Zuiderent ton sinks Norfolk
A devastating 88-ball knock of 132 not out by opener Bas Zuiderent saw The Netherlands through to a comfortable seven-wicket victory over Norfolk in Amstelveen on Saturday.
It was a second consecutive century for Zuiderent, who finished the Dutch side’s recent Intercontinental Cup tour with a not-out 149 against the United Arab Emirates in Sharjah.
But this was an innings of a very different character, as the former Sussex batsman belted eleven fours and nine sixes in a fine display of controlled hitting.
Chasing a modest Norfolk total of 175 for nine, the Dutch lost Tom de Grooth and Eric Szwarczynski early, but Zuiderent was already on the attack, and he dominated a 79-run stand for the third wicket with Jarrod Englefield, a former Central Districts and Canterbury player who is now resident in The Netherlands and is qualifying to play for the Dutch side.
This friendly match saw Englefield’s debut in an orange cap, and he made 20 before falling to Norfolk spinner Chris Brown.
Peter Borren then supported Zuiderent as the opener knocked off the remaining runs, enabling the home side to win in the 26th over.
Earlier, Jaik Mickleburgh was again the sheet-anchor of the Norfolk innings, which got away to a dreadful start as skipper Carl Rogers, who had won the toss and elected to bat, was trapped leg-before by Edgar Schiferli off the fourth ball of the game.
Mickleburgh, who made 49 against the A side on Thursday, reached his half-century this time, making 51 before he was bowled by Borren.
James Spelman made 25, and then Matthew Warnes chipped in with 24, but the Norfolk batsmen generally found scoring difficult against a disciplined Dutch attack.
Leg-spinner Daan van Bunge took two for 18 in seven overs, and there was a wicket apiece for Schiferli, Mudassar Bukhari, Maurits Jonkman, Borren and teenager Tim Gruijters, who was also appearing for the first time in the senior side.
This tour has been a valuable early-season experience for both the Norfolk and Dutch squads, and the enterprising spirits who set up the visit were rewarded with generally fine, if cold, weather.
For new Dutch national coach Peter Drinnen, moreover, it has provided a great opportunity to have a further look at his squad under match conditions as they prepare for the much more testing summer ahead.