|European Under 19 (World Cup Qualifier) Championship: Belfast, July 2010|
Scotland defeat the Dutch in low-scoring encounter
Scotland made their place in next year's global qualifier almost certain today with a hard-fought but convincing win by 45 runs over the Netherlands at Lisburn.
The match was dominated by a high quality of new-ball bowling. Within a scarcely credible six overs of the start, Scotland were reduced to 23 for 5, Sebastian Braat bowling beautifully to pick up three wickets. Yet, when the Scots came to bowl, they were just as potent: the Dutch top order folded to 12 for 4, with Paddy Sadler taking 3 for 6 in the seven overs of his first spell.
Where the difference came, therefore, was the responses of the lower orders. On one hand, the last five Scottish wickets put on 121: Scott McElnea top-scored with 27 from 34 balls while Sam Page and Peter Legget also made invaluable contributions. Thus the Scottish total was lifted to 144, which was more than competitive under grey skies and on a difficult pitch.
The Dutch, however, collapsed further, losing four wickets for one run, subsiding from 45 for 4 to 46 for 8. At one stage during the carnage Peter Legget (2 for 22) found himself on a hat-trick and came within a stump-width of achieving it.
Indeed, it was only the belligerence of number ten Robert van der Harten (29 from 37 balls) and another mature knock from James Gruijters (35 from 67 balls) that saved the Dutch from abject humiliation.
That ninth-wicket pair more than doubled the Dutch tally from 46 to 96, but when Freddie Coleman held a return catch offered by Gruijters, the end followed three runs later as van der Harten lofted Henry Edwards to long-on.
With only one win from three, the Dutch must now win their last two matches convincingly – against Ireland and Denmark – and hope that other results go their way if there are to qualify by virtue of net run rate.