The Netherlands took a large step towards reaching the global qualifying tournament for the 2010 ICC Under-19 World Cup on Wednesday, securing a comprehensive nine-wicket victory over Scotland at Les Quennevais in Jersey.
Ireland, meanwhile, maintained their winning ways with an equally overwhelming eight-wicket win over Denmark and are already the only undefeated team after just two rounds of matches, while hosts Jersey kept their hopes alive with a five-wicket victory over Guernsey.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, the Scots were kept under pressure by the Dutch new-ball pairing of Olivier Klaus and Paul van Meekeren, who took three wickets between them in the first ten overs to reduce their opponents to 42 for three.
Freddie Coleman and Matthew Parker added 42 for the fourth wicket and then Parker and Craig Wallace put on 49 for the fifth, but each time Scotland seemed about to take control, the Dutch bowlers would strike back by claiming a wicket.
Coleman was stumped by Stijn Allema off leg-spinner Lucas Brouwers for 29, but it was Klaus who struck two vital blows by dismissing first Wallace for an enterprising 30, and then Parker for a patient, 91-ball 45.
Skipper Calvin Burnett then took over, and his not-out 51, made off only 41 deliveries, was instrumental in getting his side up to a reasonably challenging total of 229 for seven.
Alexei Kervezee and Allema started off the Dutch reply in the same vein in which they had opened against Ireland on Tuesday, but this time they were not separated until there were 217 runs on the board and victory was already in sight.
Kervezee, a seasoned international and English county professional, batted with enormous assurance, and although he gave a couple of half-chances his innings of 137 not out, made from 129 deliveries with 13 fours and two sixes, will surely rank among the most outstanding individual achievements of the tournament.
Although more restrained, Allema also batted very well, and his 76, from 127 balls with 6 boundaries, was almost equally valuable for his side.
The Scottish bowlers stuck to their task well, especially considering that it was the 42nd over before they achieved their first and only success, with seamers Patrick Sadler and Burnett causing the batsmen some problems, and left-arm spinner Keith Morton also restricting the scoring until he came back towards the end and was hit for two huge sixes by Kervezee.
Ireland gained their second win of the tournament after a convincing eight-wicket victory over Denmark at FB Fields.
Inter-insular contests between Guernsey and Jersey are generally tense, closely-fought, affairs and Wednesday's meeting at Grainville was no exception. Jersey eventually emerged as five-wicket winners after both sides failed to capitalise on good starts by their bowlers.
The official website for this event is available at: http://www.icc-europe.org/EUROU19/index.shtml