Buurman leads Dutch fightback to defeat Denmark


The Netherlands recovered from a disastrous start against Denmark in Rotterdam on Friday to beat Denmark by 41 runs and make sure of second place in the tournament.

That they were ale to fight back from a score of 8 for four to reach a comparatively respectable 143 for nine was mostly due to keeper Atse Buurman, who made 80 not out after arriving at the wicket in the midst of chaos.

Eric Szwarczynski had again elected to bat after winning the toss, but Danish left-arm spinner Bashir Shah made full use of a testing pitch in taking three quick wickets after his new-ball partner Martin Pedersen had secured the initial breakthrough by removing Vinoo Tewarie.

Buurman now joined his captain, and although neither was comfortable at first they managed to add 34 through a policy of steady accumulation before Szwarczynski played an aggressive stroke against Jacob Larsen and was caught at mid-off. That turned out to be highest partnership of the innings, but with Buurman receiving solid support from Lesley Stokkers and then Mark Jonkman he was able to create a platform for a final onslaught in the last five overs.

He did this to great purpose, unleashing a series of blows which enabled the Dutch to reach a total which had seemed far beyond them for most of the innings. His 80 came from 144 deliveries, with five fours and two sixes.

Bashir Shah finished with three for 21, while Yasir Iqbal took two for 31.

The Danes found the pitch no more conducive to batting than their opponents had, although after Jonkman had had Troels Thogersen caught by Buurman off the first ball of the innings Zishan Shah and Michael Pedersen were able to give their side a much better start, adding 35 for the second wicket.

Runs came slowly, however, with all the Dutch bowlers maintaining a tight line and restricting the scoring effectively. A lush outfield, too, made life difficult for the batsmen, with only four boundaries apart from those scored by Buurman coming in the entire match.

The breakthrough came when Pedersen, on 24, was run out by a direct hit from Jonkman, and then, with the total on 51, Tim Gruijters bowled Shah. Of the remaining batsmen only Hamid Shah made any significant progress, making 24, but once Szwarczynski turned to the spin of Thijs van Schelven and Tewarie wickets started to fall as the Danes tried to raise the tempo.

Another run-out from another direct hit, this time to remove Rizwan Mahmood, did not help the Danish cause, but it was left-armer Van Schelven who did most of the damage, picking up five for 26 in a valuable spell, his partner, leg-spinner Tewarie, taking one for 15 at the other end.

Denmark finished on 101 after 44.3 overs, a disappointing outcome for them after their sensational first half-hour. But The Netherlands displayed great fighting qualities, especially in the field, and Buurman’s innings was one to savour.