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Cricket: Dutch bowlers, Vikramjit lead Scotland’s rout –



Brief scores: The Netherlands 167-8 (Levitt 43, Singh 39, Main 2-26) beat Scotland 126-10 in 18.1 overs (Cross 49, Kingma 4-21) by 41 runs.  

The Netherlands kicked off their home summer in style by taking out the tri-series opener against Scotland by 41 runs at Voorburg in The Hague.

Michael Levitt continued his fine form with the bat (43 off 31 balls) before key contributions and career-best displays from Vikramjit Singh (39) and home ground hero, Vivian Kingma (4-21) closed out a comprehensive, if at times, a scrappy win to defend an above-par 167.

Earlier in the day, after being asked to bat by Scotland at the toss, Levitt top-scored with an entertaining 43 and also featured in a 68-run opening partnership with Max O’Dowd, whose troubled stay at the crease yielded a run-a-ball 30 with two reprieves.

The Scottish bowlers dominated the middle overs mixing their pace and lengths and did well to concede only two boundaries across an eight-over spell after the powerplay. Scott Edwards promoted himself to No. 3 despite only batting there twice in his 57 T20Is till date but the move backfired with a 15-ball 13 holing out an over after O’Dowd’s dismissal.

Singh then wrestled back momentum with a quick fire 39, a knock laced with three fours and as many sixes, pulling out a slog sweep and a lofted six over cover off left-arm spinner Mark Watt before stylishly flicking fast bowler Chris Sole off his pads.

Designated finisher Teja Nidamanuru’s brace of sixes in the death overs then helped the Dutch to 167-8, Voorburg’s highest T20I total.

A Scottish top-order without George Munsey struggled, ending the powerplay at 34-3 as Kingma and Logan van Beek (3-18) laid bare their new-ball woes.

Captain Richie Berrington and his deputy Matt Cross threatened a brief comeback with a 66-run partnership but the former’s dismissal triggered a collapse that saw the visitors lose their last seven wickets for 44 runs.

Left-arm spinner Daniel Doram, picked ahead of Tim Pringle for his debut, claimed the priced scalp of Berrington to break the game open before removing Chris Greaves. Just for good measure, he then pouched a skier to snuff out Michael Leask and put the result beyond doubt.

There’s seldom a bad time to clock your career-best returns but with a big-ticket event coming up, Singh and Kingma chose wisely.

World Cup

Singh may yet go to the T20 World Cup as a spare batter given Sybrand Engelbrecht’s run of form in Nepal, where he amassed 172 runs in his four trips to the crease, but Saturday’s performance puts him right in the mix with at least three more matches to come.

Kingma’s situation is similar although he had a longer run in Nepal and consistent bowling numbers to be closer to a spot in the starting XI. Even in a high-scoring series two months ago, Kingma picked six wickets with a stellar economy of just 5.63 executing his cutters and slower balls to perfection. Saturday’s showing was no different.

The Dutch are back in action on Sunday to take on Ireland at Voorburg. Entry to the games is free and all matches are live-streamed on the European Cricket Network’s YouTube channel.

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