HBS squeeze past ACC, but Excelsior go top

Rod Lyall 11/06/19

For the second time in three days, HBS Craeyenhout found themselves going into the final over against ACC on Monday with the match in the balance.

This time, however, they held on for the victory, Wessel Coster conceding just five of the eight runs ACC required and trapping Saqib Zulfiqar leg-before with the final delivery to get his side home by two runs.

Saqib’s 61 had brought the Amsterdammers ever so close after disciplined bowling by the HBS attack had contained the top order and forced the batsmen into errors as they attempted to raise the tempo of the innings.

Excelsior had found themselves in the same situation at Craeyenhout on Saturday, but whereas Lorenzo Ingram had managed to create a platform from which the tail was able to scramble the win, Saqib’s effort, from 69 deliveries with four boundaries, fell just short.

He was well supported by Anis Raza (31) and Jamieson Mulready (25), but with Zak Gibson claiming three early wickets and Navjit Singh breaking both those vital partnerships, the HBS attack was able to withstand ACC’s final assault.

Zulfiqar’s side was, it is true, chasing the highest total of the season at Het Loopveld, HBS again demonstrating the solidity of its batting by posting 207 for nine, mainly thanks to Sharn Gomes’s 108-ball 81.

The remaining members of the top six all got a start without really going on with it, while for ACC the brothers Zulfiqar each claimed three wickets, Sikander at a cost of 55 runs and Saqib for 33.

On a day when rain was a constant threat the match in Amstelveen suffered only the briefest of interruptions, but elsewhere delays brought a reduction of overs and an adjusted DLS target.

None of this made much difference at Thurlede, where Excelsior ‘20 had played themselves into a winning position before the rain arrived.

First, they held Dosti United to a modest 151 for nine, a total which represented a considerable recovery from 46 for five and which was mostly due to a marathon, 105-ball 38 from skipper Vinoo Tewarie and a fighting 48 not out from Anees Davids.

That never seemed like a defensible total, and when rain drove the players from the field openers Tim Etman and Roel Verhagen had already put on 89 in 22 overs to drive home the advantage.

When play resumed the match had been reduced to 46 overs and the target to 142, but Etman and Verhagen needed only 35 overs to finish the job and seal the 10-wicket victory. Etman finished with 66 and Verhagen with 63.

The margin pushed Excelsior’s net run rate above that of HBS and saw them move to the top of the table with one round of matches left before the competition reaches the half-way mark.

HCC moved level with ACC, consolidating their position in fourth, with a six-wicket victory over VOC Rotterdam at Hazelaarweg.

The home side battled their way to 198 for nine in their 50 overs, the lion’s share of the runs coming from the international trio of Max O’Dowd (54), Pieter Seelaar (41) and Scott Edwards (36), but 77 from skipper Tonny Staal and an unbeaten 52 from Bryce Street saw HCC home with seven overs to spare.

The other game where the weather caused a DLS result was at Voorburg, where despite a third-wicket stand of 130 between Eric Szwarczynski (33) and Ben Cooper VRA were dismissed for 189.

Cooper’s 107 from 110 deliveries, his second century of the season and like the first coming in a losing cause, was a fine effort, but his dismissal triggered a collapse in which the remaining five wickets fell for just 19 runs, Clayton Floyd running through the tail to finish with three for 24.

Earlier, Viv Kingma had once again put the opposition on the back foot with two quick wickets, while Philippe Boissevain removed both Peter Borren and Cooper to initiate the VRA decline.

As at Thurlede, the die was pretty much cast at Westvliet before the rain intervened, with Voorburg well ahead on DLS at 89 for two from 18 overs.

When play could be resumed the match was cut to 33 overs and the target (coincidentally) to 142, and Noah Croes and Nic Smit were untroubled in carrying on where they had left off, having been given a good start by Tom de Grooth (38) and Matt Smit (17).

They took Voorburg home without further loss, finishing on 33 and 45 respectively and reaching their target with almost seven overs remaining.

Despite the rain sweeping through there was a full match at Sportpark Bermweg, where Sparta 1888 secured a comfortable six-wicket victory over Quick Haag.

The departure of New Zealander Rupert Young forced a change in the Quick top order, Hayden Brain promoted to open along with Jay Bista, and after the early loss of his partner and of Abhinav Gill, he demonstrated his value with a solid 51.

Sharing stands of 43 with Lesley Stokkers (23) and 67 with Geert Maarten Mol (31), he saw the total through to 126 before he was fifth out, and then Daan Vierling (33 not out) and Jeroen Brand (30) combined to enable Quick to reach 199 for eight.

When Prathamesh Dake removed both Sparta openers in one over it seemed as if that might be enough, but Garnett Tarr took the game away from the visitors with a magnificent 116, made from 120 balls with 13 fours and four sixes.

Keeping his side ahead of the DLS rate all the way, he brought Sparta to within 19 runs of victory before he was bowled by Mol, and old stagers Mudassar Bukhari and Atse Buurman then knocked off the remaining runs to complete the win with more than three overs to spare.

The victory keeps Sparta in touch with the mid-table group but for Quick, just one win ahead of bottom side VRA, a nervous second half of the season looms.

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