The MCC tourists completed a comfortable five-wicket victory in their match against a European XI in Rotterdam this afternoon, but the combined eleven made them work hard all the way.
At 97 for five the European bowlers had given themselves an outside chance of pulling off an improbable victory after their side had been bowled out for 162, but an unbroken sixth-wicket partnership of 68 between Chris Cairns and skipper Rob Turner saw them home with more than ten overs to spare.
Pick of the European attack was Trent Johnston, who claimed the wicket of Darren Bicknell in an impressive opening spell of seven overs for 11 runs. Dewald Nel also bowled well, dismissing Michael Brown and Toby Bailey to put the MCC on 47 for three.
Left-arm spinner Ross Lyons then bowled the dangerous Mohammad Nabi for 19 in his first over, and when Kyle McCallan disposed of James Hamblin, caught at backward point by Lee Savident, the MCC were 97 for five and in a spot of bother.
This brought Turner in to join Cairns, however, and they steadily worked off the remaining runs. Cairns played an uncharacteristic innings, hitting only five fours and two sixes, but nevertheless went along at a run a ball, reaching his half-century in 79 minutes from just 48 balls. Turner gave him good support, and they brought up the fifty partnership of 71 balls.
Five overs later Turner lofted Ryan Watson over mid-on for the winning boundary, and the first - but hopefully not the last - venture of the European XI had ended in defeat.