Bas Zuiderent and Klaas-Jan van Noortwijk put on 114 against Mike Atherton's team in the World Cup in Pakistan, a game which England only won thanks to a century by Worcestershire's Graeme Hick. Yesterday they fell four runs short of a century partnership and while it was always long odds against the Netherlands reaching their target they did at least put up a fight.
With his bright orange helmet glowing like a Belisha beacon, Zuiderent particularly caught the eye. He cut and drove handsomely, including violent straight sixes off Alamgir Sheriyar and Matthew Rawnsley. Van Noortwijk looked no less accomplished and it was a shame when he was run out for 25 after being called through for a risky single.
Zuiderent appeared to have put that error behind him as he moved on towards a well merited century.
But on 99 his judgement of a run deserted him again and he was run out by Reuben Spiring. Thereafter the batting gently subsided.
Earlier, Tom Moody, restored to full fitness after a recent virus, led Worcestershire's effort with 108 from 145 balls, including 14 fours, but it was not Hick's day. He drove lamely at Moody's Western Australian team- mate Murray Goodwin - the Netherlands' overseas recruit - and was caught in the covers by the Dutch captain, Tim de Leede, for seven.
The Dutch bowling left a little to be desired although the former Somerset and Glamorgan seamer, Roland Lefebvre, put in a tidy spell. The wicket- keeper, Marcel Schewe, looked very capable and pulled off a smart run out by collecting Rob van Oosterom's throw from the boundary and scoring a direct hit on the stumps at the other end to see off Gavin Haynes.
The Dutch by no means disgraced themselves but it is now almost 100 years since a team from the Netherlands led by Dr C J Gosthuma met the MCC, led by Dr W G Grace at Lords. It would be nice to say they have come a long way since then, but they haven't really.