Netherlands A too strong for Jersey
The Netherlands A side's 42-run victory over Jersey at Thurlede on Thursday may have been comfortable enough, but the match effectively turned on a 16-over period either side of the innings break.
Playing under Clydesdale Bank 40 League rules, the teams had been pretty evenly matched through much of the Dutch innings after Peter Gough won the toss and elected to field, and with wickets falling at regular intervals the home side seemed likely to set a relatively modest target when, at 130 for seven with less than eight overs remaining, Sebastiaan Braat joined Dirk van Baren at the crease.
These two then proceeded to add 57 precious runs from 43 deliveries, 38 of them coming from the first three overs of the batting powerplay, as the entire momentum of the match changed.
Braat, on 27, eventually fell to Corey Bodestein in the final over, but Van Baren stayed to the end, unbeaten on 26, as Netherlands A finished on 190 for eight.
Three catches for wicketkeeper Steven de Bruin in the first nine overs of the Jersey reply, two of them off Shahbaz Bashir and the third from Tom Heggelman's first delivery, then put the visitors firmly on the back foot, and in a situation at 19 for three from which they were never really able to recover.
Earlier, some well-directed seam bowling from Bodestein and from Charles Perchard and an excellent spell of left-arm spin by Ben Stevens, combined with some indifferent strokeplay from the Dutch top and middle order on an artificial pitch which gave plenty of assistance to the bowlers, had combined to keep the home side under pressure.
Opener Eric Szwarczynski made 28 before hitting the finest of edges to keeper Ed Farley off Perchard's bowling, and Tom de Grooth top-scored with a patient 33 in the middle phase of the innings.
Bodestein was the most successful of the bowlers with three for 30, while Perchard claimed two for 27 and Stevens had one for 21 from his eight-over spell.
Stevens also contributed with the bat, making 34 and partially rebuilding the Jersey innings in partnership with Gough, who made 33. But when the captain was eighth out with the total on 90 Jersey were clearly out of the game, and although Alex Cooke (21) and Perchard (with 35 not out the highest individual scorer of the match) used up most of the last twelve overs, it was in a losing cause.
Dutch skipper Tim Gruijters used eight bowlers, with Shahbaz' two for 19 and his own two for 23 the best returns.
The match was a useful workout for the two sides, who will be joined by France and an MCC eleven for this year's Continental Twenty20 Championship at the same venue on Friday and Saturday.