Overdijk leads Netherlands to top of the table
In glorious sunshine in Stirling, the Netherlands moved clear at the top of the championship table with a professional five-wicket win over host nation Scotland.
Only Michael Miller, with 34 from 84 balls, resisted the Dutch bowlers as the Scots – having been asked to bat first – laboured to 132, helped a great deal by the 37 extras shipped by the Dutch attack.
Of those Dutch bowlers, Saqib Zulfiqar (3 for 17) and Shahid Anwar (3 for 26) were the most successful, while there was a brace of wickets for both Adriaan Verbeek and Alex Kent.
Though defending only 132, the Scots had been given hope by a tremendous new-ball spell from Duncan Player: he struck twice in the first over of the Dutch innings, trapping Zulfiqar lbw before castling Jochem Steenbergen.
However, for the second successive day, a mature and responsible innings from Hidde Overdijk guided the Dutch chase. Abetted by Reinier Kalis (25) and Sikander Zulfiqar (27), Overdijk lasted the distance, taking his average for the tournament into three figures as the Dutch got home with seventeen balls to spare.
In today’s other fixture, the clash of the Channel Islanders, Guernsey ran out winners by 26 runs.
Chasing 208 for victory, Jersey had started brightly. A half-century from Elliot Corbel (56 balls; four boundaries) and 31 from James Duckett had manoeuvred Jersey into the strong position of 112 for 2, but a three-wicket burst from James Wilkes-Green removed both of the ‘set’ batsmen as well as skipper Dominic Blampied.
From there, the asking rate continued to rise and, as the Guernsey outfielders held their chances, Jordon Martel and Matthew Stokes cleaned out the tail to finish with three wickets apiece.
Earlier in the day, Wilkes-Green’s 54 (made from 84 balls, containing seven fours) was the bedrock of Guernsey’s total of 207. Supported by Stokes (26) and Toby Belton (21), Wilkes-Green had led his team to 129 for 2 before economical spells from James Duckett (2 for 17) and Rhys Palmer (1 for 27) reined in affairs.
Nevertheless, a rapid and unbeaten 22 from Alex Bushell, batting at number ten, took Guernsey past the 200-mark and how vital his runs were to prove in the end.
Should the forecast prove wrong and the rain stay away, tomorrow’s fixtures see Ireland play Jersey while the Netherlands – now in prime position – take on Guernsey.