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Dutch, Kenya take pride from show
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March 09, 2007 10:14 IST

The captains of Kenya and the Netherlands said their World Cup warm-up game on Thursday, an entertaining encounter that went down to the final over, was a reminder of the quality of the minor nations.

The Netherlands lost by nine runs to Kenya in an exciting match which produced 539 runs and some excellent stroke play but was watched by just a handful of spectators.

The Africans, World Cup semi-finalists four years ago, made 274 for eight and the Dutch took it right down to the final over after a splendid 142 opening partnership between Darron Reekers and Bas Zuiderent.

Ten Doeschate, who plays in English county cricket for Essex, took the attack to the Kenyans but it was his partner, New Zealand-born Peter Borren who suddenly put the Dutch in with a chance, hitting three huge sixes in one over off the bowling of James Kamende.

But ten Doeschate was run out for 50 with three overs remaining and when Borren was stumped for 22 off Tikolo in the 48th over, the challenge faded with 28 wanted off the last two overs.

"That was a great advert for the associate teams," said Dutch captain Luuk van Troost.

"(New Zealand umpire) Billy Bowden just came up to me after the game and said 'you guys should play a lot more cricket' and that was very pleasing."

Kenyan captain Steve Tikolo, who offered another reminder of his quality with a fifty and five wickets, agreed that there had been no shortage of talent on display.

"Both teams played good cricket and they stretched us to the last over and both sides produced good individual performances," he said.

As semi-finalists four years ago at the last World Cup, Kenya have a strong case for no longer being regarded as minnows and Tikolo, who says his team deserve more games against test-playing sides, bristled at the suggestion his team might produce an upset in the competition.

"An upset? We are here by right and we are here to compete and to play good cricket," he said.

The main proof of the Dutch's credibility as a team came with the opening partnership of 142 between Bas Zuiderent and New Zealand-born Darron Reekers.

"The two openers batted pretty well but there was not a lot of assistance in the wicket for the bowlers," said Tikolo.

"But I felt that if we kept doing things right then the pressure would tell on them," added the Kenya skipper.

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