Potchefstroom: Damien Martyn's unbeaten 67 saw Australia to 170 for two from 36 overs in a rain-reduced World Cup Group 'A' match against the Netherlands on Thursday.
Under the Duckworth-Lewis system for rain-affected matches this left the Dutch needing to score 198 off 36 overs to win at the North West stadium. But it might have been a different story for world champions and tournament favourites Australia had not Martyn been dropped on one by Feiko Kloppenburg off a difficult return chance.
Seamer Tim de Leede, who took four for 35 against India, claimed both Australian wickets in a seven-over spell costing 34 runs. Left-arm spinner Jacob Jan Esmeijer, playing in place of Adeel Raja, did a good containing job at the death for the minnows, his five overs costing just 16 runs. Earlier, Australia's Jimmy Maher, playing in place of rested wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist, pulled the first ball of the match from Edgar Schiferli for four. Both he and fellow left-hander Matthew Hayden faced some tight bowling from Schiferli and especially Dutch captain Roland Lefebvre, who won the toss.
De Leede made the breakthrough when, with the last ball of first over, he had Maher (26) caught at slip by Daan van Bunge to leave Australia 52 for one in the 13th. Fellow seamer Kloppenburg almost struck first ball but failed to hold a low left- handed chance off Martyn as the batsman checked a drive. But de Leede had a second wicket when Hayden holed out tamely to Schiferli on the mid-wicket boundary for an unusually slow 60-ball 33.
Martyn's 53-ball 50, including five fours, got Australia going again. The start was delayed by an hour after water spilt on to the pitch as the covers were being removed and a police helicopter was summoned to help dry the surface. In all, three stoppages saw two-and-a-quarter hours and 14 overs being lost. Copyright AFP 2001