Rod Lyall 17/08/20
An eventful weekend’s cricket ended in bizarre circumstances on Sunday evening when bad light forced the players from the field at De Diepput with nine overs left and the match between HCC and Excelsior ‘20 hanging in the balance.
Chasing HCC’s 171 for nine, Excelsior had reached 132 for six with Lorenzo Ingram on 45 not out when play was interrupted, and with heavy rain rolling in the DLS calculations began.
It seemed that, thanks to a sudden onslaught immediately before the stoppage in which ten runs came of Damian Crowley’s final over, including a six by Ingram, Excelsior was exactly on the DLS par score and that the match was therefore tied.
But at the fall of the previous wicket 14-year-old Jelte van Troost had collapsed with cramp on his way to the crease and retired hurt without facing a ball, and the question arose whether his departure represented a seventh wicket.
That led to some intense discussion before it was ruled that of course it didn’t, and that the match had ended in a tie.
It had been hard-fought from the outset, HCC finding runs hard to come by against a disciplined Excelsior attack, and it took a solid 29 from Yash Patel and an unbroken last-wicket stand of 30 between Olivier Klaus and Jan Wieger Overdijk to get them up to a defensible 171.
Excelsior also battled with the bat, but Ingram was the trump card, and he and skipper Tom Heggelman had ensured that the match was dead level when the weather finally intervened.
Things were at a similar point across at Craeyenhout, where almost at the same moment proceedings were halted with VOC Rotterdam just six runs behind the DLS par score in their pursuit of HBS’s 251 for nine.
It had been the home side’s best batting performance of the season, but it was almost entirely due to the innings of Julian de Mey (92) and Navjit Singh (64), who shared a third-wicket partnership of 128.
After Singh departed, trapped in front and the first of four wickets for Jelte Schoonheim, De Mey continued until he was last out, caught and bowled by Ahsan Malik shortly before the end.
Schoonheim finished with four for 50, with two wickets apiece for Malik and Bobby Hanif.
VOC responded at first as they were in a T20, lashing out at everything and quickly subsided to 6 for three, Sander Geenevasen taking all three in the space of eight deliveries without conceding a run.
But Ahsan Malik set about restoring some sanity to the innings, and he and Corey Rutgers put on 71 for the fifth wicket before he was bowled by Benno Boddendijk for 52.
Rutgers continued in tandem first with Schoonheim and then in turn with Hanif and Rohan Malik, and as long as he was at the crease it seemed that VOC might be in with a chance.
Then Geenevasen returned, Rutgers, on 74, edged to Visée at slip, and the balance of the match swung back HBS’s way.
No further wicket fell, but VOC were unable to get their noses in front in the DLS Stakes, and when the players left the field, Geenevasen having taken four for 24, it was HBS who pipped their opponents at the post.
Dramatic as all this was, there was drama of another kind at the Zomercomplex in Rotterdam, where Stef Myburgh continued his dream summer with a chanceless, almost unbelievably destructive, 60-ball 130 not out, sharing a stand of 218 with Teja Nidamanuru which saw Punjab Rotterdam cruise to an eight-wicket victory over Sparta 1888.
Myburgh now has an extraordinary 501 runs in just six innings, with a strike rate of 134.68 and an average of 167.00, and he hit seven fours and 11 sixes in reaching his third century of the season; Nidamanuru was scarcely less damaging, his 95 coming from 65 deliveries with 11 four and five sixes.
Sparta, missing captain Mudassar Bukhari, had set Punjab a reasonable target of 244, mainly thanks to 113 from 106 deliveries from Lenert van Wyk, his first Topklasse century for the club, with Ali Raza contributing 31 and another useful last-wicket from Nasratullah Ibrahimkhil and Usman Saleem.
But with the Zomercomplex’s bijou dimensions and Myburgh’s range-finder in excellent working order it quickly transpired that this was nothing like enough.
Voorburg meanwhile moved level with VRA Amsterdam by virtue of their six-wicket victory over their nearest rivals in the Amsterdamse Bos.
The home side never really settled to their task after Peter Borren, back in charge, elected to bat first, and struggled to 159 all out, Eric Szwarczynski top-scoring with 32 before becoming the first of four victims for Philippe Boissevain.
Borren himself made 26 and keeper Mitch Lees chipped in with 27 towards the end, but the Voorburg attack never let up, Boissevain finishing with four for 35.
But Voorburg’s batsmen found conditions little easier, and with patient innings from Righardt Pieterse (52) and Bas de Leede (34) it took them until the 48th over to reach their target, Aryan Dutt and Viv Kingma showing the necessary aggression to get their side over the line.
On Saturday Dosti-United Amsterdam showed much greater resilience with the bat in their rearranged match against ACC at Het Loopveld West, but still lost their seventh match on the trot.
They had been set an imposing target after ACC posted 291 for eight, Charles McInerney (80) and Chris Knoll (107) putting on 186 for the third wicket to set their side on course for a substantial score.
Waheed Masood and stand-in captain Mahesh Hans took three for 60 and three for 49 respectively.
Half-centuries by Shahdab Ghori and Hans were the core of Dosti’s reply, Sukumar Raji chipping in with 40 as they reached a relatively respectable 239, but Devanshu Arya had his best return of the season with four for 41 and the inning closed 52 runs short.