By ICC Media Release
Second-placed Scotland travels to Deventer tomorrow to take on the Netherlands in the ICC Intercontinental Cup with a good chance of overtaking Afghanistan at the top of the table
Gordon Drummond's men currently sit just eight points behind the Afghanis with one game in hand so they will be confident of bagging enough of the 20 points on offer over the next four days in order to take pole position as we approach a busy time for the event.
There are nine fixtures remaining before the final which will take place in the United Arab Emirates in late November and there is still all to play for.
Scotland, which was the winner of the inaugural staging of this competition back in 2004, has put in some indifferent performances in the intervening period but this year will be confident that it can wrestle the cup back from near-neighbour and arch-rival Ireland, which has been in possession ever since.
Of Scotland's squad of 13, seven are on full-time contracts, namely Richie Berrington, Qasim Sheikh, Gordon Goudie, Majid Haq, Steven Smith, Ross Lyons and Moneeb Iqbal, making selection significantly more easy than for their counterparts across the North Sea, who are missing some key players through injury and work commitments.
It should also be an opportunity for two younger members of the Scotland set-up to make an impression. Matthew Parker is a 20-year-old all-rounder who has been seeking to establish his place in the side since making his debut two years ago. It is thought his development is progressing nicely thanks, at least in part, due to his presence in the academy team at English County Champion Durham.
Preston Mommsen has impressed selectors since arriving a few years ago from South Africa to finish his schooling, not least last week when he scored an unbeaten century for Scotland Lions against Leicestershire 2nd XI. Now 22, he is likely to make his debut in Deventer this week and will be given his chance at the top of the order as well as turning his arm over with some useful off-spin bowling when needs be.
Meanwhile, with many of its first-choice squad unavailable, the Netherlands have picked a number of exciting new prospects for this match and will be captained by Peter Borren. Steven de Bruin is a young wicketkeeper, who will be doing his best to become the next Jeroen Smits, while there is also room in the team for top-order batsman Wesley Barresi, spinner Adil Raja and 24-year-old Wilfred Diepeveen.
With more established players such as Tom de Grooth, Mark Jonkman, Pieter Seelaar and Eric Szwarczynski in the side, Borren is hopeful of upsetting the Scots in Deventer.
"I think we certainly have the bowlers to take 20 wickets in the match," said the 26-year-old all-rounder.
"The trick for us will be scoring the runs and I will be looking to our top order to give us a good start. If one can score a century and two or three others support him with 50s then I think we will be in a very strong position.
"It can be a difficult transition from one-day cricket, which is what we have mostly been playing, to the four-day competition. Our batsmen will have to build innings and take it one session at a time in order to occupy the crease and spend some time out in the middle."
NETHERLANDS (squad): Peter Borren (captain), Wesley Barresi, Tom de Grooth, Mark Jonkman, Ruud Nijman, Pieter Seelaar, Eric Szwarczynski, Steven de Bruin, Adeel Raja, Wilfred Diepeveen, Berend Westdijk, Floris Kingma, Rifaiz Bakas.
SCOTLAND (squad): Gordon Drummond (captain), Dougie Lockhart, Preston Mommsen, Qasim Sheikh, Richie Berrington, Neil McCallum, Gregor Maiden, Majid Haq, Moneeb Iqbal, Matthew Parker, Gordon Goudie, Ross Lyons, Simon Smith.
Umpires: Brian Jerling of the Emirates International Panel of ICC Umpires and Niels Bagh of the ICC Associates and Affiliates Umpires' Panel.