Rod Lyall 26/05/21
On another day on which it seemed that the action might be confined to the weather radar, it was remarkable not only that four Topklasse matches were played to completion on Monday, but also that there were some outstanding individual performances, several of them with the bat.
Pride of place must go to VOC’s Max O’Dowd, whose 131 from 85 deliveries (or possibly 133 from 82), including seven fours and eleven sixes, combined considerable skill with brutal aggression as he took his side’s total against Dosti United to 177 for six.
In an innings twice interrupted by rain, seeing the available overs cut from 36 at the start to 23, O’Dowd completely dominated the Dosti attack in the latter stages: after taking 46 deliveries to reach fifty he needed only another 25 to go to his century, and then a further 11 before he hit a return catch to Vinoo Tewarie.
Dosti had kept the scoring within bounds for the first eight overs or so, Waheed Masood bowling well both then and later to finish with two for 22, while Tewarie, whose first over of leg spin had gone for 22, was rewarded with three wickets in his second and last at a final cost of 31.
Chasing an adjusted target of 185, Dosti had no answer to VOC’s spin attack of Arnav Jain (who had earlier played second fiddle to O’Dowd in an opening stand of 103) and Siebe van Wingerden, and were speedily reduced to 26 for seven.
Van Wingerden’s five overs yielded four for 8 and Jain’s three for 13, and then Pieter Seelaar and Rohan Malik finished things off, Malik taking two wickets in his first over before a run out ended proceedings with the total on 44, Asief Hoseinbaks the only man to reach double figures and sharing a last-wicket stand of 12 with Jatin Kumar, the best of the innings.
At the Zomercomplex co-leaders Voorburg’s challenge wilted in the face of another remarkable onslaught, as Teja Nidamanuru belted a 39-ball 80 not out, including five fours and eight sixes, to rescue Punjab from a perilous 30 for three as they chased a modest total of 126 for nine in 30 overs.
Put in in damp conditions, Voorburg laboured throughout their innings, scoring slowly early on against a disciplined Punjab attack and then losing wickets as they battled to set a reasonable target.
Logan van Beek hit a brisk 25 and Philippe Boissevain top-scored with 28, while Saqib Zulfiqar collected three for 27.
Viv Kingma and Ali Ahmed Qasim grabbed three quick wickets when Punjab replied, but then Nidamanuru took over, supported by Rehmat Zulfiqar, and despite a break for rain the Rotterdammers stormed to their seven-wicket victory in 16.2 overs.
Another whirlwind innings, this time from HCC’s Musa Nadeem Ahmed, enabled his side to secure the points in controversial circumstances against Sparta 1888 on De Diepput’s second ground.
Sparta had reached 11 for two in six overs when a prolonged delay for rain cut the game to 29 overs, and another poor batting display saw them dismissed for 116, a total which might have been a good deal lower but for a defiant 27 from Prithvi Balwantsingh.
A DLS adjustment set HCC 113 to win, and with more rain on the horizon they began at a gallop, Tonny Staal smacking 22 from 10 deliveries and Boris Gorlee 12 from six, while Ahmad’s 15-ball 40 not out saw them reach 88 for two in just 5.5 overs.
Then the rain returned, with HCC still 25 short of their target, but once play could be resumed with the match cut to 20 overs the new DLS calculation showed that the home side had already reached the revised target and they were declared the winners. With a par core of 25 at 5.5 overs the margin was an improbable 63 runs.
At Het Loopveld ACC staged a remarkable comeback against neighbours VRA in a tense Amsterdam derby, but the visitors just hung on to achieve a last-over, three-wicket victory.
ACC’s innings was a stuttering affair, not helped by an interruption for rain when they had reached 56 for three, and with their overs reduced to 31 they battled their way to 118 for seven, with Leon Turmaine taking two catches and producing two run-outs to go with his one for 22 in seven overs.
Chasing a revised target of 129, VRA seemed to be one course for an easy win while opener Ben Cooper was belting a 35-ball 64 which included four fours and three sixes, but once he had gone Sahil Kothari, Davanshu Arya and Aryan Kumar ran through the middle order, five wickets falling for 14 runs.
Jack Balbirnie made 22 before he was seventh out with 21 still needed, and it took a determined stand between Mitch Lees and Ashir Abid to see their side home with four balls to spare.
The only match not to get a finish was at Craeyenhout, where HBS posted 165 for nine in 25 overs against Excelsior ‘20, only to see the game abandoned because there was insufficient time remaining for the visitors to face the minimum 20 overs.
The HBS total was built on a 20-ball 33 from Tobias Visée and a 25-ball 44 from Tayo Walbrugh, with Navjit Singh and Julian de Mey chipping in with 30 and 26 respectively.
Gijs Kroesen was Excelsior’s most successful bowler cashing in with three for 7 as the HBS batters tried to squeeze every last run from the closing overs.
It was all in vain, however, as here at least the weather had the last word.