Rod Lyall 17/06/19
On a dank, damp, unseasonable June day Jay Bista announced his return to the Topklasse with a vengeance on Saturday, lighting up Nieuw Hanenburg with a magnificent 194 for Quick Haag against Voorburg.
It was the highest individual score since Ben Cooper’s 202 for VRA against Hermes-DVS six seasons ago, and it came off just 147 deliveries. Bista reached his hundred at exactly a run a ball, but his next fifty took just 28 balls and the remaining 44 only 19; in all he hit 19 fours and eight sixes.
It was a virtuoso effort which contributed almost two-thirds of Quick’s total of 315 for four, Bista’s only real support coming from the dependable Geert Maarten Mol, who made 59 in a third-wicket partnership of 175.
All the Voorburg bowlers came in for good deal of punishment; Brandon Glover was the most successful, but his two wickets came at a cost of 88 runs, while Clayton Floyd and Stef Mulder managed to keep the scoring down to four-and-a-half an over.
It was always going to be an uphill battle when Voorburg replied, and when Matt Smit and Noah Croes went cheaply, removed by Prathamesh Dake and Pieter Groenewald respectively, the incline became even steeper.
But Tom de Grooth was now joined by Nic Smit in a third-wicket partnership of 63, Smit making 40 of them, and after his departure De Grooth went on to post his ninth top-flight century.
He was the eighth to go, having made 107 from 118 deliveries with 14 fours, but even this could not match Bista’s solo effort, and the innings ended in the 44th over on 252, giving Quick a comfortable 63-run victory.
Dake was again the main wicket-taker for Quick with three for 43, and there were two wickets apiece for Groenewald, Mol and Jeroen Brand.
ACC consolidated their position at the top of the table with a 25-run win over Dosti United in a match at Het Loopveld reduced to 36 overs after overnight rain.
Put in to bat, ACC reached 185 for four, with Jean Marais leading the way with a 62-ball 61.
He departed with the total on 107, but then Sikander Zulfiqar and Brady Barends pushed on with an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 78, of which Zulfiqar made 46 and Barends 40.
Without Kuldeep Diwan and Anees Davids, Dosti made a disastrous start to their chase, and at 29 for four the match appeared to be effectively over.
Devanshu Arya struck first, getting Shahdab Ghori caught behind by Marais and then claiming the all-important wicket of Taruwar Kohli, caught by Shreyas Potdar for four, and it was left to Amitoze Singh to try to reconstruct the innings.
He made 30 before falling to the Saqib-Sikander Zulfiqar combination, and he received some support from Waheed Masood, who hit two sixes in a 23-run cameo.
It was Mahesh Hans, though, who brought the side within striking distance of ACC’s total, posting a maiden Topklasse half-century and finishing on 54 not out from 47 deliveries with three fours and three sixes.
But it wasn’t enough, and with Arya taking another to finish with three for 9 and Saqib Zulfiqar claiming three for 30, the innings closed on 160 for nine.
The rain put paid to the other two matches scheduled for Saturday, a waterlogged Diepput unfit for the match between HCC and Sparta 1888 and conditions in the Amsterdamse Bos too wet even for the VRA–Excelsior ‘20 to be transferred to VRA’s second ground.
The postponement of the match between HBS and VOC Rotterdam until Sunday meant that it was largely played in warm sunshine, and it featured two innings with remarkably similar patterns before ending in a four-wicket victory for the defending champions.
Two wickets for Pierce Fletcher, one for Ashiqullah Said and a run-out meant that HBS, after electing to bat, were soon in desperate trouble at 39 for four, but they were rescued by a fifth-wicket stand of 105 between Wesley Barresi and Sharn Gomes, who had dropped down to bat at six.
Barresi was eventually bowled by Jelte Schoonheim after making 51, but Gomes continued in company with the lower order, recording his first century of the season before becoming one of three victims for Peter Seelaar in the final over of the innings. His 109 came from 110 balls with eleven fours and a six, while Seelaar finished with somewhat fortuitous figures of three for 35.
As VOC had done, HBS proceeded to rip through the opposition’s top order, Berend Westdijk producing an outstanding seven-over opening spell to reduce VOC to 40 for four.
But the Rotterdammers were in turn rescued by an excellent fifth-wicket partnership, this time between opener Max O’Dowd and wicketkeeper Scott Edwards.
They capped Barresi and Gomes’s effort by putting on 146, the stand only ended by the return of Westdijk, who proceeded to trap Edwards in front for 81, made from 76 balls with 13 fours and a six.
Schoonheim now joined O’Dowd and contributed a typically free-hitting 27 which took VOC to the brink of victory and which incidentally deprived his partner of what would have been a thoroughly-deserved century.
It was a valuable effort for the side, however, and although O’Dowd was left on 96 not out when he hit the winning boundary, it was the win – with more than eight overs to spare – which was important for VOC as they strive to recover from a poor start to their title defence.
O’Dowd faced 113 balls and hit nine fours and a six, while Westdijk finished with five for 39, his best figures of the season and his third five-wicket haul in total.