HCC maintain pressure on ACC and Excelsior

Rod Lyall 25/06/19

A rather peculiar atmosphere hung over Dutch cricket grounds on Sunday, as clubs experienced very different fortunes arising from the conjunction of the first T20 International against Zimbabwe and a normal Topklasse programme.

In the end, the absences of national team players may have had a decisive influence only at De Diepput where, with Tobias Visée and Wesley Barresi, HBS Craeyenhout could only manage 178 for nine in their 50 overs, a total HCC passed for the loss of six wickets.

But then, a full-strength HBS had been bowled out for less by Voorburg earlier in the season, and HCC’s attack has been a key factor in taking them to third place on the table.

This time Bryce Street struck a crucial blow when he had Sharn Gomes caught behind off the first ball he received, having just removed HBS top-scorer Navjit Singh for 39.

Opener Zac Elkin made 34 and replacement wicketkeeper Rainer Karsten 37, but with three run outs HBS contributed to their own problems, while Street finished with three for 34 for HCC.

HBS struck back when HCC replied, removing Bharat Itagi and Tonny Staal by the time 11 runs were on the board, but Street anchored the innings expertly, and with smaller contributions from the remainder of the top and middle order he was able to guide his side to victory at the start of the 35th over, remaining not out on 87.

At Sportpark Drieburg VOC Rotterdam, one of the clubs worst affected by the demands of international duty, slumped to a massive 217-run defeat by Dosti United, but in truth, while the loss of Max O’Dowd, Scott Edwards and Pieter Seelaar no doubt affected the winning margin, the die was cast by a superb batting performance from the Dosti top order.

It was a partnership of 180 between Abhinav Bali and Taruwar Kohli, setting a new club record for the second wicket, which established the home side’s dominance after Vinoo Tewarie had won the toss and elected to take advantage of ideal conditions for batting.

Bali dominated the bowling from the outset and with Kohli playing a supporting role he made 135 of the first 195 runs, facing 118 balls and hitting 16 fours and five sixes.

After Bali’s departure Kohli went on to make a more restrained 75, and then Rahil Ahmed and Anees Davids added a rapid 53 in an unbroken fifth-wicket stand which took the total to 313, Ahmed finishing with 35 and Davids 20.

Faced with such a huge total the VOC batting crumbled against the pace of Davids and Waheed Masood and the left-arm spin of Asief Hoseinbaks, and it was only a defiant 41-ball innings of 42 from Pierce Fletcher, who hit five sixes, which enabled them to reach 96.

Davids finished with three for 17, while Hoseinbaks, Masood and Mahesh Hans claimed two apiece.

Faced with the absence not only of captain Saqib Zulfiqar but of three other regular members of the side who had opted for a trip to the World Cup, ACC were nevertheless untroubled in beating local rivals VRA Amsterdam, who were without Ben Cooper.

They started with a century stand between Jean Marais and the youthful Jamieson Mulready, promoted to open in the absence of Rehmat Zulfiqar, and after Mulready was dismissed for 35 Marais went on to a maiden Topklasse century, making 102 before he was trapped in front by Leon Turmaine.

With Brady Barends contributing a brisk 32 in the closing stages ACC ended on 231 for five, with two wickets each for Turmaine and fellow spinner Pragam Rathore.

VRA could only manage 149 in reply, the only substantial contributions coming from Emile van den Burg (38) and Eric Szwarczynski (44), while Anis Raza was ACC’s main wicket-taker with three for 25.

Excelsior ‘20 kept pace with ACC with a 60-run victory over Quick Haag at Nieuw Hanenburg.

The foundation of their total of 246 for eight was a 159-run second-wicket stand between Tom Heggelman, taking on an opening role in the absence of Roel Verhagen, and Lorenzo Ingram. Ingram made an excellent 87 before being caught behind off Pieter Groenewald, while Heggelman made 69 before he was run out.

Geert Maarten Mol then ran through Excelsior’s vulnerable middle order, taking three for 56, as the visitors struggled to take full advantage of the platform Heggelman and Ingram had created.

That total, however, proved to be enough, as Quick’s reply never really fired once the talismanic Jay Bista had been caught and bowled by Sohail Bhatti after making a 20-ball 27.

With Rens van Troost claiming his best figures of the summer with three for 31 and the rest of the attack all chipping in, Quick were dismissed for 186, Jeroen Brand – batting at nine – the top-scorer with 28.

The closest match of the day was at Sportpark Bermweg, where Voorburg overcame the absence of Viv Kingma and Brendan Glover to beat Sparta 1888 by 17 runs.

Voorburg’s total of 234 for eight was a real team effort, with most of the batsmen getting a start but no-one going beyond skipper Tom de Grooth’s 44.

Lesser contributions came from Nehaan Gigani (32), Clayton Floyd (35) and Philippe Boissevain (30), while for Sparta Usman Saleem took three for 37.

Sparta were well placed at one stage, Ali Raza (67) and Garnett Tarr (57) putting together a second-wicket partnership of 122, but after they had gone it was left to Andrew Fletcher, playing his first substantial innings of the season, to hold the lower order together.

He managed to get his side as far as 217 but then, running out of partners, he was dismissed by Stef Mulder for 44, and the innings ended without addition to the score.

Mulder finished with three for 45 and Floyd with three for 46.

The day’s events left ACC and Excelsior one win clear of HCC, who have played one game fewer, while at the other end of the table VRA remain two wins adrift of Quick Haag and Sparta, but with a rescheduled match against VOC still to play.


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