Netherlands A completed a clean sweep of their three-match T20 series against Denmark with two wins at VRA’s Amstelveen ground on Tuesday to back up a victory in match one.
A spirited ninth-wicket partnership between Oliver Hald and Surya Anand enabled Denmark to recover from 69 for eight against Netherlands A in Amstelveen on Monday, but the Danes still fell 12 runs short as they chased the home side’s 131 for five.
The first of a three-match T20 series which is a step on the way to the Netherlands’ preparation for the World T20 Cup and Denmark’s for the next European qualifier, the game featured two regular choices for the full Dutch side in Max O’Dowd and Scott Edwards, with several more who are strongly in contention for Ryan Campbell’s squad for Oman and the UAE.
O’Dowd made 21 and Edwards a brisk 25 not out in the A side’s innings, but the star of the show was newcomer Navjit Singh, whose 45 from 39 deliveries before he was run out in the final over confirmed that he thoroughly deserves a run at this level.
Denmark were soon in trouble as wickets for Ryan Klein, Aryan Dutt and Viv Kingma reduced them to 23 for three within the first five overs, and although Freddy Klokker and Jonas Henriksen more than doubled the total, leg-spinner Philippe Boissevain then cut through the middle order, taking three for 20 in his four overs.
62 were still needed from 41 deliveries when Anand joined Hald, who promptly made his intentions clear by lofting Boissevain over wide long on for six.
Kingma, O’Dowd and Sebastiaan Braat succeeded in eliminating boundaries for the next three overs, and now 41 were required from 18.
Hald did his best, hitting Julian de Mey for six and Klein for four, but 23 were still needed from the last, bowled by Kingma, and the Danish batters could only manage ten of them.
Hald finished with an unbeaten 32 from 23 deliveries and Anand was 15 not out, while apart from Boissevain it was probably Klein’s one for 17 from four overs which did most to put pressure on Denmark, not forgetting Braat’s two for 18 from three.
Continuing his policy of rotating the regular members of his full squad, national coach Ryan Campbell opened with Tobias Visée and Ben Cooper, and they took full advantage of the opportunity by batting for the full 20 overs and running up a total of 208 without loss.
Cooper was particularly hard on Denmark’s bowlers, smacking 110 from 65 deliveries with twelve fours and three sixes, while Visée found himself in the unfamiliar role of junior partner, making 84 from 55 deliveries with nine fours and two sixes.
Jonas Henriksen was the only member of the Danish attack – more accurately described, perhaps, as the Danish defence – to contain the onslaught, as he conceded just 20 runs from his four overs.
Denmark never seemed likely to chase such a total, especially once spinner Clayton Floyd, entrusted with the new ball, removed Henriksen and Taranjit Bharaj by the time 21 runs were on the board.
Hamid Shah made a run-a-ball 28 before he was run out looking for a tight second by a smart return from Logan van Beek, but by that time the Danish total was only 53 in the tenth over and they were well off the pace.
That they reached 120 for six, one run more than they had achieved the previous day, was again due to a late flourish from Oliver Hald, whose unbeaten 22 came from nine deliveries and included three fours and a six.
Campbell’s pick-and-mix selection policy continued into the final game, when Aryan Dutt and Bas de Leede were given their chance to open the batting.
De Leede fell to Nicolaj Laegsgaard in the first over, but Dutt went on to make a 28-ball 44 despite a more sustained effort from Denmark’s bowlers, for whom Henriksen (two for 18 from his four overs) was again outstanding.
Scott Edwards contributed a brisk 18 before he was run out, but with the middle order failing to make much impression it was left to Visée and Cooper, this time batting at seven and eight respectively, to push the score towards and then past the hundred, Visée making 18 from as many deliveries and Cooper adding to his day’s tally with a 13-ball 24.
Clayton Floyd made 22, but Hald removed both him and Cooper, and the hosts closed on 149 for nine.
That might have seemed a more chaseable target for the Danes, but this time it was Viv Kingma who achieved the early breakthrough, and although Shah and Bharaj put on 37 in six overs before Saqib Zulfiqar removed the latter, the middle order in its turn was in trouble against Zulfiqar and Floyd, and at 82 for seven a third defeat loomed.
This time Hald had already gone, caught at long on by Klein as he tried to hit Floyd out of the park, and although Zahmeer Khan made an unbeaten 18, Denmark closed on 110 for eight.
There were two wickets apiece for Niels Etman, Kingma (at a cost of just 14 from four overs), Zulfiqar and Floyd.
The series was a valuable work-out for both squads, and no doubt both coaches will have plenty to ruminate over as they view the challenges of the coming autumn.
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