The Netherlands recovered from yesterday's crushing defeat at the hands of Namibia to record an emphatic five wicket win over Kenya to preserve a flickering hope of promotion. Chasing down the total of 212 inside of 32 overs, Stephan Myburgh leading the charge with 95 form just 63 balls, helped repair some of the damage done to their net run rate by the hosts the day before.
But the Dutch have been first put down and now let down by the hosts, as Namibia slid to a three wicket defeat to Nepal at United. Though Nepal made a meal of the chase again, the fact that they got home inside 38 overs means their NRR climbs still higher, and the Netherlands will need them to lose heavily to Kenya tomorrow if they are to overtake them.
After Dutch captain Peter Borren continued his winning streak with the coin and chose to bowl, it initially looked like the Kenyans might make such worries moot. But after a brisk start from Irfan Karim and NK Patel, the Dutch did well to check the scoring in the middle overs, before making inroads just before the powerplay - which brought just 15 runs for Kenya. Paul van Meekeren had struck early to remove opener Alex Obanda, a top edged pull well held by a diving Jeroen Brand - one of three players to come into the team for the game.
Thijs van Schelven, also on List A debut for the Dutch, was the man to break the second wicket partnership just as Kenya were beginning to look on top, removing Patel two runs short of a half century. Karim pushed on with the middle order, but was eventually trapped LBW by Michael Rippon as he looked to force the pace. A series of wickets prevented the lower order from upping the tempo. Ahsan Malik and Paul van Meekeren were especially economical, bagging five wickets between them and conceding just 27 runs each from their allotted overs. Though Nehemiah Odhiambo's 36 from 29 with the tail was enough to lift Kenya past 200, at the interval the Dutch were the happier of the sides.
Myburgh ensured it stayed that way after the resumption, cutting and pulling with increasing freedom as he raced to his highest List A total for the Netherlands, his 95 featuring 3 sixes and 11 fours. Myburgh dominated partenership with Rahil Ahmed, (who showed some promise before falling edging a snorter from Nelson Odhiambo) and a rather more subdued Ben Cooper.
Myburgh was eventually to fall five short of his second List A century with the score on 138, the first victim of James Ngoche, whose final figures of 4 for 52 from 10 were exceptional in the circumstances. But the Dutch were not to be deterred, and despite Ngoche claiming three more scalps as the middle order looked to hit out, Borren swiftly blasted his side over the line, sealing victory with an enormous six over the scrorer's box on the penultimate ball of the 31st over to finish unbeaten on 28 from 11 balls.
The Dutch have done what they set out to do, but the results from the other games means their position has scarcely improved. They still languish behind Nepal and Canada in the table, trailing the latter by a slim net run rate margin and the former by a substantial one and a win. With a 0.91 gap between them, the Dutch will not only need the Nepalis to lose to Kenya, preferably heavily, but when they meet Uganda on Friday they will need to make Wanderers a second Sylhet.