Derbyshire scrap to tie with Netherlands
Netherlands 163 for 9 tied with Derbyshire 163 for 9
Derbyshire edged to the top of Group A in the Clydesdale Bank 40 following a thrilling tie with Netherlands in Deventer. Steffan Jones hit the final ball of Derbyshire's chase for two to share the points as both sides finished a low-scoring contest on 163 for 9. That was enough to move the Falcons to the top of the group, although Middlesex may leapfrog them within hours as they began their chase against Worcestershire at Lord's.
Derbyshire's hopes of taking anything from their trip across the North Sea looked to have disappeared when top-scorer Garry Park became Shane Mott's fourth victim to leave the visitors nine down and needing 15 from nine balls. Last pair Jones and Tim Groenewald then defied the odds to set-up a last-ball finish, but Mudassar Bukhari's final delivery cost just two to leave scores level.
Greg Smith had earlier taken 3 for 39 for Derbyshire to frustrate Netherlands, who only managed their below-par score thanks to 41 from tailender Bukhari. Derbyshire started a routine-looking chase badly when Chesney Hughes was bowled for a duck by Mott in the opening over.
Mott also accounted for Wes Durston (24) and Greg Smith (12) and when Australia opener Usman Khawaja was caught behind off Peter Borren Derbyshire were 62 for 4. Wayne Madsen and Park then seemed to be building a match-winning partnership before the former was caught by Borren off the bowling of the busy Bukhari.
Pieter Seelaar then bowled Derbyshire captain Luke Sutton for only two runs and Jonathan Clare was trapped lbw by Michael Swart five overs later. Azeem Rafiq joined Park at the crease and hit 18 quickfire before becoming Swart's second victim at the end of the 36th over.
Derbyshire's hopes look doomed when Park (38) was caught by Seelar off Mott's but last-pair Jones and Groenewald did enough to at least take a point.
Earlier, Netherlands' top-order struggled with Clare claiming two wickets in the 14th over, including Swart for a duck, as the hosts fell to 45 for 3. Wilfred Diepeveen (13) and captain Borren (16) also fell cheaply to bring Tom de Grooth and Bukhari to the crease.
The pair added 49 for the seventh wicket with De Grooth chipping in with a laboured 25 from 54 balls before he was run out. Bukhari, whose innings included eight fours, followed when he was caught by Groenewald off Jones. Tom Heggelman fell with the very next ball as Mott and Seelaar scrambled to a score of 163 for 9.