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Netherlands edges ahead after 16-wicket day

Host folds for 209 but bowlers wrest initiative back by reducing Papua New Guinea to 103 for 6 on day one

Netherlands edges ahead after 16-wicket day - Cricket News
The PNG players celebrate the dismissal of Michael Swart during their ICup match v Netherlands

Papua New Guinea made an impressive start to its ICC Intercontinental Cup journey as it dismissed the Netherlands for 209 in the last match of the first round at the VRA Cricket Ground in Amstelveen on Tuesday (June 16). 

However, by the time stumps were drawn, the host had fought its way back into the match with PNG ending day one on 103 for 6, still trailing by 106 runs with Jack Vare (15) and John Reva (6) at the crease. PNG did well to restrict Netherlands to a modest score, but the Netherlands bowlers responded well to ensure PNG’s advantage was short-lived. 

Opting to field first, PNG rode on a fine bowling performance led by debutant Loa Nou (5 for 55) to wrap up the Netherlands first innings in just 64.4 overs.

Stephan Myburgh (26) and Michael Rippon (28) made a cautious start, adding 37 for the first wicket when Nou trapped Myburgh lbw to earn his first first-class wicket. The visitors kept coming hard at the batsmen and Netherlands soon found itself stuttering at 68 for 4. 

Maxwell O'Dowd (14) and Peter Borren (26), the captain, dug in to add 41 for the fifth wicket to take Netherlands past the 100-run mark. Intent on not letting things slip from their hands, the duo kept attacking the loose balls but Nou ended O'Dowd’s resistance. 

Borren fell soon after and with the home team six down, PNG would have fancied its chances of wrapping up things quickly. However, a 63-run stand for the eighth wicket between Paul van Meekeren (34) and Pieter Seelaar (31) defied PNG and gave the Netherlands bowlers something to work with. 

Seelaar played some delightful shots but his promising innings was cut short by Willie Gavera (2 for 47), who bowled him in the 49th over shortly after the second drinks interval of the day. 

Buoyed by the performance of the bowlers, Tony Ura (17) made his intentions very clear from the beginning when PNG started its innings, pulling the first ball of the innings to the mid wicket fence off Timm van der Gugten. Lega Saika, the other opener, made a scratchy start and was the first to fall, dismissed lbw by Quirijn Gunning.

Little went PNG’s way with the bat with no significant partnerships strung together as it slipped to 36 for 4. Charled Amini (20) and Mahuru Dai (26) tried resurrecting the innings with a 37-run stand for the fifth wicket but the host kept chipping away.  

Van der Gugten was rewarded for some tight bowling and ended the day with 4 for 18 while Gunning and Meekeren took a wicket apiece.

To see the full scorecard of this match, please click here. 

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