HCC close gap as Punjab and VOC edge clear

Rod Lyall 21/06/21

HCC got back in touch with the mid-table pack on Saturday, their nine-wicket victory over ACC bringing them within a point of VRA Amsterdam, but at the top of the table Rotterdam sides Punjab and VOC opened up a five-point gap over their nearest challengers.

These changes were in large part the result of VRA’s loss to VOC and Excelsior’s defeat of Voorburg, who dropped from third to fifth as HBS Craeyenhout, victors over Sparta 1888, replaced them in third spot.

At the Zomercomplex, meanwhile, Punjab Rotterdam made history as well as maintaining their lead by plundering 375 for seven from the Dosti United Amsterdam attack, the highest 50-over total ever, surpassing VRA’s 366 against Hermes-DVS Schiedam in 2013.

Punjab’s innings was a real team effort: set in train by a 10-ball cameo of 19 from Stephan Myburgh, it included stands of 108 for the second wicket between Rehmat Zulfiqar (62) and Asad Zulfiqar (88), 105 for the third between Asad and Teja Nidamanuru (53), and 125 for the fifth between Sikander Zulfiqar (45) and Yasir Usman (77 not out).

Facing such a monumental chase Dosti, yet to win this season, began positively enough, Rahil Ahmed, Mahesh Hans, Vinoo Tewarie and Sathish Ravichandran all getting a start, but once they had gone the innings subsided from 134 for four to 171 all out, spinners Irfan ul Haq and Nidamanuru claiming three for 17 and three for 18 respectively as Punjab completed a 204-run win.

By contrast with Punjab’s six-man onslaught, VOC Rotterdam’s 268 for four against VRA Amsterdam in the Bos was dominated by a run-a-ball 132 not out from Scott Edwards, who batted throughout the innings and contributed almost exactly half the runs.
VRA fought hard to contain the scoring, but a fourth-wicket partnership of 112 between between Edwards and Arnav Jain (55), aided by some indifferent work in the field in the later stages, enabled the visitors to set a tough target for Peter Borren’s side.

Former international Eric Szwarczynski made another helf-century when they replied, but after he departed for 59 it was again left to Borren, continuing his remarkable golden run, to carry on the battle almost single-handed, and after Jain had whittled away at the middle and lower order, taking five for 39, Pierce Fletcher returned to finish it off, Borren the ninth man out for 84 as VRA closed on 230 for nine, just 38 runs short.

The other key encounter between play-off contenders was surprisingly one-sided, as Excelsior ’20 Schiedam bowled Voorburg out for 116 at Westvliet and went on to win by 7 wickets.

Voorburg’s innings never really got going against a steady Excelsior attack, another patient knock from opener Mohit Hingorani setting the tone, and once Sybrandt Engelbrecht was fourth out with the total on 76 another collapse ensued, the last six wickets adding just 40 runs.

Klaas Roelfsema took three for 14 in ten overs, but it was the spin combination of Lorenzo Ingram and Tristan Stubbs which finished things off, Ingram claiming three for 6 from six overs and Stubbs taking the final two, including the adhesive Dutt, without conceding a run.

A second-wicket stand of 70 between opener Luuk Kroesen and Ingram took Excelsior to within sight of victory, but when Kroesen was run out for 27 and Ingram, having made 51, was trapped in front by Dutt soon afterwards, the Schiedammers’ pursuit seemed momentarily to falter.
Tim Etman and Stubbs, however, saw them home without further mishap, and they completed the win with 17 overs to spare.

HCC made even shorter work of beating ACC at De Diepput, bundling the Amsterdammers out for 104 and taking only 22.4 overs to secure a nine-wicket victory.

After losing three quick wickets to Reinier Bijloos and Hidde Overdijk, ACC were given some hope by a stand of 64 between Ammar Zaidi (33) and Ram Ramesh Babu (27), but once that was broken by Clayton Floyd the floodgates opened, and the last six wickets fell for 19 runs.

Floyd claimed four for 21 to hold his position as the competition’s leading wicket-taker, while Bijloos finished with three for 12.

Tonny Staal fell early in HCC’s reply, but Musa Ahmad and Boris Gorlee, taking their time at first but ending with a flourish, added the 78 necessary for victory, ending on 41 not out and 39 not out respectively.

Another disappointing batting display by Sparta 1888, who were dismissed for 160 by HBS Craeyenhout, was partially redeemed by a century by Garnett Tarr, who came to the crease at 6 for one and was the last to be dismissed, his 101 coming from 162 deliveries.

But apart from him only Mudassar Bukhari (19) and newcomer Randeep Deol reached double figures, and the side was all out for 160, Ryan Klein taking three for 21 and Navjit Singh three for 19.

The HBS reply, too, began with an early wicket, but then Julian de Mey, promoted to open in the absence of Tobias Visée, and Tayo Walbrugh put on 155 in an unbroken second-wicket stand to take their side to an impressive nine-wicket victory.

De Mey finished with 83 not out and Walbrugh on 63 not out, bringing his tally for the season to 602 at an average of 100.33.

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