Two century partnerships highlight of Dutch Women's Challenge
The KNCB’s Women’s Challenge got off to a promising start at Maarschalkerweerd on Wednesday, with Da Costa’s Diamonds securing a 23-run victory over Crewdson’s Cruisers in a 40-over match.
Invited to bat first, skipper Linsey Da Costa gave her side a great basis with an opening stand of 108 with her national counterpart Denise Hannema, and it was the 25th over before Lizzie Dillam secured the breakthrough, with Hannema caught by Sasha Bruning for 47.
In warm, sunny conditions the Cruisers’ bowlers stuck to their task well, and once the opening partnership had been broken wickets started to fall at fairly regular intervals, the next highest score being Tessa van der Gun’s 13.
Da Costa was still at the crease, however, and once she had reached her half-century, from 69 deliveries, she went onto the attack, taking just another 20 balls to move on to 84. She had hit eight fours and a six when she came down the wicket to Cher van Slobbe and was stumped by Miranda Veringmeier.
That made it 174 for four, but Maxime Entrop, Naomi Stalenberg and Heather Siegers kept the scoreboard moving in the closing overs, and the innings ended on 200 for five.
Van Slobbe bowled well for the Cruisers and was rewarded with figures of two for 30, while Esther de Lange took one for 27 in a tidy eight-over spell.
Two early run-outs did not help the Cruisers’ cause, and with a wicket for Nathalie Hennis into the bargain they soon found themselves on a precarious 29 for three.
That brought Leonie Bennett in to join her captain Clare Crewdson, however, and these two proceeded to add 106 for the fourth wicket at almost a run a ball.
Crewdson’s fifty, indeed, came from exactly 50 deliveries, and despite losing Bennett for a well-made 33 with the total on 135, she went on to 76 before she was bowled by Hannema, who had earlier removed her partner as well. She faced 74 balls in all, hitting six fours and a six.
After her departure the innings folded relatively quickly, Hannema picking up a third wicket at a total cost of 30 runs and Lisa Klokgieters taking two for 26 as the Cruisers slid from 148 for six to 177 all out.
The match went a long way towards achieving the series’ aim of bringing together the best Dutch women cricketers in a tougher competitive environment than club cricket can generally provide, and it is to be hoped that more players from the national squads will be available for the second 40-over game on 12 July.