HCC keep up the pursuit, but Excelsior edge closer

Rod Lyall 12/08/19

Excelsior 20’s continuing exercise in escapology was again in evidence at Thurlede on Sunday when, having collapsed from 105 for four to 169 all out against HBS Craeyenhout, they struck back to dismiss their opponents for 107 and move to within a single victory of claiming the Topklasse title.

The last remaining challenge comes from HCC, whose 42-run win over ACC at Het Loopveld gave them at least the mathematical possibility of overhauling the leaders, but to do so they would need not only to beat VOC and Sparta but to see Excelsior lose to Dosti and VRA.

The toss proved to be a crucial factor at Thurlede, since Tom Heggelman was able to give his batsmen first use of conditions which were most favourable in the first hour and which became steadily more perilous thereafter.

Tim Etman and Roel Verhagen, assisted by some wayward bowling from the HBS seamers, took full advantage, racing to 52 off the first ten overs despite the loss of Etman himself and Lorenzo Ingram, and then Brenton Parchment made a solid 49 before his dismissal triggered the loss of four more wickets for just 14 runs.

Farshad Khan was the pick of the HBS seam attack with three for 16, while Wesley Barresi claimed three for 24, including the crucial wicket of Parchment.

Parchment and Heggelman struck back immediately when HBS replied, removing both openers in the space of the first eight deliveries, and the Craeyenhout side never really recovered.

Sharn Gomes worked hard for his 34, but as Excelsior’s bowlers revelled in the increasingly difficult conditions for batting it soon became evident that the cause was hopeless.

Rens van Troost took three for 25 and Parchment and Ingram collected two apiece as HBS were dismissed in just 40.3 overs.

Given a great start by skipper Tonny Staal (43) and Adam Wiffen (44), who put on 85 for the first wicket, HCC posted the highest total of the day with 301 for seven.

Both were eventually dismissed by Devanshu Arya, who went on to claim two more wickets and finish with four for 38, but a fifth-wicket stand of 103 between Bryce Street and Hidde Overdijk put HCC back on top.

Overdijk’s 64 came from just 47 deliveries with seven fours and three sixes, while Street was still there at the end, finishing on 113 not out from 110 balls, with eight fours and three sixes.

ACC’s reply seemed to be foundering at 92 for five, but then Brady Barends joined Sikander Zulfiqar, and their stand of 79 kept the home side’s hopes alive.

Barends went for 43, but Zulfiqar continued in company with the tail, making 96 before he was last out, caught by Overdijk off Street’s bowling, with ACC still 42 behind; he faced 95 deliveries and struck five fours and four sixes.

Sparta 1888 improved their chances of remaining in the Topklasse with a 62-run victory over VOC Rotterdam at Sportpark Bermweg, but the match took a dramatic turn when VOC’s Dirk van Baren collapsed while bowling and was taken to hospital suffering from chest pains.

He was subsequently able to return to the ground, but the incident caused the game to be reduced to 44 overs a side, and Sparta, 82 for two at that point, reached 206 for six, setting VOC an adjusted DLS target of 213.

Sparta’s total came in large part from a stand of 86 for the third wicket between Tim de Kok (40) and Mudassar Bukhari (71), boosted by 37 not out from Manminder Singh in the closing overs.

Former international Bukhari then further proved his value by grabbing two early wickets, including that of Max O’Dowd, and although Pieter Seelaar made 58 VOC, with Van Baren unable to bat, were all out for 150.

Bukhari and Max Hoornweg shared the wickets, taking four for 36 and four for 32 respectively.

Sparta’s main rivals in the relegation battle, Quick Haag, gave VRA Amsterdam some uncomfortable moments at Nieuw Hanenburg but ultimately lost by three wickets thanks to an unbeaten 80 from Vikram Singh.

Quick were again given a flying start by Jay Bista after Daan Vierling had elected to bat first, the Indian opener smacking a 48-ball 51 before he was caught by Quirijn Gunning off Haseeb Gul Mia’s bowling.

With solid contributions from Geert Maarten Mol (32) and Jeroen Brand (37) Quick managed to reach 211 before they were dismissed in the penultimate over, Leon Turmaine the most successful of VRA’s bowlers with three for 31.

Singh then guided his side to victory with a maturity which belied his years, sharing valuable stands of 55 with Ben Cooper (who made 43 of them) and 77 with Turmaine (36).

But Eric Szwarczynski, Peter Borren and Emile van den Burg all went cheaply, and with two run-outs and Quirijn Gunning nursing a suspected broken hand, it was left to Singh to finish the job in company with Brandon Graber.

At Sportpark Drieburg Dosti United were much too strong for Voorburg, bowling them out for 137 and winning by a massive 146 runs.

The Amsterdam side’s total of 283 for eight was built on 89 from opener Rahil Ahmed, assisted by 46 from Abhinav Bali, and then a middle-order collapse was reversed by a remarkable innings from Kuldeep Diwan who, coming in at eight, hammered an unbeaten 76 in the closing overs.

Voorburg were soon in trouble in reply, Diwan removing Clayton Floyd and Nic Smit to reduce them to 29 for three, and although Noah Croes made a defiant 53 and Conrad Greenshields hit an unbeaten 42, the innings ended in just 35.2 overs.

Asief Hoseinbaks had his best return of the season with four for 34, Diwan finishing with two for 16 and Bali two for 31.

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