NORTH SOUND, Antigua – Sussex Sharks overcame feeble batting, undermined by a career-best spell from Tim van der Gugten, to fashion a 34-run victory over the Netherlands in the Caribbean Twenty20 tournament on Tuesday.
A depleted Dutch side failed to successfully chase down 126 for victory from their allocation of 20 overs in the opening match of Group-B, the third of the tournament, at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
Oranje captain Peter Borren hit the top score of 45, but no other batsman reached 20 in a fragile batting display.
It condemned a purposeful bowling performance from van der Gugten meaningless. He captured five wickets for 21 runs from four overs, as the Sharks reached 125 for nine from their 20 overs after choosing to bat.
Ben Brown gave a boost to the Sharks with a vital run-a-ball 42 and opener Chris Nash made 20, but no other batsman reached 20 in an equally weak batting performance.
The match was over as a genuine contest, once the Netherlands sunk to 39 for seven in the 10th over.
Amjad Khan bowled Stephan Myburgh for one in the second over and the Dutch continued to bleed wickets in the early stages of their reply.
Alex Kervezee was caught at deep backward square leg off Naved Arif before Chris Liddle bowled pinch-hitting opener Mudassar Bukhari for five leaving Netherlands rocking on 18 for three.
Nash bowled Michael Swart for seven before Sharks captain and England World T20-winning left-arm spinner Michael Yardy struck twice from successive deliveries.
Yardy trapped Wesley Barresi lbw for one and bowled Tom de Grooth for a first-ball duck before Will Beer drove the nail in the Dutch coffin, when he had Tim Gruijters stumped for five.
Borren fought the lone battle with the bat, striking three fours and two sixes from 40 balls, but he too, succeeded in giving his hand away.
He lofted a delivery from Naved to long-on and was caught, becoming the last of three wickets for 12 runs from 3.3 overs for the bowler, and bringing the match to a close.
Earlier, Sussex stumbled to 30 for three in the fifth over, after van der Gugten bowled Joe Gatting, nephew of former England batsman Mike Gatting, for 15 and had Yardy caught behind for a first-ball duck.
Brown joined Nash and they put on 38 for the fourth wicket, but three wickets fell for nine runs in the space of 12 deliveries, wobbling the Sharks on 77 for six.
Brown and Arif got them over the 100-run threshold before the rest of the batting caved in to the pressure for quick, late runs.
The victory earned Sussex four points and the Netherlands none with both teams set for action on Thursday’s fourth day.
Sussex face Jamaica, and the Dutch meet Barbados at the same venue.