Dutch go through their paces in Centurion

Netherlands on tour

As warm-up matches go, the script for the first game of the Netherlands’ visit to South Africa, played at Supersport Park, Centurion on Friday might almost have been written by coach Ryan Campbell himself.

Put in to bat by Pieter Seelaar, the Colts Invitational XI, including a handful of players with first-class experience, struggled against the Dutch seam attack, and were all out for 150 in 40.1 overs, opener Louren Steenkamp top-scoring with 31.

Fred Klaassen began the process by trapping Jandre Pretorius leg-before in his third over and finished with three for 25, while Shane Snater took two for 26, Timm van der Gugten two for 31, and Brandon Glover one for 32.

Seelaar played his part as well, taking two wickets in three deliveries and ending with two for 21.

The Dutch batters then took full advantage of the home side’s sporting agreement that they should face the full 50 overs, and after reaching their target in fewer than 19 overs for the loss one just one wicket they went on to post a massive 434 for six, two of the wickets from retirements.

The score, though, is less important than the fact that almost all the top and middle order had the opportunity for extended time in the middle: after Steph Myburgh and Max O’Dowd had put on 85 for the first wicket from just 83 deliveries, Myburgh eventually falling to Thamsanqa Khumalo for a 38-ball 44, O’Dowd and Scott Edwards both hammered rapid centuries.

The pair added 114 from 64 balls before O’Dowd, having reached his hundred from 67 deliveries, immediately retired, Edwards needing one fewer for his ton before he, too, returned to the pavilion.

Edwards and Colin Ackermann had put on a further 92, and after Ackermann had departed for 53, Saqib Zulfiqar and Timm van der Gugten carried on the slaughter; only Musa Nadeem, who made 11, was unable to join the runfest.

Van der Gugten eventually became Khumalo’s second victim, but not before he had smashed 54 from 27 deliveries, while Zulfiqar finished unbeaten on 46.

All the South African bowlers came in for some heavy punishment, the experienced Ayavuya Myoli the most economical with one for 66, while leg-spinner Sean Gilson conceded 121 from his ten overs.

It was a splendid work-out, but coach Campbell would be the first to point out that it’s likely to be very different when the Dutch face the full South African side in a week’s time.

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