|European Under 19 (Division 1) Championship: Scotland, August 2008|
The Netherlands prove too strong for Denmark
The Netherlands finished a very satisfying tournament with a 57-run win over Denmark in Rotterdam on Thursday, but a batting collapse in the middle of their innings prevented them from creating a margin of victory which, as it turned out, would have given them second place.
Perhaps calculating that setting a big target was the best way of swinging the net run rate in his side’s favour, Dutch captain Peter Borren elected to bat first, and despite the early loss of opener Rifaiz Bakas, his batsmen initially worked hard to build a platform against a diligent Danish attack.
Rohit Kanaiya in particular maintained a good line and length, and having induced Bakas to edge to slip he switched ends and eventually tempted Steven de Bruin into a false stroke which saw him comfortably caught at mid-on.
Seventeen-year-old Stijn Allema, one of the undoubted successes of the competition, showed great maturity batting at number three, unleashing a splendid on drive off Kanaiya, and then taking on spinners Bashir Shah and Omar Hayat, quickly driving the latter out of the attack.
Shah, however, persisted, and succeeded in removing first Jeroen Brand and then Borren. The skipper’s wicket fell with the total on 97, and this was the trigger for a mini-collapse. First Allema, who had reached 43 in 66 balls with four fours and a six over square leg off Hayat, was bowled by Jacob Larsen without addition to the score, and then Ruud Nijman skied a simple catch off the same bowler.
That made it 97 for six, and the Dutch were in danger of serious embarrassment.
They were rescued by a fine 58-run stand between Geert Maarten Mol and Graeme Davey, another of the week’s discoveries. They pushed the score up to 155 with five overs left, but then David Borchersen, having brought himself back into the attack, removed both in successive overs.
Mol on 27 fell to an extraordinary catch, lofting the ball to long on and seeing it dropped by one fielder only to be snapped up by Rizwan Mahmood before it could reach the ground. Davey’s dismissal was more straightforward, clean bowled when he had made 29.
Mohammed Kashif became Borchersen’s third victim, at a cost of 26 runs in nine overs, but then Somesh Kohli hit a lively 11 not out in the final overs as he and Mark Jonkman got the total up to 185 for nine.
Shah took two for 27 in his ten-over spell, and Larsen two for 30.
Nijman and Davey again put on the pressure as soon as the Dutch went into the field, and Nijman was soon rewarded by seeing Lund depart with the total on 7.
Kanaiya and Hayat steadily pushed the score up to 44 before Kohli had Hayat caught at slip, but progress was slow, and it became increasingly difficult to see how Denmark were going to raise the tempo sufficiently to reach their target.
Jonkman bowled a hostile, testing nine-over spell, removing first Kanaiya, top scorer for his side with a 64-ball 20, and then Mahmood for figures of two for 22, while Kohli also bowled well.
Then Nijman returned to remove Max Overgaard and Borchersen, and the Danes were 88 for six.
Their lower-order batsmen were unable to repair the damage as Mol and Davey had done, and with Kashif picking up two for 32 and Mol two for 8 from just ten balls – assisted by two brilliant catches from Borren at slip – Denmark were all out for 128 in the 46th over.
It was Nijman, however, who was the most successful of the Dutch bowlers, with three for 14 from eight overs.