Royals romp to Dutch delight

First published in Match Reports

WORCESTERSHIRE Royals recorded a third Clydesdale Bank 40 victory of the season with a resounding nine-wicket success against the Netherlands.

The New Road side needed just 13.1 overs to reach their target after skittling the Group ‘A’ leaders for just 57 in Voorburg.

It lifted them to second in the table, still five points adrift of the Dutch but with two games in hand, and level on points with Lancashire having played a game more.

Worcestershire won the toss and elected to field in blustery conditions under grey skies and struck immediately when Stephan Myburgh (0) was caught behind off the first ball of the innings by Ben Scott off David Lucas.

Following a brief rain delay at 9-1, Lucas struck again in the sixth over, having Michael Swart (3) caught by Shaaiq Choudhry at mid-off with the score on 23.

Jack Shantry got the third wicket in the next over when Wes Barresi (1), trying to pull to square-leg, top-edged and Scott ran back to take the catch.

Gareth Andrew then trapped Tom Cooper lbw for 25 and Cameron Borgas (2) chipped Shantry to Lucas at extra cover to leave the Dutch struggling on 33-5 in the 12th over.

Another sharp shower took the players off for three minutes and the match was reduced to 39 overs per side.

Captain Daryl Mitchell took the next two wickets, the first when Tim Gruijters (5) got under a lofted on-drive and Shantry, who moved a long way at mid-on, dived to his right to take a good catch.

With the next ball, Mudassar Bukhari (0) top-edged to Alexei Kervezee at deep point, with the score on 48-7 after 18 overs.

Dutch captain Peter Borren (12) was the eighth wicket to fall, lbw off Andrew who, with his next delivery, trapped Tom Heggelman (0) lbw.

The Netherlands were finally dismissed for 57 in 23.2 overs when Tim van der Gugten (1) was caught by Moeen Ali at cover off Shantry.

All four Royals bowlers made full use of the conditions with Andrew finishing on 3-9 off seven overs, Shantry 3-26 off 7.2, Mitchell 2-10 off four and Lucas 2-11 from five.

Worcestershire needed 58 runs to win and lost their first wicket on 13 when Moeen was caught by Cooper at second slip off van der Gugten for five in the fifth over.

However, Vikram Solanki, unbeaten on 39 off 40 balls, including five fours, and Phil Hughes (12 not out) took the Royals to victory to complete an excellent performance ahead of the visit of Gloucestershire Gladiators to New Road on Sunday.

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