Scotland grab last gasp victory
02 Feb 2007
By: Arunava Das
Heavy rain throughout the night delayed the start of play at Jaffery Sports Club Ground in Nairobi in the ninth match of the ICC World Cricket League. Eventually, play was under way although the overs were reduced to 37 per innings.
Netherlands captain Luuk van Troost won the toss and chose to send Scotland in to bat. The Scotland innings started in a positive fashion with Majid Haq and Fraser Watts putting on 49 in only 7.3 overs before Haq was caught for a sprightly 19.
None of the Scotland top order could provide much to support Watts and when Ryan ten Doeschate took two wickets in two balls Scotland were in a bit of trouble. Watts provided stability at one end and made his way to 58 when he was caught well by ten Doeschate.
With just over ten overs remaining at his dismissal, the rest of the Scotland batsmen did their best to score quickly to set a competitive total. Colin Smith and John Blain hit some lusty blow towards the end of the innings to take Scotland to 209-8 in their 37 overs.
In reply, the Dutch began their innings with a bang as Darron Reekers and Bas Zuiderent brought up the fifty in the seventh over. However, the pair couldn't keep up the carnage as Zuiderent was caught at mid-wicket for eight and Reekers was bowled for a quickfire 37 off 20 deliveries, the first of three victims for Craig Wright for the day.
From there on, it was a procession of batsmen getting and getting out as no-one was able to construct a significant innings. Ten Doeschate and Tim de Leede briefly looked as if they might be setting themselves to see out the innings, but neither could progress past the twenties. With the dismissal of de Leede, the Netherlands were looking down the barrel at 128-7.
However, Billy Stelling and Peter Borren had other ideas as they first looked to consolidate, and then took the attack to the Scotland bowlers. The pair gradually opened up after rescuing their team from humiliation and combined to add 77 runs at almost a run a ball.
Borren, and in particular Stelling both played plenty of big shots in between pushing the singles to leave the equation at one over remaining with just seven runs to get. The Dutch were on the threshold of an amazing victory when three balls denied them at the final hurdle.
The last over was left to Paul Hoffmann to bowl. The first two deliveries were both taken for singles and the Netherlands needed just five to win - a hit over the fence would do it.
Stelling was then caught off the third ball of the over for a brilliant 45 bringing Edgar Schiferli to the crease.
The next ball, Schiferli's attempt to get off the mark resulted in a run out, removing Borren for 30. Finally, it was up to wicketkeeper Jeroen Smits and Schiferli.
Unfortunately for the Dutch, it was not meant to be. Hoffmann clean bowled Schiferli off the fifth ball of the over to dismiss the Netherlands for 205 in 36.5 overs. Scotland won an amazing and thrilling contest by just four runs. Paul Hoffmann was named Player of the Match for his effort of three wickets for 33 runs off 6.5 overs including that final over.
Fraser Watts 58(68), Colin Smith 26*(37)
Ryan ten Doeschate 2-47(8), Billy Stelling 2-41(8)
Billy Stelling 45(51), Darron Reekers 37(20), Peter Borren 30(38)
Paul Hoffmann 3-33(6.5), Craig Wright 3-38(7)
Scotland win by 4 runs.
CricketWeb Player of the Match
Paul HoffmannDiscuss this news item in the Cricket Web Forums