Solid Dutch batting performance sets MCC a challenge
A solid batting performance in Rotterdam today enabled The Netherlands to set the MCC tourists a sizeable target. After Jeroen Smits won the toss and elected to bat the Dutch side made 265 for nine in their 50 overs, Daan van Bunge top-scoring with 70.
Foundation of the innings was an opening partnership of 73 between Eric Szwarczynski and Tom de Grooth, and then, after 17-yearold left-arm spinner Michael Baer removed both of them in successive overs, a fine stand between van Bunge and Tim de Leede, who put on 116 in just twenty overs.
De Leede reached his half-century off only 49 balls, and he was particularly severe on John Stephenson, taking 16 off one over. Van Bunge was more circumspect, but his fifty came of 67 balls. De Leede was eventually caught by Stephenson at long-off off Hamid Hassan, and his departure, with the score on 196, triggered something of a batting collapse.
Alexei Kervezee was run out trying to get off the mark, and off the remaining batsmen only Peter Borren was able to give van Bunge any significant support. Van Bunge was sixth out with the total 237, and Borren followed an over before the end, having made a resourceful 22.
Michael Baer was again the pick of the MCC bowlers, going for just 40 off his ten overs, but the medium-pacers found the pitch fairly unrewarding. Hamid Hassan was the most economical, and collected two wickets to bring his tally for the tour to eight.
MCC, without Chris Cairns and Michael Brown – both of whom have returned to England to fulfill club commitments – will have to bat well this afternoon to overhaul the Dutch total.