Bertus de Jong
The Netherlands cruised to an 85 run win over Papua New Guinea in their second WCL Championship match, Peter Borren leading from the front with an unbeaten hundred.The Dutch captain's maiden List A century, an unbeaten 105 from 111 balls, saw his side to a total of 297, with Mudassar Bukhari smashing 51 from 32 to provide the impetus for a late surge. PNG were bowled out for 212 in reply, Kila Pala top scoring with a belligerent 56 from number 6, but the visitors lower order could not match their hosts for late acceleration.
When Borren came to the crease ten overs into the first innings the Netherlands were looking shaky, Micahel Swart bowled by Norman Vanua for 2 early in the innings and Ben Cooper having fallen vicitim too a smart stumping off a ball from Chad Soper tossed well down leg. Borren's partnership with Stephan Myburgh lasted just four balls before the latter was caught at midicket for a rapid 34 from 28 balls.
The scoring slowed thereafter, the Baramundis miserly with the ball and electric in the field as Borren built careful partnerships with Wesley Barresi, Pieter Seelaar and Micahel Rippon to take the hosts past 200, bringing up his fifty in 64 balls. The PNG bowling proved tough to get away though, Vanua and Willie Gavera seeing off the batting powerplay at the cost of just 20 runs.
But Michael Rippon's dismissal in the 43rd over - caught in the deep off Vanua trying to force the pace - signalled the charge for the Dutch. Mudassar Bukhari joined his captain in the middle with the score on 211-6, and together the pair plundered 76 runs off the last 7 overs, including 23 off a single over from the hapless JB Reva.
The Barramundi's early discipline in the field rapidly disintegrated, and Borren's century would eventually come courtesy of a misfield at extra cover from Mahuru Dai. The luckless JB Reva came in for further punishment immediately after, putting down a skied Borren slog-sweep at deep midwicket and then spurning an even simpler chance next ball when Borren was kind enough to offer him a do-over. Mudassar Bukhari pressed on in the next over, bringing up his own fifty with a lofted four over mid-on, and even on a good deck 297 looked a winning score.
So it would also prove, though the Papuan chase started well enough, Timm van der Gugten's first over going for 15 runs. But Bukhari bowled with venom and accuracy at the other end as he would throughout the innings, probably the pick of the Dutch bowlers despite going wicketless. Van der Gugten would find the eraly breakthrough though, finding Lega Siaka's outside edge with a shorter swinging ball. The opening powerplay went for just 39 runs, and
with Borren electing to take the pace off the ball after the powerplay the visitors struggled to up the scoring. As the asking rate climbed the wickets followed, a smart stumping off Michael Rippon did for Tony Ura and Vala was run out chancing a single to Seelaar at cover. Kila Pala looke to reverse the momentum, taking on the spinners and racing to 50 off 40 balls, finding support from Sese Bau and Jack Vare to take the Barramundis to 155-5 after 30 overs - ahead of where the Dutch were at the same stage.
But Bau would fall to Pieter Seelaar's first delivery fo 41, and Pala couln't replicate Borren's heroics. Paul van Meekeren's extra bounce and pace found the shoulder of his bat, the young Dutch quick grabbing a looping return catch at his feet. John Reva's horrid day then continued when he gifted Seelaar a leading edge off a rank full toss that should have gone over the rope and at 167-7 looked out of it.
Vare and Soper added a defiant 43 at a run a ball, but the asking rate continued to climb and Vare would perish chancing a risky single too many, run out by van der Gugten in his follow through for 25. Vanua went for a golden duck next ball, and one over later it was done, Soper lobbing a lofted drive off Malik to van der Gugten at long off.