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Borren, Rippon steer Netherlands to victory

Captain hits unbeaten 86 while allrounder shines with bat and ball in six-wicket win over Kenya.
Peter Borren

Netherlands strengthened its position at the top of the ICC’s World Cricket League Championship table with yet another convincing win, this time over Kenya, at Buffalo Park in East London on Friday.

Victory was built on the back of a fine all-round performance by Michael Rippon, who took 3 for 30 in 10 overs and then hit 56 not out from No.6; and Peter Borren, who made 86 not out off just 98 balls, sharing a decisive, unbeaten 129-run stand for the fifth wicket in 23.1 overs.

The duo had come together with Netherlands on 98 for 4 in the 26th over, but didn’t allow Kenya to make any further inroads to seal a six-wicket win, getting past Kenya’s 226 for 7 with 1.1 overs to spare.

Opting to field, Netherlands was under some pressure early on as Kenya’s batsmen put on a compact show in the middle despite losing their openers early. However, the Netherlands bowlers were able to keep a check on the acceleration at the end, restricting Kenya to a manageable total.

Netherlands then showcased it’s professionalism with a clinical batting performance. The top three of Wesley Barresi (25 off 49), Stephan Myburgh (21 off 34) and Ben Cooper (24 off 25) all got starts but couldn’t carry on. When Roelof van der Merwe too fell cheaply, becoming Shem Ngoche’s (2 for 47) second victim, Netherlands was in some strife. But the Borren-Rippon alliance ensured there were no further hiccups to make it eight wins in 11 games for Netherlands.

Earlier, Netherlands’s decision to win the toss and field first proved a wise gamble as Kenya lost both its openers with only 18 runs on the board in the seventh over. There was a period of resistance as Dhiren Gondaria and Rakep Patel put together an 81-run partnership for the third wicket. But Kenya’s healthiest phase came when Gondaria and Collins Obuya got together.

Gondaria compiled a cracking 60-ball 53, while Obuya stayed on till the end, eventually falling for a 77-ball 72 that had two fours and four sixes in the final over.

Towards the end, Nelson Odhiambo’s 39 turned out to be a blessing for Kenya as it put up a competitive target on what seemed to be a track that had something in it for the bowlers.

For Netherlands, Rippon had the best figures while Time van der Gugten took 2 for 58 in 10 overs. Vivian Kingma and Pieter Seelar picked up a wicket each.

But where Netherland’s bowlers could rein in the total, Kenya’s were less fortunate, running into Borren and Rippon in form. Ngoche apart, Nelson Odhiambo picked up one wicket while Pushpak Kerai, making his List A debut, also tasted success with the scalp of Cooper.

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