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The Netherlands seized the initiative on the first day of their Intercontinental Cup match against Canada at Sinoville, Pretoria on Tuesday, bowling their opponents out for 103 and then establishing a lead of 136 by the time play ended for the day.
The day was a personal triumph for Ryan ten Doeschate, who took six for 20 in the Canadian innings and then hit a superb 135 not out, made from 173 balls in three and a half hours, with eighteen fours and one six, to anchor the Dutch overnight total of 239 for six. It is his fourth consecutive century for The Netherlands in three Intercontinental Cup matches, and if his 84 against Ireland in 2005 is brought into the reckoning, he now has 615 runs in five innings at an average of 153.75.
On a wicket that was never easy for the batsmen, the Dutch made Canada’s decision to bat first after winning the toss work in their own favour, with ten Doeschate taking two early wickets and Muhammad Kashif picking up another three in the last three overs before lunch.
In between, Ashish Bagai and Canadian skipper Qaiser Ali had put on 54 for the third wicket, the only period during which Canada showed signs of getting on top, but with five men crowded round the bat for Kashif wickets started to fall in the final overs before lunch.
Ten Doeschate and Jonkman bowled well early on, and Jonkman was unlucky not to take a wicket. Borren has also bowled tightly, while Kashif’s spell has opened up the Canadian lower order. He went to lunch on a hat-trick, and duly completed it after the interval.
In the following over ten Doeschate just missed another hat-trick, taking three wickets in four balls as Canada slumped from 76 for three to 87 for nine in twenty balls. Bhatti and Osinde saw their side past the hundred, but then ten Doeschate bowled Osinde to finish with six for 20, his best-ever first-class figures. Kashif finished with four for 39.
Dutch captain Jeroen Smits managed his bowlers well, with frequent changes and some interesting field placings, two men at short cover or short midwicket to maintain the pressure on the Canadian batsmen, and the five men round the bat for Kashif.
Canadian hopes were raised when Osinde had Zuiderent leg-before with the total on 8, but then Eric Szwarczynski and Ryan ten Doeschate turned on a superb display of positive batting, quietening any complaints about the pitch as they added 99 in seventeen overs by the interval, giving their side the lead.
Szwarczynski was leg before to Osinde for 41 just after tea, and this triggered something of a collapse by the Dutch middle order, with Osinde surprising van Bunge with a ball that lifted sharply outside off stump, and Sunil Dhaniram and Sandeep Jyoti picking up three wickets between them to reduce The Netherlands to 159 for six.
This brought Peter Borren to the wicket, and he immediately took on the bowling, giving ten Doeschate good support in an unbroken stand of 80, already a Dutch first-class record for the seventh wicket. By stumps Borren was 41 not out, made from 67 balls with six fours.
Canada will need to finish the Dutch innings off quickly tomorrow morning if they are to have any chance of getting back into this match. With sixteen wickets having fallen on the first day, the lead of 136 is already beginning to look substantial.