Guernsey prove sterner test for Dutch youngsters
Bertus de Jong
Following two comprehensive victories over Belgium for a young KNCB XI last week, a strengthened full Netherlands A squad travelled to Guernsey this weekend for what was supposed to be a three match series comprising a T20 and two 50 over games.
The hosts proved a sterner test for the Dutch, taking the opening T20 on Friday evening in a final over victory. A combined effort from the Guernsey attack saw the visitors restricted to 126-8 from their 20 overs, Max O'Dowd topscoring with 31 as Jamie Nussbaumer, Oliver Newey and David Hooper picked up two wickets apiece. Hooper was to be instrumental with the bat as well, top scoring for the hosts with 40 as they chased down the runs with two balls to spare.
The Dutch had the better of the next day, however, completing a hard-fought 3-wicket winner in the 50-over match. Guernsey number 3 Josh Butler hit a combatative 64 from 93 as the hosts posted 207 in the first innings, despite regular wickets at the other end with Dutch seamers Viv Kingma, Shane Snater and Sikander Zulfiqar bagging a brace each.
The Netherlands were on the back foot for much of the chase. Newey struck with the 1st ball of his 2nd over to remove Roel Verhagen, and despite a solid 31 from O'Dowd at number 3 wickets continued to fall, the Dutch truggling to 93-5 at the half-way mark.
When Newey returned to the attack to remove Toby Visée and Dirk van Baren in consecutive deliveries the visitors looked all but out of it on 126-7. But those would prove the last wickets to fall, as Sikander Zulfiqar and Shane Snater both struck half-centuries, their 84-run partnership seeing the Dutch cross the line with 20 balls to spare.
The weather would prove the only victor on Sunday however, with a planned 50-over match first shortened to 20 overs, and then abandoned after one innings as the rain had the final say. The Dutch had racked up an imposing 150-5 in the one innings that was possible, Visée top-scoring with 69 and Max O'Dowd bringing up and unbeaten 50 on the final ball of the innings and, as it would turn out, the tour.