Gus McKenzie cashed in | PHOTOSPORT

NZXI secures warm-up series with a game to go

NZXI captain Michael Bracewell (2-34) backed up his opening match century with another top knock for the NZXI as the New Zealanders took an unbeatable lead in the three-match warm-up series against The Netherlands.

The Netherlands batted first in Napier by mutual agreement, and constructed a total of 214/9 in their 50 overs of a day/night match.

Bracewell couldn't keep himself out of the game, claiming two of the first three wickets to fall with his off-spinners - stopping Dutch Kiwi Max O'Dowd on 30 before getting Scott Edwards caught behind in his next over.

Netherlands number four Bas de Leede steadied the ship for the tourists with their top score of 74, but he lost a couple of partners in quick succession as Otago Volt Gus McKenzie had both captain Pieter Seelaar and Boris Gorlee caught behind cheaply.

De Leede needed support and he found it from Wellington Firebirds allrounder Logan van Beek who produced 37 runs in an 86-run stand with de Leede for the sixth wicket that took The Netherlands through to 171 heading into the death overs.

A fellow Wellingtonian in James Hartshorn (2-25) stopped the stand with van Beek's wicket a critical moment and, although de Leede survived, the visitors didn't capitalise as much at they may have hoped through the final eight overs - despite a free-spirited cameo from tailender Fred Klaassen.

De Leede survived until the 46th before he was caught on 74, a victim of a rampant Angus McKenzie who went on to pocket 4-33 off his nine overs.

De Leede continued his good personal game with an early wicket, but NZXI's remaining opener Matt Boyle hung around for a quick 41, sharing a 48-run stand for the second wicket with Dane Cleaver (28).

Cleaver's departure in the 15th brought Bracewell to the middle to continue his rich vein of form, this time easing his way to 81 off just 72 balls - with six boundaries and three sixes.

Bracewell batted into the 38th over to ensure the NZXI stayed in control despite losing a few middle order wickets, before Volts teammates McKenzie and Jake Gibson finished the job with almost eight overs to spare.

Ryan Klein was the best of the Dutch attack with 2-30; NZXI won by four wickets.


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