Only Voorburg and Punjab (eventually) beat the rain

There were two winners in Saturday’s second round of Topklasse matches: Voorburg, who beat VOC Rotterdam by 42 runs at Westvliet, and the weather, which ensured that there was no result anywhere else.

The weather, it should be noted, had some assistance in two of the games from the umpires, who let the players stay out in steady rain for some time before taking them off.

If this was an attempt to avoid abandoned matches it proved counterproductive, for in one case conditions had by this time deteriorated so far that no further play was possible, and in the other, after a long wait, only twelve deliveries could be bowled before the umpires decided that conditions were unplayable and called it a day.

It is surely not a coincidence that the one fixture concluded was the only one played on turf, since the effect of the rain on an uncovered mat and run-ups was only too predictable. It’s quite possible, given the weather on Saturday, that none of these games could have been saved, but earlier covering could have made a difference.

At Westvliet, the home side, after being put in to bat, recovered from the early loss of Aryan Dutt and had reached 80 for two in 15 overs by the time the weather intervened, skipper Bas de Leede making 42 not out at a run a ball and receiving good support from Mohit Hingorani and Sybrand Engelbrecht.

When play resumed 29 overs had been deducted, so Voorburg had just six overs to pile on the runs.

They did so to good effect despite De Leede’s dismissal off the first delivery after the restart, Engelbrecht and Logan van Beek leading the way as they added 43 for the loss of five wickets in a hectic finale, and the DLS calculation rewarded the side’s earlier enterprise, setting VOC the tough target of 154 in 21 overs.

As long as Scott Edwards was at the crease they were in the hunt, but once he was fifth out in the 17th over with the total on 100, having made a gallant 45-ball 55, the task proved too great and the last wicket fell in the final over with the score on 111.

Philippe Boissevain, who had effectively settled things by removing Edwards, went on to finish with five for 12 from 20 deliveries.

HCC’s start against VRA Amsterdam at De Diepput was even more promising, as Musa Ahmad and Tonny Staal put on 64 in under 11 overs before the umpires decided the rain was too heavy and took the players off.
Staal in particular took off where he had left off against ACC last week, savaging young Abid Ali and making 40 from 39 deliveries with two fours and two sixes.

But the Deep Well lived up to its name, and no further play was possible.

32.1 overs had been bowled at the Bermweg before the interruption, and home side Sparta 1888 were in serious trouble against Excelsior ‘20, Mudassar Bukhari and Manminder Singh having managed to get them to 86 for six after the first six wickets had fallen for just 66.

Lorenzo Ingram had a sensational return to the Topklasse after missing last week’s game, bowling Ali Raza and Sherry Butt with his first two deliveries and then adding the scalp of Mamoon Latif to finish with three for 11.

Eventually, the umpires decided, the ground had recovered sufficiently for play to resume with Excelsior’s reply comprising 20 overs, and as Voorburg had been rewarded by DLS for their batting performance, so Sparta suffered for theirs: Excelsior’s target was a mere 72.

But although Max Hoornweg removed Tim Etman in his first over Nasrat Ibrahimkhil had not completed his before the umpires concluded that the pitch was too wet after all, and the match was abandoned with Excelsior still needing 62 runs.

Further north in Amstelveen, where the game began at the originally-scheduled time of midday, only five overs of Dosti United’s innings against ACC were possible, enough for opener Joe Wegecsanyi to make his Topklasse debut and for Dosti to reach 13 for one, but at Rotterdam’s Zomercomplex there was no play at all between Punjab Rotterdam and HBS Craeyenhout, the umpires calling the game off after a protracted wait for conditions to improve.

At Sportpark Drieburg on Sunday, in the rescheduled Round 1 game between Dosti Amsterdam and Punjab Rotterdam, Punjab survived a serious scare before securing a five-wicket victory over a determined home side.

Dosti had struggled with the bat, collapsing to 24 for five after winning the toss, but a fine captain’s innings from Vinoo Tewarie, who made 60 not out from 94 deliveries, enabled them to reach 103. Teja Nidamanuru took three for 10 and Suleiman Tariq and Mubashar Hussain a brace of wickets apiece.

The game having been reduced to 45 overs a side after a break for rain midway through the Dosti innings, the target was only 101, but Punjab were soon in trouble against Asief Hoseinbaks and Waheed Masood, who took four wickets between them for just 18 runs.

Bowling unchanged for his nine overs, Hoseinbaks claimed three for 19, but Saqib Zulfiqar, supported by his triplet brothers Sikander and Asad, saw his team home with an 81-ball 48 not out.

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