Middlesex handed the Netherlands their first defeat of the Clydesdale Bank 40 competition as they triumphed by eight wickets at Voorburg. The hosts got off to a good start after being asked to bat as openers Stephan Myburgh and Michael Swart shared 50 for the first wicket. However, their middle-order struggled against the off-spin of Paul Stirling (four for 27) and they were not helped by three Gareth Berg-inflicted run-outs, as they were restricted to 212 for nine from their 40 overs.
Middlesex lost Dawid Malan in the first over to Timm van der Gugten, but Joe Denly and Stirling added 47 in less than nine overs for the second before the Irishman fell for 28 from 25 balls to make it 47 for two. That was to be the home side’s last success as Denly and Chris Rogers put on an unbroken 166 for the third wicket to see the Panthers home with 16 balls to spare. Denly ended four short of what would have been a well-deserved century, while Rogers closed on 83 from 81 balls.
In one other piece of county news, Somerset’s bad luck with regards to overseas players shows no sign of abating, with South African all-rounder Faf du Plessis the latest to withdraw from a previously agreed deal with the county. The 27 year-old will now, at the request of Cricket South Africa, play for his country’s A side against Sri Lanka, and represent South Africa in their series of unofficial Twenty20 Internationals in Zimbabwe. He follows Chris Gayle and fellow countryman Roelof van der Merwe – who withdrew owing to visa complications – as the latest player to renege on an overseas deal with the Cidermen.
© Cricket World 2012