Dutch youth side gets a cricket lesson
The MCC tourists began their four-match tour of The Netherlands by giving the Dutch Under-23 side a cricket lesson in Deventer today, winning a deeply one-sided 40-over game by 152 runs.
Batting first, the MCC compiled 281 for five, largely thanks to a second-wicket partnership of 169 in 25 overs between James Hamblin and Toby Bailey. Hamblin, who has played county cricket for Hampshire, made 88 from 86 balls, and after he was bowled by Geert Maarten Mol the former Northamptonshire player Bailey went on to an excellent century, finally falling three balls before the close for 104. He batted for 145 minutes, faced 107 balls, and hit 16 fours and a six.
Hamblinís departure, at 184, was soon followed by that of talented Afghan batsman Mohammad Nabi, but this brought Chris Cairns to the wicket with eight overs to go. He proceeded to club a powerful 36, including two massive straight sixes which comfortably cleared the pavilion. He was eventually caught at deep mid-off by Maurits Jonkman off Peter Borren, trying to repeat the achievement.
The young Dutch side found it difficult to stand up to the onslaught: only Mark Jonkman and Mohammad Kashif bowled consistently well, and the catching and the ground fielding left a good deal to be desired. Jonkmanís opening spell of five overs for 7 runs with the wicket of opener Michael Brown was particularly impressive, and Borren came back well at the death and was rewarded with two wickets.
Their reply got off to the worst possible start when skipper Maarten van Ierschot was caught and bowled by Paul Hutchison off the very first ball, and fellow-opener Jeroen Westermann followed three overs later. None of the top batsmen were able to establish an extended partnership, and after 14 overs, with the total on 34 for three MCC captain Rob Turner switched to spin, with young Lancashire left-armer Michael Baer removing Mol and Borren in his first over.
There was no way back from 38 for five, but Maurits Jonkman and Harro Seelaar shared a fighting stand of 35 to almost double the score, and Seelaar went on to play the only really convincing hand of the innings. He played both Baer and his fellow left-arm spinner Guy Bulpitt carefully, but took advantage of anything loose, hitting five fours and a six on his way to 49. It was finally the experience of Cairns which denied him a well-deserved half-century, as the former New Zealand Test all-rounder produced a lifting delivery which he edged to keeper Turner.
The Dutch innings closed a couple of overs later, giving the MCC side a comfortable opening win. It was valuable experience for the home players, with the bowling of Mark Jonkman and Kashif and the batting of Seelaar the hopeful signs in a performance which in other respects confirmed how much remains to be learned if the current crop of potential internationals are to claim places in the full side.