Mommsen sees Knights to NSPS title
Bertus de Jong
An unbeaten 52 from skipper Preston Mommsen saw the Eastern Knights to victory over the Southern Seafarers in the North Sea Pro-Series final. Chasing 181 to win, Mommsen hit an accelerating 52 off 73 from number 4 even as wickets fell at the other end to see his side to victory with 4 wickets and two overs to spare.
The Seafarers had won the toss and elected to bat first, but were restricted well by their hosts, despite all of the Dutch top-order getting starts none were able to kick on, with none of the Seafarer's bats passing fifty.
Stephan Myburg was the first to go, edging behind attempting to cut Elliot Ruthven with the score on 46, and 23 runs later opening partner Roel Verhagen would hole out Ruthven at deep midwicket off Chayank Gosain for 38 - which would prove to be the top score for the visitors.
Wesley Barresi and Tim Gruijters took the Dutch as far as triple figures before both fell in rapid succession, the latter bowled by left arm spinner Tom Sole, who together with right-arm counterpart Mark Watt would keep the Seafarers on the back foot for the rest of the innings.
Seafarers skipper Pieter Seelaar put on another 34 with Tim Etman before Etman became Watt's first victim, and from then on the wickets fell regularly. Watt would collect stand-out figures of 3-20 in 9.4 as the Dutch were bowled out with 4.2 overs remaining, no other batsman passing double figures.
The Seafarers found an early breakthrough as the Knights chase commenced, Hidde Overdijk having Watt caught by Klaassen at mid off with the score on 12, but George Munsey and Schalke Conradie dug in, putting on 62 for the next wicket at a steady if unspectacular pace.
Seelaar would eventually do for both, first beating Conradie for turn as he was tempted down the wicket only to be smartly stumped by Barresi, then trapping Munsey in front for 37 to leave the score at 107-3.
The breakthrough signaled something of a fightback for the Seafarers, Sole offering Klaassen his second catch of the match off Seelaar shortly after Tim Gruijters ensuring that Aslam and Henk Conradie also fell cheaply, as the Knights slid to 147-6.
Conradie's would be the last wicket o fall however, as Mommsen and Ali Evans unbroken 37 run partnership saw their side home, Mommsen finishing things off with a paddle-swept four to claim the 2016 North Sea Pro-Series title for the newly-reformed Knights.