Orange Lions beat Worcestershire and the weather
A year ago the Orange Lions served notice on the counties that they were not just in the Clydesdale Bank 40 League to make up the numbers by beating Yorkshire and Derbyshire on their opening weekend, and they repeated the achievement on Monday by adding victory over Worcestershire to their defeat of Gloucestershire the day before.
It was the sort of day where it was a minor miracle that a match was completed at all: rain during the morning delayed the start until a quarter to four and then, after the home side had had an innings of 27 overs, two further bands of bad weather cut the Dutch reply, first to 22 overs and then to 19.
Failing to take full advantage of the short boundaries at the Kidderminster ground, where the game was played after New Road in Worcester was again flooded, Worcestershire scrambled their way to a total of 172 for four, mainly due to a cautious 63 from Vikram Solanki, setting the Dutch an initial target of around six and a half an over.
By the time their reply actually started, a Duckworth/Lewis calculation had pushed that up to more than seven, and when, after the early loss of Michael Swart’s wicket and the deduction of another three overs, the players returned to the field for the final time, Stephan Myburgh and Cameron Borgas found themselves chasing a little more than eight.
They responded by going onto the attack almost immediately, and when they took 17 off the seventh over, bowled by skipper Daryl Mitchell, they made sure they were ahead of the D/L par score, an advantage they never surrendered.
Myburgh resumed where he had left off in Bristol on Sunday, hitting three fine sixes and a series of fours as he passed fifty for the third time in as many CB40 innings, while Borgas, who had played a composed innings against Gloucestershire, was more severe on the bowling here, reaching his maiden half-century for the Netherlands with a massive blow over midwicket which finished the match with thirteen balls to spare.
Myburgh and Borgas’ unbroken 132-run partnership was a Dutch record for any wicket in this competition, and Myburgh’s unbeaten, 50-ball 74 – with seven fours and four sixes in total – brought his tally in three innings to 206, at an average of 103. Borgas’ 55 came from 43 deliveries, with five fours and three sixes.
Earlier, after Peter Borren won the toss and put the home side in, Timm van der Gugten, Mudassar Bukhari and Tom Heggelman had bowled extremely well at the top of the Worcestershire innings, restricting the scoring to 76 off the first 17 overs.
Bukhari and Heggelman kept the pressure up by claiming the wickets of Moeen Ali and Michael Klinger respectively, both caught trying to hit over the top, with Bukhari conceding just eight runs in a three-over spell and Heggelman going for 20 in five.
Van der Gugten, too, kept the batsmen quiet, and although his six-over spell was wicketless he went for only 29 runs.
Solanki and James Cameron raised the tempo with the advent of the spinners, but it took a flurry of hitting by Mitchell, who came in with five overs left after Bukhari, who finished with three for 29, had removed Cameron for a 41-ball 38, and by Alexei Kervezee, rather puzzlingly kept back until the fall of the fourth wicket, to get the home side up to a reasonably challenging total.
Mitchell took 31 from 15 deliveries, while Kervezee made the most of his limited opportunity against his Dutch team-mates, smashing the first ball he received over midwicket for six and finishing with 15 from just four balls.
Worcestershire seemed fairly happy with their total of 172, but Myburgh and Borgas subsequently demonstrated that it hadn’t been nearly enough as they steered the Orange Lions to an impressive nine-wicket victory.