Rod Lyall 20/05/19
The bowlers were back in control in Saturday’s third-round matches with only one side managing to get past 200, and Sparta 1888 and Quick Haag, previously winless, sprung surprises by beating Excelsior ’20 and defending champions VOC Rotterdam respectively.
The biggest upset came at Thurlede, where Sparta successfully defended a meagre total of 189, bowling the previously unbeaten home side out for 146.
Star of the show for Sparta was young Max Hoornweg – incidentally the grandson of former international pace man Ruud Onstein – who finished with career-best figures of seven for 36.
Hoornweg reduced Excelsior to 43 for three, including the key wickets of Lorenzo Ingram and Brenton Parchment, and then returned to clean up the tail.
Tim Etman again top-scored for Excelsior with a patient 45, but of the later batsmen only skipper Tom Heggelman with 31 showed any real sign of resistance.
Earlier, opener Garnett Tarr had led the way for Sparta with an 81-ball 61, the highest score of the match, while Andrew Fletcher showed the first signs of what he is capable of in making 32. Sohail Bhatti was the most successful of the Excelsior bowlers with three for 22, and there were two apiece for Heggelman and Ingram.
If VOC might have counted themselves a little unlucky to have been narrowly beaten by Dosti on the season’s opening day, there could be no doubts about their defeat by Quick Haag at Hazelaarweg on Saturday.
Their batting was unable to get going against a Quick attack still awaiting the arrival of its Indian reinforcements, and collapsed to 168 all out in just 38.3 overs.
Namibian Pieter Groenewald took three for 41, debutant Daniel Mason two for 34 and Thijs van Schelven two for 16 as VOC’s batsmen, despite mostly getting a start, were unable to build a competitive score.
Lesley Stokkers began the chase aggressively, making a 52-ball 45, and although they lost four wickets along the way Quick, judging the tempo perfectly, completed the win with more than five overs to spare, Rupert Young following up his century last week with a measured 34.
The old adage that there’s a big difference between an outstanding team on paper and an outstanding side on the field was vindicated twice this week.
At Het Loopveld Voorburg demonstrated, to their own chagrin, that last Saturday’s collapse against Excelsior was not an isolated event by falling apart even more comprehensively against a rampant ACC.
Put in to bat, the visitors lost skipper Tom de Grooth – one of four victims for ACC keeper Jean Marais – in the opening over before they had a run on the board, and Brady Barends went on to claim four more wickets to finish with five for 19 as Voorburg subsided to 84 all out.
Only Noah Croes (18) and Philippe Boissevain (20) reached double figures, while for ACC Devanshu Arya was also among the wickets with three for 15.
The Voorburg attack did their best to stage a spirited fightback, picking up six wickets as ACC chased down their modest target, but with Shirase Rasool compiling a mature 30 the home side made it within 25 overs, further improving their net run rate in the process.
In what was in many ways the most absorbing match of the day, HBS defeated Dosti United in a game of fluctuating fortunes, but it was the failure of Dosti’s threatening batting line-up to master the home side’s attack which produced a 66-run HBS victory.
Dosti’s bowlers, especially the spinners, had done well to hold the Crows to a total of 220 after they had been well placed on 119 for two after 27 overs, with Asief Hoseinbaks, Mahesh Hans and Kuldeep Diwan picking up seven wickets between them.
Although Diwan collected three wickets it was Hoseinbaks’ eight-over spell for figures of two for 25 which prevented the powerful HBS batting line-up from getting into top gear after Tobias Visée had given his side its usual rollicking start with a 21-ball 33.
Zac Elkin top-scored with 45 before hitting a return catch to Hoseinbaks, while Sharn Gomes contributed 39.
Backed up by outstanding fielding the HBS spinners, Wesley Barresi and Julian de Mey, also built the pressure when Dosti replied, and with five wickets down for 57 and Taruwar Kohli and Amitoze Singh among those who had come and gone, the Dosti cause was effectively lost.
Diwan played a defiant hand for his 37, but as he began to run out of partners he became one of several Dosti batsmen to hole out at deep midwicket, and the innings eventually closed on 154.
De Mey took three for 34, and there were two wickets apiece for Zak Gibson, Farshad Khan and debutant Benno Boddendijk.
VRA’s unhappy start to the season continued at De Diepput, where they lost to HCC by seven wickets after having been dismissed for 189.
The match was a personal triumph for HCC’s Bharat Itagi, who took three for 30 in the VRA innings and then guided his side to the brink of victory with 90.
Itagi shared a 103-run partnership for the third wicket with Bryce Street, who went on to complete the task and finish with an unbeaten 59.
The VRA total owed much to the contribution of former international Eric Szwarczynski, who made 61 before being run out, while Peter Borren, who had earlier become VRA’s all-time leading run-scorer, claimed two of the three HCC wickets to fall.
After an initial defeat by HBS HCC are beginning to look like a well-balanced outfit, and with Hidde Overdijk and Olivier Klaus also picking up key wickets on Saturday they can look forward with some confidence.