton reverse-swept Swart to Malik, who then bowled Gareth Cross for a golden duck five balls later.
Croft completed his half-century from 58 balls, but continued to lose partners as Lancashire slipped to 220 for seven, Swart and Malik trapping Luke Procter and Ajmal Shahzad in front.
Swart and Malik struck again to remove dangerman Croft for 55, which featured two fours and as many sixes, and Parry, while Bukhari wrapped up the innings by bowling Sajid Mahmood.
Netherlands’ got off to a flying start as Shahzad and Mahmood proved to be expensive.
The in-form Stephan Myburgh, who made 34, and Swart racked up 83 inside the first 10 overs before falling to Parry and Gary Keedy in the space of five balls.
Tom Cooper made 29 but, just as the Netherlands looked to be going nicely at 163 for three in the 27th over, they lost five wickets for 24 runs.
Parry bowled Wesley Barresi for an 18-ball 26 and then trapped captain Peter Borren in front two balls later as Lancashire hit back.
The Netherlands’ situation worsened when Tim Gruijters, Seelaar and Cameron Borgas fell in quick succession, only for Bukhari to blaze his side back into the match with three fours and two sixes.
The all-rounder took his side to within nine runs of victory and, despite holing out to Croft off Parry, van der Gugten and Malik ensured the Netherlands completed their third win of the campaign.