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.