And then there were three

Rod Lyall 16/07/18

A sustained 15-over spell of hostile fast bowling by VOC’s new-ball pair of Fred Klaassen and Pierce Fletcher, backed up by aggressive fielding, effectively put an end to Excelsior ‘20’s remaining hopes of winning a third successive championship at Hazelaarweg on Sunday, as the Schiedam side, chasing 192, were reduced to 42 for four.

That included the prolific Lorenzo Ingram, caught at slip to give Klaassen his third wicket at a cost of just 13 runs, and it exposed Excelsior’s brittle middle order to the off-spin of Max O’Dowd and the medium pace of Bobby Hanif, which completed the job as Excelsior were dismissed for 83, O’Dowd finishing with four for 25.

David Woutersen showed some resistance, top-scoring with 17, but otherwise was another disappointing day with the bat for the defending champions.

Earlier, they had started well, claiming the wickets of Jelte Schoonheim and Corey Rutgers with just two runs on the board, but then Dirk van Baren (40) and O’Dowd (23) led the fightback, and a splendid innings from Scott Edwards, who made 69 from 82 deliveries with six fours and a six, supported by Umar Baker (21), enabled them to reach 191 for nine.

It turned out to be a very decent total on a day when the bowlers were again often in charge, and it reinforced VOC’s hold on the lead as well as consigning Excelsior to the middle of the table.

The chasing pack, now reduced to two, both maintained the pressure with comfortable victories.

The easier of the two was third-placed VRA’s ten-wicket win in the Amsterdamse Bos against one-time leaders Sparta 1888, which featured an unbroken opening stand of 141 between Daan ter Braak and Eric Szwarczynski.

Sparta had begun well with a first-wicket partnership of 64 between newly-promoted Vikki Rattu (16) and Warren Bell (44), but once they had gone Leon Turmaine and Peter Borren worked their way through the rest of the batting, and the Capelle side were dismissed for 138.

Turmaine finished with four for 26 and Borren four for 30, George Dunlop collecting two for 9 to complete the demolition work.

For the second week in succession Szwarczynski and Ter Braak responded with a century opening partnership; against ACC the latter had been dismissed with his side on the brink of victory, but this time they completed the job in style.

Szwarczynski ended on 65, made from 89 deliveries with 10 fours, his partner on 63 from 87 deliveries with five boundaries.

At Het Zomercomplex, Punjab Rotterdam lost Ali Raza and Barend Vorster before they had a run on the board, and although Stef Myburgh contributed another aggressive 41 and later Yasir Usman produced an equally hard-hitting 43, the home side could only manage 135 against a determined HBS Craeyenhout.

Wessel Coster, who took those two early wickets, claimed two more to finish with four for 28, while Farshad Khan took three for 41.

Raza then made up for his lack of success with the bat by taking four catches when HBS replied, and with Vorster taking three for 29 the visitors were in a degree of trouble at 92 for five.

But Wesley Barresi was still there, in company with Dennis Coster, and these two knocked off the remaining runs without further alarms; Barresi made an unbeaten 40, from 32 deliveries with five fours and a six, while his partner ended on 17 not out.

Dosti United could once again thank Taruwar Kohli’s bat for their 13-run victory over ACC at Sportpark Drieburg: he made 62 out of their total of 177, and shared in an 83-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Mohammad Hafeez (39).

Skipper Saqib Zulfiqar was the most successful of the ACC bowlers with three for 40, and he completed a fine double with a knock of 67, sharing in a even more productive stand of 99 for the fourth wicket with Richardt Frenz (60).

When Kohli had Frenz caught behind it was left to Zulfiqar to continue the chase with 48 still needed, but with wickets tumbling at the other end, Hafeez taking four for 30 in another decisive spell, he was eventually dismissed himself, and despite a defiant 18 from Dewald Botha the ACC innings ended on 164.

Quick Haag took a crucial step away from the relegation danger zone with a hard-fought 27-run win against HCC at De Diepput.

Another fine innings from Jay Bista, who made 77 at better than a run a ball, was the foundation of HCC’s total of 193 – the highest score of the day – with Geert Maarten Mol chipping in with 29 and Govert Trappenburg with 25.

Ryan Ninan took three for 30 and Bryce Street three for 39 for the nominal visitors, and both then proved the backbone of their side’s batting. Ninan, opening, made 72 and Street 46, but those apart only Tonny Staal (19) was able to reach double figures.

The destroyers for Quick were Pieter Groenewald with four for 40 and Mol with four for 30, and despite Street’s rearguard battle HCC were dismissed for 166.

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