For the record the Seafarers, after narrowly losing the first of the three matches and coming back to take the second with a remarkable recovery, held on to take a see-sawing final game in Deventer on Wednesday, and with it the series.
This one was a comparatively low-scoring affair, not least because this time it was played with two balls in each innings and on a pitch which was at best unpredictable. But it also highlighted some of the weaknesses of Dutch batting, reflected year-in, year-out in the national averages and the composition of the national team.
After winning the toss and again electing to bat first, the Hurricanes battled their way to 166 all out in 37.5 overs, and it would have been a lot less than that without another fine innings from Sikander Zulfiqar, whose unbeaten 65 came from 72 deliveries and included eight fours.
Apart from his outstanding effort the largest contribution came from his brother Asad with 25, but generally the batsmen struggled against a persistent seam attack, again spearheaded very effectively by Shane Snater and Haseeb Gul.
The most successful of the Seafarers bowlers, however, was Yasir Hamid, drafted in overnight to replace the injured Rens van Troost; he removed Peter Borren with his second ball, and went on to claim four for 37 in nine very lively overs.
Haseeb Gul had two for 31, while skipper Max O’Dowd also picked up two with his off spin.
The Hurricanes needed quick wickets if they were to have any chance, and they were given hope when both Seafarers openers, the Takapuna pairing of O’Dowd and Dan ter Braak, and No. 3 Tim Etman were gone by the time 31 runs were on the board.
The southerners were dug out of trouble by a counter-attacking fourth-wicket stand of 69 between the experienced Stef Myburgh and Wesley Barresi, who kept the scoreboard ticking over and took full advantage of anything loose.
As in Tuesday’s match, it was Borren’s medium pace and Mahesh Hans’s off spin which kept the Hurricanes in the game through the middle overs, and it was Hans who eventually broke the partnership by trapping Barresi in front for 35.
When first Boris Gorlee and then Myburgh followed, the latter bowled by Hans for 45, the Seafarers were 109 for six, and the contest seemed to be moving the Hurricanes’ way.
This brought together Snater and Umar Baker, the heroes of Tuesday’s improbable victory, and although Baker did not stay long this time before becoming Hans’s third victim, edging a sharp slip chance to Borren, the 29 that the pair added halved the remaining target.
Philippe Boissevain, who had shared the winning stand with Baker the day before, was content now to leave the scoring to Snater, and with plenty of overs remaining he revealed a solid defence as the Hurricanes, three wickets away from victory, threw everything into the attack.
Snater did not see much of the strike but he capitalised when he did, and in the 42nd over he edged a boundary to level the scores and then took the single which gave the Seafarers the match and the series.
Hans took three for 36, Borren one for 16 in seven overs, while Fred Klaassen and Ali Ahmed Qasim were somewhat unfortunate not to have more than a wicket apiece.
As a prelude to a very busy period for both the full national squad and their deputies these matches have been an invaluable work-out, and some of the up-and-coming players have used their opportunity to catch the selectors’ eye. It was significant that the day ended with the announcement of the squads for two tours to England and the imminent Zimbabwe series.