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Gloucestershire v Netherlands
Clydesdale Bank 40 Group A
Stephan Myburgh's hard-hitting 77 laid the foundation for a thrilling one-run victory by the Netherlands over Gloucestershire in the opening Clydesdale Bank 40 match at Bristol.
The opener made his runs off just 72 balls, with 11 fours and two sixes, as the visitors ran up 239 for six after losing the toss. Cameron Borgas (38), Mudassar Bukhari (32) and Wesley Barresi (30) lent positive support, while Ed Young returned 2-31 from eight overs.
After falling behind the run rate, Gloucestershire rallied with a brilliant 72 not out off 51 balls from Benny Howell, only to fall agonisingly short as Pieter Seelaar picked up 4-42.
The home side required 13 off the last over, bowled by Bukhari. Jon Batty hit a boundary, but with three needed to win off the final delivery Howell could manage only a leg-bye.
The Holland team celebrated reward for a good all-round team performance, while Gloucestershire were left to rue some wayard seam bowling and their early batting, which saw them make only 87 for one off their first 20 overs.
Alex Gidman, who opened with brother Will, took 69 balls to make 41 and when he was caught in the deep 141 runs were needed off just 16 overs.
Howell, signed on a trial basis after being released by Hampshire, did his hopes of a contract no harm by hitting four fours and two sixes but could not quite pull off victory.
Earlier, Myburgh had signalled his intent from the start, dispatching the second ball of the match from Will Gidman over mid-wicket for six.
The 28-year-old left-hander went on to dominate an opening stand of 84 with Michael Swart (24), reaching his half-century off 42 balls with eight fours and two sixes.
Left-arm spinner Young made the breakthrough in the 14th over, bowling Swart playing across the line. Chris Dent followed up by having Peter Borren caught at mid-wicket for 15 with his off-spin.
The impressive Myburgh helped take the total to 152 before being snapped up by Ian Cockbain at long-on off the bowling of off-spinner Dent.
It was 167-4 when Borgas was adjudged lbw to Young to end a bright 44-ball knock and 176-5 when Tom Cooper was taken at deep square off Kane Williamson's off-spin for 13.
The visitors were far from finished as Barresi and Bukhari added 58 in quick time to boost the total before Barresi was bowled by the first ball of the final over from Ian Saxelby.
The Netherlands bowling attack proved more accurate than their counterparts and, although they only removed Will Gidman in the first 20 overs, boundaries dried up as brother Alex and Chris Dent had to content themselves with ones and twos.
While Gloucestershire kept wickets in hand, the required run rate rose to nine an over. Howell did his best to meet it, with good support from Hamish Marshall and Ian Cockbain, but it proved just too much.
To check on the score click below.