HBS extend their winning run

Rod Lyall 31/05/19

HBS Craeyenhout retained their unbeaten record on Thursday with a 39-run victory over neighbours Quick Haag, but ACC and HCC maintained their pursuit with wins over Sparta 1888 and Voorburg and remain just one game behind.

For the third round in a row HBS posted the highest total of the day – admittedly this time only by a couple of runs – as they ran up 264 for seven against Quick Haag.

It was Sharn Gomes who formed the spine of the innings with a 109-ball 81, coming in after the early departure of Zac Elkin and remaining until he was sixth out with the total on 205.

He shared half-century partnerships with Navjit Singh (32) and Wesley Barresi (23), while in the closing stages Zak Gibson and Wessel Coster piled on the runs in an unbroken eighth-wicket stand of 56.

The Quick bowlers stuck to their task well, Jay Bista, Geert Maarten Mol and Jeroen Brand collecting two wickets apiece, but long-awaited debutant Prathamesh Dake was wicketless, his ten overs costing 60 runs.

After a promising 40-run start by Bista and Bob van Gigch, Coster and Berend Westdijk began to cut through the Quick top order, and the visitors’ cause was not helped when Mol was forced to retire hurt.

He soon returned and went on to top-score with 45, but the battery of HBS seamers, supported by Barresi’s spin, continued to work their way through the batting, and at 131 for seven Quick seemed doomed to a hefty defeat.

The tail wagged, however, and after Mol’s departure the last-wicket pair of Sumeet Diwan and Hayden Brain added 48 runs before the latter was run out for 38, the Quick innings closing on 225 to give HBS a 39-run victory.

ACC held on to second place with a 41-run victory over Sparta 1888 in a match reduced to 46 overs after overnight rain and an uncovered pitch Loopveld led to a delayed start.

The game was dominated by the bowlers, with 38 by ACC’s Jean Marais the top score on either side. He was eventually one of six victims for Mudassar Bukhari, whose figures of six for 26 were his best ever in the top flight, surpassing his six for 29 for ACC themselves against Hermes-DVS in 2013.

Rehmat Zulfiqar (22) and Shirase Rasool (29) also contributed to ACC’s total of 171, which proved to be sufficient to make sure of the points.

Although Andrew Fletcher (26) and Garnett Tarr (24) gave Sparta a decent start, Aryan Kumar removed both of them and Atse Buurman into the bargain, and then Saqib Zulfiqar ran through the tail to finish with five for 34 as Sparta were all out for 130.

Half-centuries by Bharat Itagi and Boris Gorlee were the basis of HCC’s total of 199 all out against struggling Voorburg at De Diepput, with Clayton Floyd the most successful of the visitors’ bowlers with three for 30.

That, too, turned out to be a winning total, as Voorburg, having reached 151 for three thanks to 58 by Matt Smit and 41 by his debutant younger brother Nic, again collapsed to 174 all out.

Hidde Overdijk took four for 42 for HCC, with two run outs helping to ensure the home side’s 25-run victory.

At Sportpark Drieburg, Dosti United maintained their challenge by beating bottom-placed VRA Amsterdam, but for the second game in succession VRA gave a spirited response when chasing a big total.

Put in to bat in damp conditions, Dosti made 262 for nine, with Taruwar Kohli’s 99-ball 89 the core of the innings. He shared stands of 72 with opener Rahil Ahmed (38), and then of 107 with Amitoze Singh, whose 54 came from 69 deliveries.

A flurry of wickets in the last ten overs, with pace man Brandon Graber claiming four for 55 and off-spinner Leon Turmaine four for 56, limited the carnage to some degree, but 262 was still an imposing total.

It looked more imposing still when VRA had been reduced to 46 for four, with Matt Lake, Vikram Singh, Peter Borren and Emile van den Burg already gone, but Ben Cooper, after a run of low scores, was determined to keep his side in the game.

Supported first by Tom Long and then by Quirijn Gunning he mounted an almost single-handed pursuit of the target, striking fifteen fours and five sixes on his way to a 126-ball 144 before he was last out, VRA’s total still 31 runs short of the Dosti score.

The decisive factor in Dosti’s victory was Amitoze Singh, held back by skipper Vinoo Tewarie until the 40th over but then producing a superb display of swing bowling which yielded three wickets at the cost of just 16 runs.

In the battle of the former champions at Hazelaarweg Excelsior’s indifferent form and VOC’s recovery both continued, enabling the Rotterdam side to claim a five-wicket victory.

After Ashiqullah Said and Paul Fletcher reduced Excelsior to 12 for three, including the vital wicket of Lorenzo Ingram, Pieter Seelaar and Dirk van Baren continued the demolition, and at one stage Excelsior were 69 for seven.

That they were able to reach 154 was due to a maiden Topklase half-century by David Woutersen, who shared useful partnerships with Rens van Troost and Umar Baker, while Seelaar had the best return of the VOC bowlers with three for 16.

It looked as if VOC would coast to victory when Corey Rutgers (56) and Max O’Dowd (37) put on 84 for the first wicket, but another middle-order collapse had them faltering at 121 for five, and it was left to Jelte Schoonheim, who hit an 11-ball 27 not out, to see them home in tandem with Scott Edwards, and they won with nearly sixteen overs to spare.

Round 5 Preview

Rod Lyall & Bertus de Jong 28/05/19

With four rounds of matches in the space of twelve days, starting with Thursday’s Ascension Day holiday, the Topklasse moves into its traditional burst of intensity which could have a key role in determining the ultimate shape of the table.

RL: With four wins out of four, HBS Craeyenhout will go into their derby with their neighbours in the Bosjes van Pex, Quick Haag, brimming with a confidence all the greater because of Quick’s indifferent form so far. If their attack made less impact than they might have hoped against a rather tottery VRA batting line-up, their four-man seam attack and pair of spinners have generally been an effective force, and they are likely to cause plenty of problems against a Quick side which, even with the addition of Jean Bredenkamp, has looked to be well short of Topklasse form. But they did manage to ambush VOC, and that may suggest that they have a better chance chasing than they do trying to set a target. That said, the HBS top six are a menacing prospect for any bowlers, and the odds favour the Craeyenhout outfit whoever gets first use of the wicket.

BdJ: The momentum’s certainly with the Crows as they welcome their local rivals to Craeyenhout, boasting a perfect record so far with Quick still looking for their second win. Bredenkamp’s cameo last week is understood to be a one-off, but Quick nonetheless head across the way appreciably strengthened by the arrival of last season’s MVP Jay Bista and fellow Mumbaiker Prathamesh Dake. Bista’s presence as batting linchpin will be a worry for the HBS bowling attack, which has generally been solid but uninspiring thus far, but whether Dake will have any more luck containing or removing the Crow’s explosive top-order than anyone else has so far is probably the crucial question hanging over the game.

RL: Having seen off the ACC challenge on Saturday, Excelsior ‘20 will travel to Hazelaarweg in good spirits for their meeting with VOC. The champions, though, will be greatly heartened by having their first points under their belt, and this game may prove to be as tough a battle as this match-up produced last season. The Schiedammers’ batting was again heavily dependent on their two overseas players against ACC, and Brenton Parchment’s efforts with the new ball were equally crucial in enabling them to seize the initiative in the field. VOC’s batting is, if anything, in somewhat rockier shape, and while the attack has benefited from the acquisition of Noman Kamawa Pieter Seelaar’s side is still some way short of the title-winning form they mustered last season.

BdJ: A tough one to call, this, with both sides looking much diminished since their title-winning days. The loss of Umar baker to their opponents coupled with Max O’Dowd’s as yet unrewarding switch to leg-spin has left VOC looking far more vulnerable at home, where last season their spin attack ensured they didn’t lose a game. Excelsior do indeed look rather dependent on their two Jamaican overseas, but then both Ingram and Parchment have looked entirely dependable so far. The defection of Baker means Excelsior have arguably the stronger slow-bowling attack this season, and though the youth graduates that helped win them two titles in a row seem to be in a collective slump at the moment they will fancy their chances against a VOC side in the midst of a rebuild.

RL: ACC, on the other hand, return to Het Loopveld for a match against Sparta 1888 which should give them an early opportunity to make amends for last Saturday’s defeat. Their surprise win over Excelsior apart, Sparta have been far from impressive so far, and it has been the efforts of Max Hoornweg, with 14 wickets at 12.36, which have been their most significant plus point. Andrew Fletcher’s battle to adapt to Dutch conditions (which has yielded him just 50 runs in four innings) must be a genuine source of concern at the Bermweg, but he is too good a player for this to continue for long. Even while losing to Excelsior the Amsterdammers did enough to confirm that their position at the top was no flash in the pan: they have a varied attack, and although their top order was hustled out in short order, the Zulfiqar brothers and Shirase Rasool (a modified re-formation of last season’s popular folk group) are unlikely to succumb so easily a second time.

BdJ: As some predicted, ACC’s run of wins came to an end at first sight of a turf wicket, and doubtless the Amsterdammers will be happy to feel the familiar mat under their feet again on Thursday. Their new acquisitions in Jean Marais and especially Brady Barends have proven shrewd ones, though it is the marked improvement of youngsters Rasoole and Kumar that has done the most to lift ACC stocks this season. That said, one has the feeling that Sparta’s best cricket is yet to come, and they have looked competitive across most of their games even as their overseas failed to really fire. It is reasonable to assume that at some stage the performance of Fletcher especially is bound to revert to the mean, and there’s no reason Thursday shouldn’t be the day. And given that I’ve called every single ACC match wrong so far, they’ll doubtless be delighted to hear that I’m picking Sparta to spring an upset at het Loopveld.

RL: The third of the teams jockeying for position a game behind the leaders, HCC are at home to Voorburg, a contest which brings Tom de Grooth and Philippe Boissevain back to De Diepput in the unfamiliar role of visitors. With Tonny Staal running into excellent form against Quick on Saturday HCC did not need to turn to Adam Wiffen, and Voorburg might look envyingly at the relatively prolific batting line-up of the home side. One cannot escape the feeling, however, that Voorburg’s travails with the bat are a temporary phenomenon, and that before long an opposing attack will be on the receiving end of their return to form. Their attack, certainly, is strong enough to defend any half-decent total, and they almost succeeded in defending a decidedly indecent one against VOC at the weekend. HCC’s bowlers, though, have disposed of VRA and Quick on their last two outings, and they will start as favourites to repeat the trick on Thursday.

BdJ: There’s no word as yet on whether the finger injury Wiffen sustained last week will keep him out on Thursday, but it will be a major blow to HCC’s hopes if it does. Though Staal, Street and Itagi all have runs under their belt this season, the HCC middle order has looked brittle when it has been tested, and with Kingma and Glover sharing the new ball for VCC early wickets are a safe bet. The question remains whether they will have much to bowl at, as the Voorburg batting line-up has looked equally suspect when the top order has failed. Indeed despite the overseas reinforcements they have called in, VCC have missed Bas de Leede in the middle order more than many had anticipated.

RL: The holiday schedule means that Dosti United, free of competition from Saturday football fixtures, are able to entertain VRA at Sportpark Drieburg. It’s a vital match for both sides: Dosti are two games behind the leaders and need to avoid falling back further, while their visitors have yet to post a win and are much in need of their first points. Vikram Singh’s maiden Topklasse century will have given them a boost, but they need runs from Ben Cooper (9 runs in three innings so far) as well as from Peter Borren and Eric Szwarczynski if they are to set challenging totals. Dosti are still in second gear, but if their four overseas players – who played a decisive role in the win over Sparta on Saturday – all fire at once we can look forward to some spectacular cricket from a side which has the potential to be serious title contenders.

BdJ: Though slow starts are something of a VRA tradition, it’s beginning to look as if the Bos-dwellers have stalled in the blocks this season, if you will pardon the mixed metaphor. One would expect what is on paper a strong batting unit to come good eventually, Szwarczynski, Borren and now Singh all have decent scores this season, as does Cooper if one looks beyond the Topklasse, but the bowling is perhaps more of a worry. VRA’s attack has not come close to bowling a side out, having managed just 8 wickets in total across three matches so far. With newcomers Graber and Long still waiting for their first Topklasse wickets and Gunning and Turmaine both at less than their best, one suspects Thursday will see Taruwar Kohli add to his growing tally of Topklasse centuries. VRA remain too good a side to go winless for long, but they may well manage another few days.

Rod Lyall’s tips: HBS, Excelsior, ACC, HCC, Dosti.
Bertus de Jong’s tips: HBS, Excelsior, Sparta, VCC, Dosti.

HBS go clear at the top as ACC falter

Rod Lyall 27/05/19

ACC suffered their first defeat of the season at Thurlede on Saturday, going down to Excelsior ’20 by 47 runs, while HBS hung on against a late challenge by VRA in the Amsterdamse Bos to win by 18 runs and move clear at the top of the table.

Winning the toss and electing to bat, Excelsior ‘20 reached 221 for seven, thanks to a third-wicket partnership of 97 between Lorenzo Ingram and Brenton Parchment.

ACC pace man Brady Barends removed Roel Verhagen, restored to an opening slot after returning from injury, in his first over, and then came back to break the Ingram-Parchment stand by trapping Parchment in front after he had compiled an invaluable 45.

Helped by an aggressive cameo by Joost Kroesen, who made a rapid 22, Ingram went on to post his sixth Topklasse century. He faced 136 deliveries for his 102, including eight fours and three sixes, and when he departed just before the close he had seen his side safely past the 200 mark.

Skipper Saqib Zulfiqar cashed in in the final overs and took four for 46, but it was Barends who bowled with hostility throughout for figures of two for 47 and the spinners Devanchu Arya and Anis Raza, who conceded 29 and 30 respectively in their 10-over spells, who were the most impressive of the ACC attack.

ACC were soon in trouble when they replied, slumping to 47 for four, and when Sikander Zulfiqar, having made 27, was run out with the total on 88 their cause was effectively lost.

Raza held the innings together as best he could and reached his first Topklasse half-century to finish with an unbeaten 67, but he eventually ran out of partners, the innings closing on 174 in the 48th over. Parchment and Tom Heggelman claimed three wickets apiece for the Schiedammers.

HBS Craeyenhout again posted the highest total of the day, their 273 for two dominated by a stand of 160 for the second wicket by Zac Elkin and Sharn Gomes.

Gomes contributed 68, while Elkin batted throughout the innings for an unbeaten 116, made from 157 deliveries with six fours and three sixes.

Vikram Singh
Vikram Singh has a timid celebration of his maiden hundred in the top flight

Elkin’s knock was matched by that of VRA’s Vikram Singh, who at the age of 16 years 136 days became the youngest-ever centurion in the Dutch top flight, eclipsing the two-week old record set by ACC’s Shirase Rasool, who had been 22 days older when he performed the feat.

Unlike Elkin, however, Singh was unable to find someone to share a really decisive partnership: Peter Borren made 32 and skipper Emile van den Burg 21, but when Singh was eventually bowled by Wesley Barresi for 102, made from 147 balls with ten fours, VRA were still well adrift at 183 for six.

But keeper Mitch Lees was still there, and with some support from the tail he made a hard-hitting 51, hitting four sixes and bringing his team frustratingly close to what had been an extremely imposing target.

Barresi was the most successful of the HBS bowlers with three for 56, and the new-ball pairing of Berend Westdijk and Zak Gibson collected two wickets each.

HCC kept pace with the leading group by cruising to an eight-wicket victory over Quick Haag at Nieuw Hanenburg, with skipper Tonny Staal hitting an unbeaten 86 to enable his side to chase down a modest Quick total of 169.

Quick were strengthened by the advent of Namibian international Jean Bredenkamp, who played for them in 2017 and who anchored their innings with 55.

He did not receive much support, however, Quick’s top scorers otherwise being once again Geert Maarten Mol with 29 and Thijs van Schelven with 26, while for HCC Bryce Street took three for 44 and Ali Ahmed Qasim, Hidde Overdijk and Bharat Itagi claimed two wickets each.

Itagi and Staal then got HCC off to a lightning start, putting on 82 in just over twelve overs, and Street helped Staal maintain the momentum with a 37-ball 40 which took the visitors to the brink of victory.

Finishing the job in just 26.2 overs HCC did their net run rate a power of good in a season when that might just be important in sorting out the table at the end of August.

While still playing some way below what they are almost certainly capable of, Dosti United were decidedly too strong forSparta 1888 at Sportpark Bermweg.

Taruwar Kohli (36) and Amitoze Singh (54) contributed over half of the visitors’ total of 174, with Max Hoornweg again the principal wicket-taker for Sparta with four for 41. Andrew Fletcher backed him up well with three for 35.

Then Kuldeep Diwan (three for 19), Kohli (two for 12) and Anees Davids (two for 18) claimed seven Sparta wickets as Dosti ran through the home side’s batting, dismissing them for 113.

Atse Buurman again provided much of the resistance, top-scoring with 29, and it took a late rally by Joost Martijn Snoep and Manminder Singh to get Sparta’s total into three figures.

Defending champions VOC Rotterdam recorded their first win of the season at Westvliet, where Voorburg again performed poorly with the bat and collapsed to 135 all out.

It would have been even worse without a spirited knock of 44 from Viv Kingma, who came in with his team on 75 for six and almost immediately lost Noah Croes, who had made 31.

Kingma got Voorburg to 135 almost single-handedly, dominating a last-wicket stand of 47 with Stef Mulder.

VOC’s attack was reinforced by the inclusion of Belgian international Noman Kamawi, who took three for 12.

The Rotterdammers made heavy weather of their chase, with Kingma grabbing three quick wickets to reduce them to 48 for four, and it took some dogged batting from Pieter Seelaar (26) and Dirk van Baren (22) to get them over the line.

After an impressive opening-day victory promoted side Voorburg have now lost three on the trot, and unless their batsmen can reverse their current slump the Voorburgers could find themselves in a battle to avoid a speedy return to the Hoofdklasse.

Bowlers in command as Sparta and Quick spring surprises

Rod Lyall 20/05/19

The bowlers were back in control in Saturday’s third-round matches with only one side managing to get past 200, and Sparta 1888 and Quick Haag, previously winless, sprung surprises by beating Excelsior ’20 and defending champions VOC Rotterdam respectively.

The biggest upset came at Thurlede, where Sparta successfully defended a meagre total of 189, bowling the previously unbeaten home side out for 146.

Star of the show for Sparta was young Max Hoornweg – incidentally the grandson of former international pace man Ruud Onstein – who finished with career-best figures of seven for 36.

Hoornweg reduced Excelsior to 43 for three, including the key wickets of Lorenzo Ingram and Brenton Parchment, and then returned to clean up the tail.

Tim Etman again top-scored for Excelsior with a patient 45, but of the later batsmen only skipper Tom Heggelman with 31 showed any real sign of resistance.

Earlier, opener Garnett Tarr had led the way for Sparta with an 81-ball 61, the highest score of the match, while Andrew Fletcher showed the first signs of what he is capable of in making 32. Sohail Bhatti was the most successful of the Excelsior bowlers with three for 22, and there were two apiece for Heggelman and Ingram.

If VOC might have counted themselves a little unlucky to have been narrowly beaten by Dosti on the season’s opening day, there could be no doubts about their defeat by Quick Haag at Hazelaarweg on Saturday.

Their batting was unable to get going against a Quick attack still awaiting the arrival of its Indian reinforcements, and collapsed to 168 all out in just 38.3 overs.

Namibian Pieter Groenewald took three for 41, debutant Daniel Mason two for 34 and Thijs van Schelven two for 16 as VOC’s batsmen, despite mostly getting a start, were unable to build a competitive score.

Lesley Stokkers began the chase aggressively, making a 52-ball 45, and although they lost four wickets along the way Quick, judging the tempo perfectly, completed the win with more than five overs to spare, Rupert Young following up his century last week with a measured 34.

The old adage that there’s a big difference between an outstanding team on paper and an outstanding side on the field was vindicated twice this week.

At Het Loopveld Voorburg demonstrated, to their own chagrin, that last Saturday’s collapse against Excelsior was not an isolated event by falling apart even more comprehensively against a rampant ACC.

Put in to bat, the visitors lost skipper Tom de Grooth – one of four victims for ACC keeper Jean Marais – in the opening over before they had a run on the board, and Brady Barends went on to claim four more wickets to finish with five for 19 as Voorburg subsided to 84 all out.

Only Noah Croes (18) and Philippe Boissevain (20) reached double figures, while for ACC Devanshu Arya was also among the wickets with three for 15.

The Voorburg attack did their best to stage a spirited fightback, picking up six wickets as ACC chased down their modest target, but with Shirase Rasool compiling a mature 30 the home side made it within 25 overs, further improving their net run rate in the process.

Ferdi Vink
Ferdi Vink just makes it

In what was in many ways the most absorbing match of the day, HBS defeated Dosti United in a game of fluctuating fortunes, but it was the failure of Dosti’s threatening batting line-up to master the home side’s attack which produced a 66-run HBS victory.

Dosti’s bowlers, especially the spinners, had done well to hold the Crows to a total of 220 after they had been well placed on 119 for two after 27 overs, with Asief Hoseinbaks, Mahesh Hans and Kuldeep Diwan picking up seven wickets between them.

Although Diwan collected three wickets it was Hoseinbaks’ eight-over spell for figures of two for 25 which prevented the powerful HBS batting line-up from getting into top gear after Tobias Visée had given his side its usual rollicking start with a 21-ball 33.

Zac Elkin top-scored with 45 before hitting a return catch to Hoseinbaks, while Sharn Gomes contributed 39.

Backed up by outstanding fielding the HBS spinners, Wesley Barresi and Julian de Mey, also built the pressure when Dosti replied, and with five wickets down for 57 and Taruwar Kohli and Amitoze Singh among those who had come and gone, the Dosti cause was effectively lost.

Diwan played a defiant hand for his 37, but as he began to run out of partners he became one of several Dosti batsmen to hole out at deep midwicket, and the innings eventually closed on 154.

De Mey took three for 34, and there were two wickets apiece for Zak Gibson, Farshad Khan and debutant Benno Boddendijk.

VRA’s unhappy start to the season continued at De Diepput, where they lost to HCC by seven wickets after having been dismissed for 189.

The match was a personal triumph for HCC’s Bharat Itagi, who took three for 30 in the VRA innings and then guided his side to the brink of victory with 90.

Itagi shared a 103-run partnership for the third wicket with Bryce Street, who went on to complete the task and finish with an unbeaten 59.

The VRA total owed much to the contribution of former international Eric Szwarczynski, who made 61 before being run out, while Peter Borren, who had earlier become VRA’s all-time leading run-scorer, claimed two of the three HCC wickets to fall.

After an initial defeat by HBS HCC are beginning to look like a well-balanced outfit, and with Hidde Overdijk and Olivier Klaus also picking up key wickets on Saturday they can look forward with some confidence.

ACC, Excelsior and HBS make it two out of two

Rod Lyall 13/05/19

Three more centuries in the second round of Topklasse matches on Saturday brought the total to six in nine games, suggesting that there may be a vintage season for batsmen in prospect.

The most encouraging from a Dutch point of view was Shirase Rasool’s maiden hundred for ACC against Quick Haag, while the most remarkable was perhaps Rupert Young’s in reply. The most predictable was that by Taruwar Kohli for Dosti United against HCC although, like Young’s, it proved to be in a losing cause.

Three sides made it two out of two on Saturday, with ACC the initial leaders on net run rate, followed by Excelsior ’20 and HBS Craeyenhout.

In the only match between first-round winners, Excelsior firmly deflated Voorburg’s balloon, beating the promoted side by seven wickets at Westvliet.

Electing to bat first, Voorburg appeared to be coasting at the first drinks break, having reached 82 for two and with last week’s centurion Matt Smit well set on 44.

But then Excelsior skipper Tom Heggelman turned from seam to spin, and in eight overs of complete mayhem the home side subsided to 94 for seven.

Umar Baker collected three of those wickets, going on to clean up the innings and finish with six for 46, but it was Lorenzo Ingram who removed the dangerous Smit, who had added just two more before he had the misfortune to glove a delivery which deflected from his pad as he tried to sweep, into the hands of Branton Parchment, lurking at slip.

There was some late resistance from Brandon Glover and Yasir Hamid, but in a disappointingly irresolute effort overall Voorburg were dismissed for 144.

Glover and Clayton Floyd looked dangerous when Excelsior replied, but a single wicket for the former was their only reward. Without ever seeming really comfortable Tim Etman played a crucial innings for his side, helped by a couple of missed chances, and in partnerships with Ingram – eventually forced to retire hurt after taking one in the ribs from Viv Kingma – and Parchment he steered them towards the win.

He eventually fell to a catch at slip by Tom de Grooth after Glover returned, but he had made 81 and only six were now needed, Joost Kroesen and Heggelman finishing the job with more than 16 overs remaining.

Shiraze Razool
Razool scores over cow

On the new artificial outfield at Nieuw Hanenburg ACC enhanced their run rate standing with a comprehensive 102-run victory over Quick Haag, built on a second-wicket partnership of 125 between Rehmat Zulfiqar, who made an aggressive 80, and Rasool.

The youngster has served a long apprenticeship, but in following up his fifty last week with an unbeaten 117 he reaped the reward for the hard work he has reportedly been doing over the winter.

Jean Marais contributed a quick 32, and ACC closed on 290 for seven.

Quick were soon in trouble with Bob van Gigch, Lesley Stokkers and Geert Maarten Mol all dismissed cheaply, but Young, after a cautious start, suddenly unleashed an extraordinary attack on the ACC bowlers, cracking six sixes in five overs and racing from 27 to 64.

Three more followed before he eventually fell to Aryan Kumar for 115, made at better than a run a ball, and Quick were all out for 188, with Brady Barends, Anis Raza, Devanchu Arya and Shreyas Potdar collecting a brace of wickets apiece.

HBS were also relatively untroubled in maintaining their unbeaten record, with a 72-run victory over Sparta 1888 at Sportpark Bermweg.

They got off to another flying start with an opening stand of 97 inside 17 overs, 74 coming from the bat of Tobias Visée, who faced just 43 deliveries and smashed ten fours and three sixes.

His partner, Zac Elkin, was much more circumspect, taking 117 balls to make his 58, but with Sharn Gomes and Navjit Singh going cheaply and Wesley Barresi making only 27, it took a brisk 31 from Zak Gibson to get the total up to 242.

Max Hoornweg and Usman Saleem claimed three wickets each, for 41 and 35 respectively.

Wessel Coster and Berend Westdijk, sharing the new ball, struck back for HBS, and at 39 for three Sparta were soon in trouble.

As they had against Voorburg, Mudassar Bukhari (35) and Atse Buurman (27) leant some solidity to the middle order, but once Westdijk had removed Bukhari and Barresi had accounted for Buurman the Sparta reply fell away, only skipper Joost Martijn Snoep’s unbeaten 24 enabling them to reach 170.

Westdijk finished with three for 20, with the spinners Julian de Mey and Barresi collecting a couple of wickets each.

The most exciting match of the day saw HCC snatch a final-over three-wicket victory over Dosti United, half-centuries by Adam Wiffen and Bryce Street enabling them to overhaul Dosti’s 229 for nine with two balls to spare.

Taruwar Kohli’s 108 not out was the highlight of Dosti’s innings, only opener Rahil Ahmed (42) and skipper Vinoo Tewarie (33) offering significant support.

The Amsterdam side were well placed at 140 for two, but once Tewarie had gone they lost their way, and with Hidde Overdijk taking four for 43 it was Kohli’s 126-ball innings which enabled them to set a decent total.

A 93-run stand between Wiffen (50) and Street (63) meant that HCC, too, reached 142 for two, but once they had been removed, by Kuldeep Diwan and Amitose Singh respectively, the home side’s middle order likewise failed to maintain the momentum, and it took hard-hitting cameos by Douwe Walhain and Ali Ahmed Qasim, the former finishing the game off with a winning six, to see their side to victory.

Dosti ambush the champions, but Voorburg stake their claim

Rod Lyall 06/05/19

The opening weekend of the 2019 Topklasse campaign turned out to be as incident-filled as some seasons might not manage in the first month, as freezing cold, intermittent rain and occasional bursts of sunshine provided the context for some thoroughly entertaining cricket.

It also revealed the true extent of the New Order created by the collapse of the KNCB’s attempts to limit the number of foreign players per team, which is less than some may have feared but still more than many will have hoped.

With three matches played on Saturday and the remaining two on Sunday, only one game proved free of the influence of Messrs Duckworth, Lewis and Stern, with ACC dismissing Amstelveen rivals VRA for 139 at Het Loopveld on Sunday and knocking off the runs in 36.4 overs for the loss of three wickets.

Here it was two local youngsters who made all the difference: seamer Aryan Kumar took four for 28 as VRA collapsed to 38 for six at one stage, and then Shirase Rasool hit a maiden Topklasse half-century, making 56 on the way to ACC’s comprehensive victory.

Top-scorer for VRA was former national captain Peter Borren, whose 81 constituted an almost single-handed attempt to rescue his side; keeper Mitch Lees, who shared in a 59-run seventh-wicket stand, was the only other player to reach double figures.

The other Sunday game was a fluctuating affair which featured contrasting unbeaten centuries by opener Adam Wiffin for HCC and Wesley Barresi for HBS.

Batting throughout his side’s innings, Wiffin made 135 not out from 128 deliveries, hitting 11 fours and three sixes. Farshad Khan claimed three wickets for HBS and Julian de Mey two, and at 135 for five it seemed as if HCC might struggle to get far past 200.

But then Matt Hay chipped in with 30 in a sixth-wicket stand of 64, and as Wiffin cut loose in the closing stages he was well supported by Ali Ahmad Qasim, and HCC finished with 246 for seven.

Qasim and Hidde Overdijk grabbed three early wickets when HBS replied, but with the target reduced to 236 from 45 overs after two brief interruptions for rain, Navjit Singh (55) shared a partnership of 138 with Barresi, who dominated the bowling from the time he arrived at the crease, hitting a match-winning 93-ball 126 not out, which included 11 fours and five sixes, and HBS took the points with eight deliveries remaining.

The closest match of the weekend was at Hazelaarweg on Saturday, where overnight rain caused the match between VOC and Dosti to be reduced to 31 overs before the start. An interruption during the VOC innings caused a further reduction to 28 overs, from which the home side made 143 for seven.

Max O’Dowd gave them a solid start with 45, and Pieter Seelaar contributed a not-out 38 from just 23 balls, while Kuldeep Diwan, one of Dosti’s four overseas players, took four for 16.

The Dosti target was adjusted to 150, and VOC appeared to have the upper hand when Rahil Ahmed and Taruwar Kohli were both dismissed by the time 20 was on the board.

But skipper Vinoo Tewarie anchored the innings with 47 not out, and with smaller contributions from Amitoze Singh and Diwan, they had reached 129 for five in 25.1 overs when further rain brought an end to proceedings.

That was just one run ahead of the DLS par score at that stage, and thus Dosti were the winners by the narrowest of margins.

Matt Smit
That’s hundred for Matt Smit!

Fielding a side with no fewer than six overseas players, three of them the bearers of Dutch passports, Voorburg demonstrated the power of their batting line-up by compiling 229 for three in their 47 overs, with opener Matt Smit making 110 before he fell to the final ball of the innings.The rain also brought a premature end at Westvliet, but in this case promoted side Voorburg had established an unambiguous advantage over Sparta 1888.

He shared in stands of 124 with Noah Croes (59) and 77 with Steve Nottle (39 not out), while the only successful Sparta bowlers were Joost-Martijn Snoep with two wickets and Usman Saleem with one.

Pace man Brandon Glover then removed Andrew Fletcher in the first over of Sparta’s reply, and although Ali Raza hit a brisk 32 and Tim de Kok a patient 33, and the target was eventually reduced to 225 off 44 overs after another shower, it was only former international Mudassar Bukhari who showed any real sign of keeping his side in the game.

When he was bowled by Smit for 47 to make it 176 for seven the game was effectively over, and at 190 for nine after 42 overs when the rain descended again, Sparta lost by 25 runs. The wickets were shared, with two apiece for Glover, Yasir Hamid, Stef Mulder and Clayton Floyd.

The rain had also left its mark on Thurlede, where the match between Excelsior ’20 and Quick Haag was reduced to 37 overs before the start.

Put in to bat, Quick struggled against the Excelsior attack, with West Indian international Brenton Parchment taking three for 35 on his Topklasse debut and only Geert Maarten Mol (22) among the top order showing any real resistance.

New skipper Daan Vierling (24) and Thijs van Schelven (29 not out) managed to get their side up to 146 for seven, but this never seemed likely to be enough, even in difficult conditions for batting.

At 56 for four, with key batsman Lorenzo Ingram among those back in the dug-out, Excelsior were making heavy weather of the chase, but Parchment’s 77-ball 49 was the decisive factor, and in a low-scoring game his 55-run stand with David Woutersen (31) laid the foundation for the win.

By the time Parchment fell to Van Schelven only five runs were needed, and Rens van Troost and Gijs Kroesen saw their side home by four wickets with 14 deliveries to spare.

Top three all win as the Topklasse nears its climax

Rod Lyall 06/08/18

Three rounds to go, and each victory by leaders VOC Rotterdam, however it is obtained, makes the task significantly more difficult for their rivals: both VRA Amsterdam and HBS Craeyenhout still have a chance of pipping them at the post (VRA’s a good deal more realistic than that of HBS), but they are gradually being squeezed out by VOC’s resilience and the mathematics.

VOC stayed in front at Hazelaarweg on Sunday by successfully defending the very modest total of 169 for eight and bowling Sparta 1888 out for a disappointing 105.

That they reached even that score was very substantially due to a dogged knock from a partially-fit Max O’Dowd, whose 53 from 147 deliveries was the backbone of the VOC innings. Jelte Schoonheim had contributed 34 at the start and Pieter Seelaar made 27, but with Mudassar Bukhari and Warren Bell taking three wickets apiece, at a cost of 15 and 34 respectively, the home side were always forced to struggle for their runs.

But conditions proved even less savoury for the visitors, who were quickly reduced to 41 for seven in reply.

After Fred Klaassen and Pierce Fletcher removed the openers Seelaar and Bobby Hanif worked their way through the rest of the top and middle order, and only a defiant 37 not out from Craig Ambrose, who marshalled the tail admirably, enabled Sparta to get past the hundred mark.

Seelaar finished with three for 19 and Hanif three for 18.

VRA again recovered from an uncertain start to post an imposing 283 against Punjab Rotterdam in the Amsterdamse Bos, an innings dominated by Peter Borren’s 126-ball 153, his highest score in the top flight and one which included 14 fours and a six. It also took him into the select ranks of those who have scored 7000 runs in the highest division of the competition.

He came to the crease with his side on 7 for two, and they were on 51 for four, with Dan ter Braak, Eric Szwarczynski, Ben Cooper and Emile van den Burg all gone, by the time he was joined by Mitch Lees.

These two added 70 for the fifth wicket, and then with Borren in top gear he and Adeel Raja put on 126 for the eighth – a club record – of which Raja’s share was 36.

Mubashar Hussain was Punjab’s principal wicket-taker with four for 50.

283 always seemed likely to be too much for Punjab, and their cause suffered a crucial setback when Stef Myburgh was run out for 27.

Ali Raza made a solid 57, but the asking rate continued to rise and when he was stumped by Lees off the bowling of Ter Braak, who finished with three for 17, the only remaining question was whether the Rotterdam side would bat out their overs. This they managed to do, finishing on 207 for nine.

In a game of fluctuating fortunes at Sportpark Drieburg HBS Craeyenhout held on to beat Dosti United by 19 runs and give themselves an outside chance of nipping through to pinch the title.

With Tobias Visée and Berend Westdijk both missing from their line-up Wessel Coster and Sharn Gomes gave the side a good start with an opening stand of 71, but once Gomes had gone for 20 the wickets started to fall, including Coster’s for a determined 44, and it took an unbeaten 29 from Wesley Barresi to get the total up to a meagre 141.

Anees Davids took three for 22 for Dosti and Mohammad Hafeez – the leading wicket-taker in the competition – three for 13.

With Dosti on 86 for eight, in which Hafeez’s 28 was the main contribution, HBS seemed to be heading for a comfortable victory, but then Waheed Masood and Arief Hoseinbaks added 36 for the ninth wicket and the home side’s hopes began to recover.

Ferdi Vink dismissed Masood, however, and when Coster bowled Hoseinbaks without addition to the score HBS had made sure of the points. Farshad Khan and Barresi were again the main wicket-takers, with three for 30 and three for 29 respectively.

Remarkable as Borren’s innings was, it was surpassed by Rehmat Zulfiqar’s 188 out of an ACC total of 311 for seven against Quick Haag on the second ground at De Diepput.

Admittedly on a relatively small field the ACC opener equaled Darron Reekers’ record of 16 sixes in a single innings, hitting 11 fours into the bargain and facing 156 deliveries before he was caught off the final ball of the innings.

He shared an opening stand of 104 with Richard Frenz (36), and later he and Anees Raza (34) added 73 for the sixth. In between, a fine ten-over spell from Jeroen Brand, who took three for 15, had brought some much-needed sanity to the proceedings, but in the closing stages Rehmat again took charge, ensuring his side set the highest total of the day.

Quick’s reply was built around two contributions: Jay Bista’s lively 80-ball 85 and then Geert Maarten Mol’s maiden century in the top flight, 101 from 94 deliveries which included six fours and six sixes.

Mol’s heroics kept his side in the hunt, but when he finally skied a return catch to Saqib Zulfiqar 77 were still needed from 39 deliveries, and although the lower order kept battling they eventually fell 19 runs short of their target. Saqib’s three wickets cost 72 runs, but his dismissal of Mol was enough to turn the game ACC’s way.

On a day of radically contrasting games, much of the excitement came in the closing minutes at Thurlede, where HCC were chasing Excelsior ‘20’s total of 200 for seven.

Bryce Street’s 68 had got them into contention, but when he was trapped in front by Lorenzo Ingram 33 were still needed at exactly a run a ball and five wickets in hand.

Dan Trijzelaar and Douwe Walhain brought their side to the brink of victory, and Sohail Bhatti’s final over began with just five runs needed and four wickets remaining.

Walhain was bowled for 21, Laurens Jan Lagas was run out off a wide, and although Trijzelaar and Tyrone Peters managed to level the scores, another run out – Trijzelaar this time – ensured that Excelsior escaped with a tie.

Earlier, James Hilditch, back from injury, top-scored with 39 as Excelsior achieved their 200 total, an innings in which most of the batsmen got a start but no-one was able to produce a truly decisive knock.

In the end, though, it proved to be just enough for the sides to share the points in the first tied match of the season.