Bermuda's day in Pretoria
Bermuda fought back well on the second day of their Intercontinental Cup match against The Netherlands in Pretoria, bowling the opposition out for 378 and then getting away to a solid start, finishing on 128 for two at the close.
It was the Bermudan spinners who did most of the work with the ball today and also did most of the damage, left-armer Dwayne Leverock finishing with three for 119 from 47 overs and debutant Rodney Trott taking three for 47.
The Bermudans pegged the Dutch batsmen back before lunch, restricting them to just 78 runs in a two-and-a-half-hour session and taking four wickets into the bargain, and then finished the job before tea.
Van Bunge and Kervezee opened carefully against Leverock and Mukuddem (the latter soon replaced by Trott), and it was Kervezee who was eventually trapped leg-before by Leverock when he had made 16.
Debutant Peter Borren then opened his account with a fine straight boundary, but soon afterwards became Trott’s first first-class wicket, caught at bat-pad trying to turn the ball to leg.
The Netherlands were now 264 for five, and worse was to follow when Bermuda took the new ball, with Hurdle taking a fine return catch from van Bunge when he had made a cautious 39.
With the overs ticking over and the lunch interval approaching, skipper Luuk van Troost became Leverock’s second victim of the morning, edging a sharp catch to Janeiro Tucker at slip.
Billy Stelling and Jeroen Smits saw their side through to lunch, and went on to set a Dutch eight-wicket record stand of 42 before Stelling was well caught by a diving Clay Smith off Trott's bowling. Debutant Pieter Seelaar did not last long, but Muhammad Kashif provided some enterprising support for Smits in a valuable last-wicket partnership of 26 (another Dutch first-class record) before Trott came back to finish the innings.
Ryan ten Doeschate opened the Dutch bowling with Billy Stelling, and left hander Stephen Outerbridge subjected him to some severe punishment in the first couple of overs. Stelling was more economical at the other end, but by tea Bermuda had reached 44 without loss, in just seven overs.
Outerbridge and Tucker continued more steadily after the interval, taking their opening stand to 105 - the first-ever first-class century opening partnership for Bermuda. Outerbridge never seemed in any trouble, and while Tucker was less secure he took his score through to 33 before finally succumbing to medium-pacer Peter Borren.
Borren was certainly the pick of the Dutch bowlers, and his ten-over spell conceded just 17 runs. Stelling also bowled steadily, and the young spinners Muhammad Kashif and Pieter Seelaar helped keep the batsmen quiet.
Seelaar was forced to leave the field shortly before the close after taking a firm drive from Irving Romaine on the wrist, and was replaced by ten Doeschate, who promptly trapped Romaine leg before with a fine yorker.
Bermuda have played themselves back into this match, and will be delighted to have come back so well after a trying day yesterday. They are well on their way to achieving their first target of 239, thereby avoiding the follow-on.