Play gets underway as the rain relents in Stirling
As the rain stopped and as the waters receded, finally play began in the European U-15 Championship. Following hours of work from the groundstaff at Stirling County CC, both pitches were playable by late afternoon and thirty-over matches were completed.
On the top pitch at New Williamfield, the Dutch cruised to a seven-wicket victory against Jersey, overtaking the Islanders' 140-8 with exactly three overs to spare.
Some observers felt that 141 would have been an imposing target on a rain-affected day and when the Dutch were reduced to 20 for 2 that seemed a reasonable conclusion.
However, Hidde Overdijk (62*) and Sikander Zulfiqar rescued the chase, taking on the Jersey seamers, running furiously between the wickets, and striking the ball powerfully over the leg-side infield. Zulfiqar fell at the final hurdle, caught at mid-on for 41, but the hard work had been done.
In Jersey's innings, Elliot Corbel and James Duckett led the way with 37 and 32, respectively, while Adrian Verbeek starred with the ball for the Dutch, taking 3 for 15 in his allotted six overs.
On the bottom pitch, home nation Scotland won convincingly against traditional rivals Ireland. Chasing only 102, the Scots had stumbled to 15 for 2: a fiery and impressive opening spell from Mark Adair claimed the wicket of Michael Miller caught by Aaron Gillespie in the gully, while leg-spinner Rishi Chopra had Thomas Galbraith snared spectacularly at first slip by Adair.
From there, though, it was relatively plain sailing for the hosts: skipper Andrew Umeed batted fluently for 42, punishing anything short on a pitch which had been slowed significantly by the rain.
The returning Adair may have dismissed Umeed with the score on 85 and Richard Taylor may then have played on to Padraic Flanagan but a patient and unbeaten 38 from William Edwards saw the Scots home by six wickets in the twenty-eighth over.
Earlier, Niall Alexander had spearheaded the Scottish bowling effort, claiming 3 for 16 as the Irish subsided from the promising position of 45 for 1. But for a few twists, the Scots could have been chasing even fewer: Adair was reprieved twice on the way to top-scoring and only a belligerent knock from Ruadhan Jones, left to shepherd the tail, saw his team into three figures.
Tomorrow, both of today's winners - the Dutch and the Scottish - clash in what, given the inclement forecast, could be a championship-deciding fixture. On the second pitch, Jersey meet Guernsey in the battle of the Channel Islands.