Kumar ton drives Canada to win over Netherlands
A maiden one-day international century for Nitish Kumar saw Canada best the Netherlands in their first warm-up match at Mount Maunganui. The 19 year old struck a collected 107 from 126 balls despite wickets falling regularly at the other end as Canada posted 212; a target that proved beyond the Dutch batsmen.
Having lost the toss and been invited to take the field, the Netherlands bowling attack took time to warm up to their task. The first 21 overs went by without reward for the Dutch as Kumar built a patient 98 run opening stand with Ruvindu Gunasekera. Despite some disciplined bowling from Ahsan Malik, it was the spinners who would eventually find the breakthrough as Gunasekara found the hands of Daan van Bunge off the bowling of Pieter Seelaar -just one run short of his half century.
Thereafter the Canadians began to look fragile, and after Michael Rippon dismissed Usman Limbada and new captain Jimmy Hansra in successive overs the Dutch looked like getting back into the game. Kumar was unperturbed at the other end however, continuing to calmly work singles and twos as he held the Canadian innings together. Even a mini-collapse in the 37th over - precipitated by Stephan Myburgh's run-out of Raza-ur-Rehman followed by two wickets in two balls for Muddassar Bukhari - did little to upset Kumar's concentration.
By the time Kumar became Bukhari's third victim, nicking one through to Wesley Barresi in the 47th over, the score was nearing 200. Junaid Siddiqui sought to push Canada on in the last couple of overs, but Bukhari and Malik combined to deprive him of partners and limit Canada to a modest but defensible 212.
The Dutch would have been nonetheless have been confident of undoing Kumars work with the bat, boasting an experienced batting line-up stretching down to number eight. The chase was pegged back from the start however as wickets fell with regularity. Eric Szwarczynski was the first to go, caught behind off the bowling of Jeremy Gordon for a duck. Myburgh and Barresi managed to take the Dutch past fifty before the latter fell LBW to Baidwan and the former quickly followed, nicking the same bowler through to the keeper for 40.
Myburgh's 40 was to prove the top score of the day for the Netherlands as the middle order succumbed to Jimmy Hansra's offspin - Cooper, Borren and Rippon falling in quick succession. With seven wickets down and still over a hundred runs adrift, the cause looked all but lost when Tim Gruijters joined Bukhari in the middle. But the pair set about repairing the damage, Bukhari playing an uncharacteristically circumspect innings as they pushed the score past 150.
The Dutch bench might even have begun to hope as the pair brought up their fifty partnership, but a crucial run out by Gunasekera to see Gruijters back to the pavilion sealed the game for Canada. Bukhari batted on with the tail to make a creditable 39*, but Gordon and Pervez returned to finish off the match, the Netherlands ending 173 all out after just 42.4 overs.