Bukhari and Van der Gugten blast out the Emirates
An outstanding display of pace bowling from Timm van der Gugten and Mudassar Bukhari put the Netherlands in the box seat in the first of their two-match World Cricket League Championship series against the United Arab Emirates at the Hazelaarweg in Rotterdam on Saturday, paving the way for a comfortable seven-wicket victory for their side.
After the Emirati openers, put in to bat by Peter Borren, began at a gallop, taking advantage of some wayward bowling to plunder 20 from the first two overs, first Bukhari and then Van der Gugten struck back with a vengeance to claim four wickets in the space of six deliveries.
Bukhari began the mayhem by bowling Haroon Iftikhar with the fourth ball of his second over, and then trapped Shaiman Anwar in front two deliveries later. Amjad Ali should have gone from the first ball of Van der Gugten's next, dropped by Wesley Barresi moving to his left, but the Dutch keeper made amends by taking an even better catch, diving away to his right and taking the ball one-handed just inches from the ground, to remove the dangerous Saqib Ali off the first ball he received.
Worse was to follow for the Emirates, as Van der Gugten had captain Khurram Khan leg-before from his next ball, and 25 without loss had become 26 for four.
Vikrant Shetty helped Amjad Ali add ten further runs, but the two Dutch pace men were far from finished, and they struck again with successive deliveries, Bukhari trapping Shetty in front and Van der Gugten inducing an uppish drive from Amjad, who had reached 17, and Pieter Seelaar taking a smart catch at cover.
Amjad Javed came in, struck two boundaries, and was bowled by Van der Gugten, and the UAE were 46 for seven. There were momentary thoughts of their previous lowest total against Associate opposition, the 54 they managed against the Netherlands in the 2001 ICC Trophy, but Rohan Mustafa had other ideas.
Assisted by Ahmed Raza and Muhammad Naveed, he got the total up to 66 by the time he was joined by last man Manjula Guruge, and the final pair proceeded to add 30, the biggest partnership of the innings.
Bukhari bowled his ten overs unchanged, his figures of four for 32 his best in List A matches, and he ended just three wickets short of becoming the first Dutch bowler to claim 100 wickets in this class of fixture.
Van der Gugten, too, had his best List A analysis, with four for 41, while Ahsan Malik Jamil chipped in with the wicket of Naveed.
Rohan, however, was unfazed by his side's situation, and his 86-ball 41 was a fine fighting effort in the circumstances. He was supported by a barnacle-like performance from Guruge, who faced 30 balls without scoring, but revealed a solid defence against both pace and spin.
Borren tried a variety of tactics in an effort to take the final wicket, and in the end it was a Michael Swart delivery which Rohan drove in the air for Seelaar to claim his second catch. The UAE were all out for 96, which was a good deal more than had seemed likely at one stage.
There was time for a 17-over mini-session before lunch, and Swart and Barresi gave their side a decent start with an opening partnership of 41 in nine overs.
They saw off the new ball(s) attack of Muhammad Naveed, generating good pace, and Amjad Javed, but when Khurram introduced the left-armer Guruge into the attack he had immediate success, trapping Barresi in front with the final ball of his first over.
Swart and Tom Cooper took the total through to 65 for one by the interval, and with their net run rate situation undoubtedly in mind, the Dutch took their batting powerplay immediately afterwards.
They suffered an early setback, however, when Swart fell leg-before in Ahmed Raza's first post-lunch over, having made a steady, 55-ball 27. Bukhari, promoted up the order in the interest of a quick finish, lasted just six balls, but Cooper was showing signs of real aggression, pulling Rohan over midwicket for six and then producing an extraordinary reverse shot off Ahmed Raza which went even further.
That took the Dutch to the brink of victory, and Cooper and Borren needed just eleven deliveries to finish it off in the last over of their powerplay, with more than 28 overs to spare, Cooper ending on an unbeaten, 35-ball 37.