ICC Media Release
Netherlands opener Tom de Grooth missed a maiden first-class century by two runs and Scotland fast bowler John Blain took his third five-wicket haul as the opening day's honours in the ICC Intercontinental Cup were evenly shared at Mannofield, Aberdeen on Thursday.
De Grooth, who attended the ICC Winter Camp in Pretoria in 2005, became one of five Blain victims when he was caught at the wicket for 98 as the Netherlands was bowled out for 255 after being put into bat.
When the stumps were drawn for the day, Scotland had reached 4-0 from two overs.
De Grooth, the 28-year-old from The Hague playing his ninth first-class match, occupied the crease for 281 minutes and faced 199 balls. His innings was laced with nine boundaries before he was the Netherlands' seventh batsman out with the score at 198.
De Grooth and fellow opener Alexei Kervezee gave the Netherlands a solid start of 48 before veteran seamer Paul Hoffmann produced the breakthrough. Blain then ran through the Netherlands middle-order and finished with the impressive figures of 5-84.
For the 28-year-old Blain, playing his 40th first-class match, it was the third time that he had taken five wickets in an innings. The six feet two inches tall pacer now has 108 wickets to his credit.
Blain, who has played county cricket in the UK for Northamptonshire and Yorkshire, was well supported by Hoffmann (2-45), Dewald Nel (2-49) and Gordon Drummond (1-34) to share all the Netherlands' wickets.
Besides de Grooth, Kervezee (23), Mudassar Bukhari (28) and Pieter Seelaar (20) were the other notable run-scorers, although it remains unclear whether or not the Netherlands' total is a competitive one. The verdict on that will have to wait until its bowlers get to work on day two.
All the same, the visitors could still take some degree of satisfaction from day one given the absence of several key players for the match. Middle-order batsman Eric Szwarzcynski was the latest to join the list of absentees when he broke a bone in his hand during a pre-match practice session.The Dutch are already without regular captain Jeroen Smits, Bas Zuiderent, Ryan ten Doeschate, Edgar Schiferli, Mark Jonkman and Adeel Raja.