Rod Lyall 27/05/19
ACC suffered their first defeat of the season at Thurlede on Saturday, going down to Excelsior ’20 by 47 runs, while HBS hung on against a late challenge by VRA in the Amsterdamse Bos to win by 18 runs and move clear at the top of the table.
Winning the toss and electing to bat, Excelsior ‘20 reached 221 for seven, thanks to a third-wicket partnership of 97 between Lorenzo Ingram and Brenton Parchment.
ACC pace man Brady Barends removed Roel Verhagen, restored to an opening slot after returning from injury, in his first over, and then came back to break the Ingram-Parchment stand by trapping Parchment in front after he had compiled an invaluable 45.
Helped by an aggressive cameo by Joost Kroesen, who made a rapid 22, Ingram went on to post his sixth Topklasse century. He faced 136 deliveries for his 102, including eight fours and three sixes, and when he departed just before the close he had seen his side safely past the 200 mark.
Skipper Saqib Zulfiqar cashed in in the final overs and took four for 46, but it was Barends who bowled with hostility throughout for figures of two for 47 and the spinners Devanchu Arya and Anis Raza, who conceded 29 and 30 respectively in their 10-over spells, who were the most impressive of the ACC attack.
ACC were soon in trouble when they replied, slumping to 47 for four, and when Sikander Zulfiqar, having made 27, was run out with the total on 88 their cause was effectively lost.
Raza held the innings together as best he could and reached his first Topklasse half-century to finish with an unbeaten 67, but he eventually ran out of partners, the innings closing on 174 in the 48th over. Parchment and Tom Heggelman claimed three wickets apiece for the Schiedammers.
HBS Craeyenhout again posted the highest total of the day, their 273 for two dominated by a stand of 160 for the second wicket by Zac Elkin and Sharn Gomes.
Gomes contributed 68, while Elkin batted throughout the innings for an unbeaten 116, made from 157 deliveries with six fours and three sixes.
Elkin’s knock was matched by that of VRA’s Vikram Singh, who at the age of 16 years 136 days became the youngest-ever centurion in the Dutch top flight, eclipsing the two-week old record set by ACC’s Shirase Rasool, who had been 22 days older when he performed the feat.
Unlike Elkin, however, Singh was unable to find someone to share a really decisive partnership: Peter Borren made 32 and skipper Emile van den Burg 21, but when Singh was eventually bowled by Wesley Barresi for 102, made from 147 balls with ten fours, VRA were still well adrift at 183 for six.
But keeper Mitch Lees was still there, and with some support from the tail he made a hard-hitting 51, hitting four sixes and bringing his team frustratingly close to what had been an extremely imposing target.
Barresi was the most successful of the HBS bowlers with three for 56, and the new-ball pairing of Berend Westdijk and Zak Gibson collected two wickets each.
HCC kept pace with the leading group by cruising to an eight-wicket victory over Quick Haag at Nieuw Hanenburg, with skipper Tonny Staal hitting an unbeaten 86 to enable his side to chase down a modest Quick total of 169.
Quick were strengthened by the advent of Namibian international Jean Bredenkamp, who played for them in 2017 and who anchored their innings with 55.
He did not receive much support, however, Quick’s top scorers otherwise being once again Geert Maarten Mol with 29 and Thijs van Schelven with 26, while for HCC Bryce Street took three for 44 and Ali Ahmed Qasim, Hidde Overdijk and Bharat Itagi claimed two wickets each.
Itagi and Staal then got HCC off to a lightning start, putting on 82 in just over twelve overs, and Street helped Staal maintain the momentum with a 37-ball 40 which took the visitors to the brink of victory.
Finishing the job in just 26.2 overs HCC did their net run rate a power of good in a season when that might just be important in sorting out the table at the end of August.
While still playing some way below what they are almost certainly capable of, Dosti United were decidedly too strong forSparta 1888 at Sportpark Bermweg.
Taruwar Kohli (36) and Amitoze Singh (54) contributed over half of the visitors’ total of 174, with Max Hoornweg again the principal wicket-taker for Sparta with four for 41. Andrew Fletcher backed him up well with three for 35.
Then Kuldeep Diwan (three for 19), Kohli (two for 12) and Anees Davids (two for 18) claimed seven Sparta wickets as Dosti ran through the home side’s batting, dismissing them for 113.
Atse Buurman again provided much of the resistance, top-scoring with 29, and it took a late rally by Joost Martijn Snoep and Manminder Singh to get Sparta’s total into three figures.
Defending champions VOC Rotterdam recorded their first win of the season at Westvliet, where Voorburg again performed poorly with the bat and collapsed to 135 all out.
It would have been even worse without a spirited knock of 44 from Viv Kingma, who came in with his team on 75 for six and almost immediately lost Noah Croes, who had made 31.
Kingma got Voorburg to 135 almost single-handedly, dominating a last-wicket stand of 47 with Stef Mulder.
VOC’s attack was reinforced by the inclusion of Belgian international Noman Kamawi, who took three for 12.
The Rotterdammers made heavy weather of their chase, with Kingma grabbing three quick wickets to reduce them to 48 for four, and it took some dogged batting from Pieter Seelaar (26) and Dirk van Baren (22) to get them over the line.
After an impressive opening-day victory promoted side Voorburg have now lost three on the trot, and unless their batsmen can reverse their current slump the Voorburgers could find themselves in a battle to avoid a speedy return to the Hoofdklasse.