7:48pm Monday 7th May 2012
By Tom Guest
STEPHAN Myburgh hit his second half-century in the space of two days as Worcestershire made a losing start to their Clydesdale Bank 40 campaign against the Netherlands at Kidderminster.
The South African batsman, who qualifies for the nation on residency grounds, followed up his match-winning 77 against Gloucestershire on Sunday with a hard-hitting unbeaten 74 to secure a nine-wicket victory.
Myburgh put on an excellent 132 with overseas batsman Cameron Borgas (55 not out), who also plays alongside the County’s Michael Klinger for South Australia, as the visitors required just 16.1 of their rain-reduced allocation of 19 to canter to their target of 139.
After a delay, the game was initially reduced to 27 overs-per-side and Worcestershire would have felt they’d done enough by posting 172-4.
The Dutch bowlers kept the home batsmen honest in the opening stages, but it was only the impressive Mudassar Bakhari (3-29) that caused genuine problems.
The paceman accounted for Moeen Ali in the fourth over, but the County batsman will not be happy with his shot selection as he lamely chipped the ball to Tim Gruijters at mid-on for 15.
Aussie batsman Michael Klinger also gave his wicket away, charging down the track to Tommy Heggelman but only managing to hole-out to Tom Cooper at mid-off.
The South Australian had made just two and his wicket reduced Worcestershire to 32-2, but the innings was rescued by a 78-run partnership in 14.1 overs between Vikram Solanki and James Cameron.
Former skipper Solanki started slowly, but time his innings well to accelerate to 63, while Cameron struck several lusty blows in his 38.
Cameron departed the ball after Solanki reached his half-century, picking out Heggleman off Bukhari on the mid-wicket boundary to make it 110-3.
County captain Mitchell joined Solanki in the middle and they further took the game away from the Dutch by adding 41 runs in just 23 balls.
Solanki found the hands of Michael Swart off Bukhari, but that just bought Dutchman Alexei Kervezee to the crease and he smashed 15 off four balls which, alongside Mitchell’s 15-ball 31, helped Worcestershire to post a competitive total of 172-4.
Following further rain delays, the Netherlands were set a reduced target of 152 in 22 overs, of which just 17 balls were bowled before the weather intervened yet again.
However, that was enough time for Jack Shantry to draw a leading edge from Swart, which Aneesh Kapil safely held at mid-off to reduce the visitors to 7-1.
On their return, the Netherlands needed 139 off 19 overs and Myburgh and Borgas took their side to victory with plenty left in the tank.
Meanwhile, following a pitch inspection at New Road yesterday, Worcestershire have decided to switch tomorrow’s LV= County Championship Division One clash with Surrey back to their headquarters.
Following last week’s flooding, the decision had been made to play the four-day game at Kidderminster, but New Road has now been deemed playable.
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