After a long, frustrating day of watching persistent rain punctuated by unavailing work by the ground staff, 70 minutes' play was finally possible on the second day of the Intercontinental Cup match between The Netherlands and Ireland in Rotterdam.
That enabled Ireland to add 70 runs from nineteen overs, taking their total on to 296 without the loss of a further wicket. André Botha and Andrew Poynter picked up where they had left off on Wednesday afternoon, and Botha was again quick to punish anything short, overpitched or offering any width. Edgar Schiferli and Mudassar Bukhari bowled some tidy overs, Schiferli again extracting real life from the pitch, but they were not consistent enough to create real pressure, and the scoreboard continued to tick over.
Geert Maarten Mol, Peter Borren and Pieter Seelaar were all tried in turn, but no-one was able to secure a breakthrough which was vital for The Netherlands' chances of regaining the upper hand. When he passed 137, Botha became the fourth batsman to record 1000 runs in the Intercontinental Cup, joining Steve Tikolo, Ryan ten Doeschate and Arshad Ali, and soon afterwards he brought up his 150, which had taken 244 minutes and came off 190 balls, with 24 boundaries.
By the close, he and Poynter had brought their fifth-wicket stand to 112. Whether they have a chance to add to that on Friday, perhaps breaking the Irish record of 122 currently held by Botha and Niall O'Brien, will depend on several factors: not only the Rotterdam weather and the Dutch bowling, but also whether skipper Kyle McCallan decides to bat on, or to make an attacking decision and declare overnight, going all out for an outright win.
Day 2 Scorecard
|Netherlands Vs Ireland|
|2-Innings Match Played At Hazelaarweg Rotterdam, 09-Jul-2008, First Class InterconCup|
|Toss won by||Netherlands|
|Umpires||PK Baldwin (Germany) & SJ Davis (Australia)|
Match Referee DT Jukes
Day 1 Ireland 226-4 (58 overs, RSP, AC Botha 103*, AD Poynter 19*)
Day 2 Delayed start: Ireland 296-4 (77 overs, AC Botha 152*, AD Poynter 36*)
|Ireland 1st Innings 296/4 (Overs 77)|
|R Strydom||c PW Borren||b Mudassar Bukhari||1||0||3||0||0|
|PR Stirling||c J Smits||b Mudassar Bukhari||11||0||30||2||0|
|AR Cusack||lbw||b Mudassar Bukhari||8||0||25||0||0|
|AC Botha||not out||152||0||197||24||0|
|KJ O'Brien||c M Jonkman||b P Seelaar||79||0||114||12||2|
|AD Poynter||not out||36||0||93||3||0|
|extras||(b4 lb4 w1 nb0)||9|
|TOTAL||4 wickets for||296|
To bat: GC Wilson+, WK McCallan*, MJ Fourie, GE Kidd, P Connell.
|1-7(R Strydom) 2-20(PR Stirling) 3-25(AR Cusack) 4-184(KJ O'Brien)|
TN de Grooth, NA Statham, ES Szawrczynski, DLS van Bunge, PW Borren, GM Mol, Mudassar Bukhari, J Smits*+, M Jonkman, E Schiferli, P Seelaar