HCC hold on to win a thriller

Rod Lyall 05/09/2022

In an absorbing finals weekend in which three Topklasse matches had combined margins of no more than 27 runs, two of them going into the final over, the climax came on Sunday evening with HCC squeezing past HBS Craeyenhout at De Diepput and into next week’s grand final against Voorburg.

Three wickets fell in Hidde Overdijk’s final over with just five runs needed for an HBS victory, and a game which had started dramatically and which continued to twist and turn throughout the day ended in a three-run win for Boris Gorlee’s Lions.

It had begun with HCC, after winning the toss, on 6 for two after two overs, Damian Crowley brilliantly caught by Reece Mason at point off Ryan Klein’s bowling and then Zac Worden falling to Ferdi Vink without scoring.

A useful stand between Tonny Staal and Gorlee saw the total on to 65, but then a flurry of three wickets, two of them catches by Mason at point, left HCC again struggling at 73 for five.

This time the rescue came from Hidde Overdijk (31) and Yash Patel (40), who added 84 for the sixth wicket, and with Clayton Floyd contributing 20 before he was superbly caught by Ryan Klein off his own bowling, the home side managed to set a reasonably demanding total of 206.

Gavin Kaplan had bowled with his usual discipline for figures of three for 27, while Julian de Mey took three for 34.

Tayo Walbrugh, who made 35 without looking entirely comfortable, and Kaplan gave HBS a great start with an opening stand of 66 at six an over, but when Jan-Wieger Overdijk, in only his second Topklasse game of the season, removed Walbrugh and then Kaplan was the victim of a dreadful mid-pitch mix-up and departed for 29 HCC were suddenly back in the game.

Mason and Wesley Barresi steadily restored the Crows’ fortunes with a partnership worth 65 for the fourth wicket, but the turning point came when Barresi, having reached 50 with an innings which combined patience with moments of aggressive strokeplay, tried to hit Hidde Overdijk over midwicket and holed out to Felix Bennett on the boundary.

With HCC’s spinners, Floyd, Tim Pringle and Crowley, tightening the screw and the brothers Overdijk, along with Bennett, providing contrasting pace, HBS were hard-pressed to make the 63 they still needed, but De Mey, after looking all at sea when he first came to the crease, batted with increasing determination, and with the support of the lower order he whittled away at the deficit.

34 were still needed with five overs left, and now HBS had only three wickets in hand; only two came from Pringle’s final over, and now the ask was 32 from four.

A six by De Mey off Crowley in an over that yielded 12 runs eased the pressure considerably, and after ten came from Hidde Overdijk’s next HBS required ten from two.

Five were still needed as Overdijk began the last, but when De Mey, looking to find the boundary, was caught for 37 off the second delivery and Ferdi Vink fell off the next, five were still required as last man Stephan Vink, nursing a hamstring injury suffered during the HCC innings, joined young Martijn Scholte in the middle.

A single left Vink needing to find the boundary off the final delivery, but he could only find Pringle at long off, and HCC were able to celebrate an epic victory.

Hidde Overdijk finished with four for 42 and Jan-Wieger with two for 35, but it was arguably the spinners who had set up the win with their steadiness in the middle overs.

They had very nearly gone directly into the final by beating Voorburg at Westvliet on Saturday, when Staal (77) and Worden (80) had produced a second-wicket stand of 146 as HCC chased Voorburg’s total of 234 for six, but a collapse by the middle order, only Bennett reaching double figures, saw them dismissed for 220.

Here it was the seamers who kept them in the game, Reinier Bijloos taking two for 24 and Hidde Overdijk and Bennett each two for 44, but a fourth-wicket partnership of 112 between Bas de Leede (86) and Sybrand Engelbrecht (61) provided the basis of Voorburg’s score.

Shariz Ahmad struck early when HCC replied, and after Staal and Worden’s long partnership, Philippe Boissevain, Andre Malan and Shariz combined to reduce the Lions from 148 for one to 194 for eight before De Leede and Viv Kingma returned to finish things off and take Voorburg straight into the grand final.

It was even closer at Thurlede, where Excelsior ’20 failed by just 10 runs to match the HBS total of 261 for eight.

After Walbrugh fell to a stunning return catch by Niels Etman off the very first ball of the match Kaplan and Barresi put on 188 for the second wicket, Barresi making 86 and Kaplan going on to a 114-ball 107.

Although Etman (three for 51) and Tom Heggelman (three for 46) pegged the later batting back the Crows still managed to set an imposing total, but Heggelman and Tim Etman responded with an opening stand of 105, Etman hitting a 50-ball 78 which included 11 fours and four sixes.

It looked as if Excelsior were on course for victory as Stan van Troost, promoted to three, made a 50-ball 52, but three wickets by Ryan Klein saw them subside from 186 for two to 218 for five, and now it was up to Lorenzo Ingram to see his side home.

With wickets falling at the other end he brought the total to 242, but once he had gone, caught by Scholte off Navjit Singh for 33, it was only a matter of time, and the innings ended on 251, Klein finishing with three for 29 and Navjit three for 35.

In the finals of the Hoofdklasse competition Hermes-DVS, who had seen off Bloemendaal on Saturday to set up a rematch with Quick Haag in the grand final, dismissed their opponents for just 88 after making 193 for nine, winning by 105 runs and setting up a play-off against Sparta 1888 next week to decide which of the sides will play in next season’s Topklasse.

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