Topklasse Live

 Bertus de Jong  17:11
Presentations and celebrations are all that remain then, and despite a controversial final phase Punjab are crowned deserved champions for 2021. The weekend has been something of a vindication, too, for the new playoff system, delivering three crucial matches as a climax to the season. A new format will have to be devised for next season of course when the Topklasse welcomes Salland and Kampong, expect some lively debate in these pages as to what form that ought to take. You’ve also our season reviews, team of the year, photos, stats and sundry opinions, rumours and whatnot to look forward to too of course, so do check in with us from time to time. For now though this is Bertus de Jong signing off for the season.


 Bertus de Jong  16:59
Dutt and Mulder made them wait, but really the result hadn’t been in doubt for some time. In truth it has looked the most likely outcome since half-way through the season. Punjab may have looked increasingly beatable later on in the summer, but they finished the league phase well clear of the pack and have again made full use of the home advantage it earned them. Once again they’ve fought their way back from what looked a losing position, and in many ways these last few matches where they’ve had to find that resilience have been more impressive than the drubbings they were handing out early in the summer. Sikander Zulfiqar was the hero with the bat last week, today it’s with ball in hand that he broke the back of the VCC chase. But it was a team effort with the ball to defend 157, comfortably in the end, skipper Suleiman Tariq’s early discipline putting VCC under pressure from the start and the rest of Punjab attack keeping them there throughout.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  16:56
Punjab : 157 all out (47.3 overs)
Voorburg : 102 all out (32.1 overs)
One more ball is all it takes though, Dutt down the track to Saqib looking to ho over the on side, inside edge and into the gloves of the delighted Asad Zulfiqar. Celebrations ensue as the Punjab players tear off to greet their fans, dancing on the outfield, flags and such, Punjab Rotterdam are 2021 Topklasse Champions.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  16:54
Punjab : 157 all out (47.3 overs)
Voorburg : 102-9 (32 overs)
First ball edged through the slips by Mulder and goes for four, Punjab have plenty of runs to play with though.They’ll be more annoyed by the next that’s pushed between point and extra cover for a single to bring up the 100. Dutt gives Mulder the strike right back though, cut away to the sweeper for one. An enthusiatic LBW shout follows but no joy, and the pair survive.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  16:49
Punjab : 157 all out (47.3 overs)
Voorburg : 95-9 (31 overs)
Saqib still, five dots on Dutt and the field comes in to save the single, and so they do. Sikander has six balls on Mulder if he can keep him on strike. Two slips and a gully in.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  16:47
Punjab : 157 all out (47.3 overs)
Voorburg : 95-9 (30 overs)
Off Mulder’s’s pad down leg last ball of the 29th and runs all the way for four. Threads a cut between point and gully first ball of Sikanders next for four more to move to 33*. It’s been a fine innings from him in the circumstances, but unlikely to salvage anything but pride for VCC. Finds a single on the fourth to leave Mulder two to survive, which he does.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  16:39
Punjab : 157 all out (47.3 overs)
Voorburg : 85-8 (28.3 overs)
Kingma chances his arm looking lift Zulfiqar over mid on, looks to have cleared him too but Hussain covers huge ground tracking back after it and takes a spectacular catch. Mulder last man, Punjab a wicket away.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  16:26
Punjab : 157 all out (47.3 overs)
Voorburg : 75-8 (24 overs)
Dutt loses another partner, Boissevain chasing a wide one from Sikander and edged to Saqib at slip. He holds on to this one alright. VCC still less than half-way to the total. Floris de Lange in. And de Lange out, two runs to his name picked up with a flick to leg, but three balls later he’s pinned lbw. Punjab two wickets away now as Kingma makes his way to the middle. Dutt still there on 20* but facing an impossible task now.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  16:16
Punjab : 157 all out (47.3 overs)
Voorburg : 71-6 (23 overs)
Dutt perhaps senses he’s running out of partners, and VCC need something special to reclaim the initiative here. Saqib drifts one full and into his arc, down on one knee and slog-swept over midwicket for six. It’s a dangerous approach though, comes down to Saqib three balls later and drives it hard right back at the bowler, tough return chance in his follow through but Zulfiqar will feel he might have finished the game there if he’d held on.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  16:11
Punjab : 157 all out (47.3 overs)
Voorburg : 64-6 (22 overs)
Punjab scent blood now, Sikander bags another in his next over, shorter rising ball rushes Nieuwoudt on the pull, top edge goes straight up and Asad Zulfiqar will have few easier catches behind the stumps. Boissevain in, VCC still nearly 100 adrift, Punjab with one hand on the trophy.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  16:04
Punjab : 157 all out (47.3 overs)
Voorburg : 62-5 (20 overs)
Van beek also alert at any ball that doesn’t look like it ought to stay in bounds, Tariq floats one into the slot and van Beek lifts that effortlessly back over the bowler’s head for a straight six. Valuable runs indeed. But just as VCC start to build some momentum, Sikander Zulfiqar wrests it back for the hosts. On a length, swining in and keeping a shade low, van Beek stuck on the crease and loses his off stump. Nieuwoudt in at seven, VCC running low on recognised batsmen here. Saqib into the attack at the other end now.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  15:51
Punjab : 157 all out (47.3 overs)
Voorburg : 51-4 (18 overs)
Van beek finds the rope again, not the worst ball from Tariq but sits up a little on fourth stump line and van Beeke forces it through midwicket to boundary. That’s the only scoring shot of the over though. Dutt’s been very watchful at the other end but he’s alert to the odd bad ball, overpitched from Hussain second ball of the 18th and driven through extra, well stopped on the rope, but there’s no stopping Dutt’s uppercut over gully three balls later. Fifty up for VCC as we go to drinks.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  15:42
Punjab : 157 all out (47.3 overs)
Voorburg : 41-4 (16 overs)
Tariq has been the model of discipline today, barring that one short ball to Engelbrecht he’s given absoultely nothing away. Another maiden from him for the 15th, but his fellow bowlers have been rather less on the money. Nine wides already in the innings, Hussain gives away another in the 16th. Neither van Beek not Dutt finding it easy to score for themselves though.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  15:19
Punjab : 157 all out (47.3 overs)
Voorburg : 31-4 (11 overs)
And that’s a huge wicket! Engelbrecht drives Tariq straight for a couple first ball of the 11th, but the next finds a thick outside edge that flies low wide of gully where Bajwa takes a cracking catch. Van Beek in at five and barely survives the over, Tariq finds the edge again but it’s between keeper and slip and evades both. Punjab all over them here though.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  15:19
Punjab : 157 all out (47.3 overs)
Voorburg : 25-3 (10 overs)
First bad ball from Tariq is dug in short and Engelbrecht pounces, pulled hard throuh square for four to get off the mark. Two balls later and almost another run out as Englebrecht swats one back at Tariq who deflects it toward the non-striker’s stumps, Dutt likely would have been gone had that hit and it wasn’t far off. Hussain still at the other end, Dutt opens his a count flicking square for one off the toes, Engelbrecht mimicks the shot next ball for his second scoring stroke. Three dots close out the powerplay and the field spreads for Tariq’s next.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  15:11
Punjab : 157 all out (47.3 overs)
Voorburg : 19-3 (8 overs)
Another maiden from Tariq, to Hingorani this time, keeps the pressure building, and sure enough it tells. Hussain replaces Bhatti, a leg side wide and then Engelbrecht drives straight to mid off before calling Hingorani through for a homicidal single. Direct hit from Bhatti and Hingorani’s barely half-way down the pitch. An unfortunate end to a fine season for the VCC keeper. Dutt in to join Englebrecht who’s seen 11 balls but has yet to score. VCC under the pump now.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  15:05
Punjab : 157 all out (47.3 overs)
Voorburg : 18-2 (6 overs)
Runs off the bat hard to come by here, Hingorani turns Bhatti off the hip for a couple in the fourth before Engelbrecht blocks another maiden from Tariq, but Bhatti’s been a bit wayward, three wides from him keep the scoreboard ticking up.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  14:54
Punjab : 157 all out (47.3 overs)
Voorburg : 12-2 (3 overs)
Another down! de Leede’s driving away from the body at Tariq and nicks through, well held by the keeper and gone for 9. Yesterday’s centurion to the crease early as Engelbrecht comes in at four, blocks out the maiden.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  14:50
Punjab : 157 all out (47.3 overs)
Voorburg : 12-1 (2 overs)
Early wickets they needed, and Bhatti delivers the first. De Grooth chase two wide outside off, the first one misses altogether, the second edged through to the keeper and gone for a duck. De Leede at three and off the mark driving through extra cover, almost literally in fact as a misfield sees the ball shoot through to the rope. Too straight from Bhatti now, de Leede picks up a two and then a three just glancing fine.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  14:43
Punjab : 157 all out (47.3 overs)
Voorburg : 2-0 (1 over)
And we’re back. Mohit Hingorani and Tom de Grooth opening the batting, Tariq takes the new ball himself. A tight first over from him, bar the seconf ball which is wide outside off and cut behind square for a couple by Hingorani. Punjab well up for this in the field by the looks of things. Bhatti to share the new ball.


 Rod Lyall  14:03
Excellent pressure cricket from Voorburg there – they didn’t blast the opposition out, but once they’d got on top they never let Punjab off the hook, and it will take a tremendous effort in kind from the home side’s bowlers to deny Voorburg the second men’s championship in their history.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  14:00
Punjab : 157 all out (47.3 overs)
Boissevain claims it: Bajwa’s beaten in the flight, Hingorani whips the bails off, and Bajwa’s unable to get back in time.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  13:56
Punjab : 156-9 (47 overs)
Not a lot on offer for the tailenders as Van Beek, Dutt and now Boissevain search for that final wicket.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  13:46
Punjab : 153-9 (44 overs)
Bajwa and Hussain are eking out what runs they can. But that will be even harder now as Van Beek replaces Kingma.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  13:36
Punjab : 149-9 (41.4 overs)
Tariq cuts at Dutt, and Boissevain takes a very good low catch at point. Mubashar Hussain the last man.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  13:30
Punjab : 146-8 (40.3 overs)
Usman swings across the line at Kingma, doesn’t get hold of it, and Hingorani dives forward to take the catch. Suleiman Tariq in at ten.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  13:27
Punjab : 146-7 (40 overs)
Kingma back from the Equestrian Centre End. Maiden to Bajwa. They’ve had another drink, after which Dutt takes over from the Harbour End. After playing and missing a couple of times Usman succeeds in sweeping him to the midwicket boundary.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  13:16
Punjab : 141-7 (38 overs)
Usman, though, isn’t afraid to play his shots against De Leede, driving him for two and four before pulling him high over square leg for a single. He’s much more circumspect against Van Beek.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  13:08
Punjab : 133-7 (36 overs)
Desperation stuff now, as Usman gets away with a mighty skied swing to fine leg off an extremely rapid Van Beek. It’s mostly about survival.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  13:01
Punjab : 130-7 (33.4 overs)
Van Beek drops short, Bhatti swings, they all go up for the catch at the wicket, and so does the fatal finger. Bhatti’s reluctant to go, but has to accept the inevitable. Yasir Usman in now.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  12:55
Punjab : 129-6 (32.3 overs)
Irfan drives De Leede through cover point for four, but the next crashes into his stumps. Voorburg right on top now, as Sohail Bhatti joins Bajwa.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  12:53
Punjab : 125-5 (31.3 overs)
They seem, indeed, to subscribe to the old adage about attack being the best form of defence etc., as Irfan spears just over the head of Kingma at midwicket for a couple. Van Beek back from the Harbour End. And his third delivery gets through Sikander’s defence and into the stumps. Mohsin Bajwa, in for Nidmanuru, joins Irfan in the middle.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  12:45
Punjab : 121-4 (30 overs)
That wicket may have settled Boissevain a bit, and Sikander and Irfan can’t afford to take any liberties just at the moment. Which doesn’t prevent Sikander from smacking him for a couple of legside boundaries when he gets the length wrong.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  12:36
Punjab : 104-4 (26.6 overs)
Bas de Leede on from the Equestrian Centre End, and he’s immediately rewarded with the wicket of Asad, trapped in front for 30. Irfan ul Haq in at six.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  12:31
Punjab : 102-3 (25.4 overs)
A change of tempo now, as Asad drives Nieuwoudt back straight for four, then Saqib cuts him for four more. Hundred up for Punjab as Saqib takes back to back boundaries off Boissevain, the second off another full toss. But that’s it, as he’s given LBW off the next and departs for 22. Sikander Zulfiqar completes the set, joining Asad on 30*.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  12:25
Punjab : 84-2 (24 overs)
Asad survives an LBW appeal as he sweeps at Boissevain, but the scoring’s again confined to singles. Voorburg have largely cut down on the wides today, although Nieuwoudt drifts one down the leg side here. Another Boissevain full toss is lashed away to midwicket, but this one’s not called, and a four for Asad to third leg gives the total a much-needed boost.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  12:12
Punjab : 71-2 (20 overs)
Saqib, too, gets off the mark with a boundary, through backward point off Nieuwoudt. Philippe Boissevain on from the Harbour End, and he bowls a high full toss which is called a no ball; just a single off the free hit. Five in all off the over, and with that they take a drink.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  12:01
Punjab : 53-2 (16.1 overs)
And the pressure tells: Rehmat, on 17, swings at Nieuwoudt, gets under it, Dutt positions himself on the backward square leg boundary, and pouches the catch. Reward for discipline as Saqib Zulfiqar joins Asad.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  11:58
Punjab : 53-1 (16 overs)
As at Westvliet yesterday, pace off the ball slows the scoring rate. Nieuwoudt did this job extremely well when Voorburg were without Kingma and Van Beek, and he’s doing it again here. A maiden to Asad. And just a single off Dutt. Voorburg eating up the overs.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  11:48
Punjab : 51-1 (13 overs)
Dutt switches to the Harbour End, conceding just a single to Rehmat, and Karl Nieuwoudt’s on from the other. The Brothers Karazulfiqar take one apiece from his first.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  11:38
Punjab : 46-1 (10 overs)
Asad off the mark, twice lofting Van Beek into space at cover and out to the rope. A heart-stopping moment for Rehmat, as he fails to get over a drive to extra off Kingma, but it drops just short. He relieves the tension by coming down to the fifth delivery and swinging it for six over wide long on.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  11:28
Punjab : 31-1 (7.2 overs)
Kingma does catch Rehmat’s edge, but it’s low and through the slips for four. Again, that’s the only score, Kingma keeping it tight. Touch of luck for Myburgh, Van Beek getting a thick edge which flies past Hingorani to the boundary. It’s Kingma who gets the breakthrough: Myburgh goes back, swinging across the line, top edge, and De Leede comes in to take the high catch. Asad Zulfiqar joins Rehmat.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  11:20
Punjab : 22-0 (5 overs)
Three slips in for Kingma to Rehmat, and encouragement for the bowler as he plays and misses. Rest of the over’s solid enough, though. Logan van Beek replaces Dutt, and Myburgh has a rather lazy waft at his loosener outside off. The last of the over’s a tad short, and Myburgh’s onto it, pulling it square for another four.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  11:12
Punjab : 18-0 (3 overs)
Rehmat off the mark, running the ball down to third man for a couple, but that’s all the action. Myburgh, however, lofts the first ball of Dutt’s second back over his head for six, then leans back to punch him to deep cover for a single. Rehmat tucks him square for one, and Myburgh finishes a profitable over by leaning back to cut him late for four.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  11:05
Punjab : 4-0 (1 over)
Aryan Dutt starts from the Equestrian Centre End, bowling to Steph Myburgh. He opens with Rehmat Zulfiqar a usual. On the spot at once, but the fifth ball is a little too full, an Myburgh drives it back straight for four. Viv Kingma from the Harbour End.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  10:52
And the news is that Bas de Leede has won the toss, and elected to field.


 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  10:40
No news of the toss as yet, but we live in hope!


 Rod Lyall  10:25
Punjab have taken the unusual step of naming a squad of sixteen, including the injured Teja Nidamanuru, while Voorburg stick with the same twelve as yesterday. So the teams:
Punjab: (from) Suleiman Tariq*, Asad Zulfiqar+, Mohsin Bajwa, Sohail Bhatti, Mubashar Hussain, Mudassar Hussain, Kashif Khan, Saim Mian, Steph Myburgh, Teja Nidamanuru, Mohsin Shazad, Irfan ul Haq, Yasir Usman, Rehmat Zulfiqar, Saqib Zulfiqar, and Sikander Zulfiqar.
Voorburg (from) Bas de Leede*, Mohit Hingorani+, Logan van Beek, Philippe Boissevain, Aryan Dutt, Sybrand Engelbrecht, Tom de Grooth, Viv Kingma, Nirav Kulkarni, Floris de Lange, Stef Mulder, and Karl Nieuwoudt.


 Rod Lyall  10:15
It seems like just yesterday we were bringing you the tension of the preliminary final, and barely a week since we were, virtually at least, at the Zomercomplex for that remarkable semi-final. And here we are again, all set for the denouement of the soap opera that has been the 2021 Topklasse. The usual routine for us: I shall be bringing you the first innings, and then Bertus de Jong will take over to describe the final action of the drama. If this match lives up to the two which have preceded it, we should be in for quite a ride!


 Bertus de Jong  18:07
So an exceptional, unbeaten 103 from Engelbrecht sees VCC into the final, where a rematch with Punjab awaits them. VRA were well in the game throughout, and indeed arguably on top until Engelbrecht went on the attack early in the final powerplay. He had excellent support from the VCC middle order, notably van Beek and Nieuwoudt, while Tom de Grooth did good work at the top too. In the end though Engelbrecht’s ton was more than the difference between the two teams game where extras was the only other 50+ contribution. We’ll be back tomorrow to bring you the season climax at at the Zomercomplex, until then this is Bertus de Jong signing off from a sunny Sportpark Westvliet.


 Voorburg vs VRA  18:00
VRA : 210-7 (50 overs)
VCC : 214-5 (48 overs)
Engelbrecht turns Turmaine to leg to level the scores, pumps his fist in slightly premature celebration, Nieuwoudt finishes it off for real with a lofted drive over long off for four next ball.


 Voorburg vs VRA  17:58
VRA : 210-7 (50 overs)
VCC : 207-5 (47 overs)
Cracking back-foot drive from Nieuwoudt through cover for four as VCC accelerate into the final straight. VCC one hit away. Turmaine still from the pavilion end.


 Voorburg vs VRA  17:53
VRA : 210-7 (50 overs)
VCC : 200-5 (46 overs)
Engelbrecht cuts Borren away for four first ball of the 45th to keepVCC ahead of the game, moves on to 99*. First ball of the 46th Nieuwoudt puts Turmaine over the long off boundary for six. Engelbrecht completes his ton tucking him away square off the hip for a single to applause from the VCC bench, who sense the end is in sight. Gunning returns.


 Voorburg vs VRA  17:45
VRA : 210-7 (50 overs)
VCC : 182-5 (44 overs)
Five off Balbirnie’s first, but Engelbrecht is on the attack now. Cross batted at Turmaine, first reversing for four then sweeping for two, then advances on Borren to drive a one-bouncer into the sightscreen. Sweeping Turmaine again for four first ball of the 44th, Engelbrecht has launched the blitz early and put VCC clearly in the driver’s seat for the first time in the game. He’s on to 94* now.


 Voorburg vs VRA  17:32
VRA : 210-7 (50 overs)
VCC : 151-5 (40 overs)
Oh just agonisingly close to the breakthrough there, van Beek pops one up wide of Borren at short midwicket, who does well to get there with one hand, palms it up, but just can’t reach it on the second lunge. Asking rate starting to creep up, six an over needed now, van Beek hits all the requisite runs for the 40th in one shot, slamming Turmaine for a flat maximum over long off, but gets greedy two balls later trying to go over midwicket, Cooper tracks round the rope from long on to pouch the catch, van Beek gone for 38. Nieuwoudt in to join Engelbrecht, who’s on 70. Another absurdly brief drinks break ensues, Engelbrecht takes a single to go to 71*, hard to see VCC getting these without a ton from him. Balbirnie into the attack.


 Voorburg vs VRA  17:18
VRA : 210-7 (50 overs)
VCC : 136-4 (36 overs)
A tough reintroduction for Turmaine as van Beek takes two steps down and lifts his first ball over mid off for a one bounce four. He finds the rope again in Borren’s next glancing through fine leg. This partnership worth 60 mow and has “match-winning” written all over it.


 Voorburg vs VRA  17:10
VRA : 210-7 (50 overs)
VCC : 118-4 (33 overs)
Nashier turns one past Engelbrecht’s bat but he’s back in time to avoid the stumping, goes to fifty next ball driving to mid on. Nashier finishes with figures of 1-34 from his ten, Borren continues at the paddock end bowling a stump-to-stump line, just one off the 33rd but this partnership looks very solid at this stage and the advantage is shifting in favour of the hosts. Turmaine on to replace Nashier.


 Voorburg vs VRA  17:00
VRA : 210-7 (50 overs)
VCC : 111-4 (30 overs)
Short and wide from Borren third ball and Engelbrecht cuts uppishly in front of point, who can’t quite get there, away for four. Tidy from Nashier for the 28th, just two off it. Borren’s next yields the same result, but VRA really need a wicket here sooner rather than later. Neither Engelbrecht nor van Beek look about to hand them one though. Van Beek still the more aggressive, misses a reverse sweep in Nashier’s final over to bring another LBW appeal, but no joy for the visitors. Nelson on the board. 30 gone. Borren to continue.


 Voorburg vs VRA  16:48
VRA : 210-7 (50 overs)
VCC : 101-4 (26 overs)
First six of the day as van Beek steps into Nashier and launches him high over the sightscreen. Two balls later and an inside edge ricochets off the pad and runs away for three. Finds the rope again in Singh’s next driving hard through extra on the front foot, then uses the feet well to Nashier to drive again finding the rope through the covers to take VCC past three figures. Turning into a potentially dangerous partnership, this. Van Beek especially seems to be batting on a different track to everyone else today. He’s on 22*, Engelbrecht on 38*. Borren into the attack.


 Voorburg vs VRA  16:38
VRA : 210-7 (50 overs)
VCC : 82-4 (23 overs)
VRA have snuck in another mid-innings keeper change looks like, possibly at the drinks “break” – anyway Scully’s got the gloves here now. Other wise little of note has occurred bar a fetching cover drive from van Beek off Singh for four on the last ball of the 21st. Still Nashier and Singh for VRA.


 Voorburg vs VRA  16:28
VRA : 210-7 (50 overs)
VCC : 74-4 (20 overs)
Yet another inside edge misses the stumps in Nashier’s next over, Dutt the lucky batsman this time. His luck doesn’t last though as he falls victim to a diving one-handed grab by Borren at short extra in Nashier’s next – a wicket maiden. van Beek in to join Engelbrecht, who’s on 34*.


 Voorburg vs VRA  16:18
VRA : 210-7 (50 overs)
VCC : 70-3 (17 overs)
Half chance as de Grooth edges Nasier behind but too wide for Lees to get there standing up. VRA leaking runs in the field here rather, but Balbirnie sets a fine example, hairing around the rope from deep square to cut off a well-struck late cut and save three runs. Similar ball next up and de Grooth cuts it straight into the hands of Scully at backward point, gone for 29 and a much needed breakthrough for VRA. Dutt joins Engelbrecht, who’s on 31*, but first Drinks. Or not. Hmm, acouple of fielders had a drink but not sure that’s been a drinks break. Nashier to continue.


 Voorburg vs VRA  16:04
VRA : 210-7 (50 overs)
VCC : 61-2 (14 overs)
Still Gunning and Turmaine for VRA, de Grooth still looking to reverse the latter, connects with one in the 12th too and they run three. Turmaine almost gets Engelbrecht a couple of balls later though, but again an inside edge goes past the stumps. Short and wide from Gunning next over and punished by de Grooth, cutting hard through point to the rope. Nashier replaces Turmaine for the next, three singles off his first over. And a double change then as Singh replaces Gunning at the paddock end.


 Voorburg vs VRA  15:54
VRA : 210-7 (50 overs)
VCC : 47-2 (10 overs)
A front foot drive through cover for three from Engelbrecht is the only scoring shot in the ninth, good over from Gunning there. Turmaine takes over from Abid for the final over of the powerplay, gets away with a full toss first up, but two balls later goes too short and is cut for four by Engelbrecht. Huge shout for LBW on the penultimate ball as de Grooth shapes to reverse and misses, struck in front but survives once again. 47-2 in the powerplay, honours even you’d say. Gunning to continue.


 Voorburg vs VRA  15:44
VRA : 210-7 (50 overs)
VCC : 39-2 (8 overs)
Gunning slides another down leg, called wide though I must say it sounded like it took the pad on the way through. That’s four wides in seven overs so VRA well on track to replicate VCC’s showing on that front. Make that five wides as Gunning goes down leg again, and is then driven straight for four by Engelbrecht on the first of the two extra balls of the over. VRA may regret getting Engelbrecht to the middle in the powerplay, Abid goes wide outside off and is flat-batted through mid of four four, then two balls later cut away behind point by de Grooth for four more. VCC seem well aware of the need to get ahead of the curve while the field is up and the pitch is holding together.


 Voorburg vs VRA  15:36
VRA : 210-7 (50 overs)
VCC : 21-2 (6 overs)
Gunning strays onto de Leede’s pads and is clipped away square for four, but looks dangerous when he gets his line right. Two slips in for him at the moment, but it’s square leg and the keeper that combine to get the wicket with a Nashier with a fantastic stop to drag the back after de Leede clips it behind, throw in to Lees quick but high, taken well and down to the stumps in a flash with de Leede inches short trying to scramble back. Engelbrecht in at four and watches as de Grooth barely survives another decent LBW shout from Abid next over.


 Voorburg vs VRA  15:16
VRA : 210-7 (50 overs)
VCC : 15-1 (4 overs)
Good start from Abid, two dots blocked back straight, a single out to mid off, and then another inside edge. VRA have no more luck than VCC did with those though, and then another leg side wide. Very much in season is the leg side wide it seems. Full toss from Gunning manages to york the keeper, Lees does well to stop that. De Grotth threads a
drive for the covers for a couple, then follows it up with an even better shot in the same direction, nobody bothers moving for that. De leede advances on Abid next over and yorks himself, struck low on the pad in front but swinging back down leg reckons the umpire.


 Voorburg vs VRA  15:16
VRA : 210-7 (50 overs)
VCC : 6-1 (1 over)
And we’re back. Hingorani opening for VCC with de Grooth. Gunning take the new ball from the paddock end for VRA. Couple of dots to start followed by a wide down leg, over-corrects next ball and Hingorani runs it down to third for one. Another leg side wide follows as Mr Extras continues his fine form from the first innings. Overpitched outside off and driven for three by de Grooth, but the next is on the money, full and shaping in, Hingorani pushing on the front foot, into the pad and up goes the finger. Quite the first over all told. De Leede at three, Abid from the pavilion end.


 Bertus de Jong  14:45
I’d say if you’d offered VRA 210 this morning they’d have taken it happily. They rode their luck somewhat early but the damage Luke Scully did in the powerplay put them well ahead of the game. Scoring became predictably tougher once the field spread, and though VCC did well to arrest the momentum with a cluster of wickets and continued to restrict the scoring,they were altogether to wayward with the ball. Fully 40 extras in the innings including three no balls and 30 coming in wides on a track where runs are at a premium may yet come back to haunt them. Szwarczynski’s obdurate 41 and a couple of late boundaries from Mitch Lees has left Voorburg facing a stiff chase. The powerplay will be crucial one way or another one suspects, but if VRA can bowl with more discipline than their hosts 211 will be a pretty tough ask on a pitch that’s unlikely to get any easier to score on. Lunch for now, we’ll be back at ten past for the VCC reply.


 Rod Lyall  14:35
On the whole Voorburg will be pretty happy with that, having restricted VRA to 99 off their last 30 overs after they’d reached 111 for one in the first 20. It’s clearly not easy to score quickly out there, especially when the ball’s not coming onto the bat, but VRA will have to hope that they can grab some early wickets to keep the home side under pressure. And bowl a lot fewer than 30 wides!!! Honours about even at the halfway mark.


 Voorburg vs VRA  14:31
VRA : 210-7 (50 overs)
Kingma’s angling the ball across the right-handers, bowling full and wide. Szwarczynski’s moving across early, taking two and then four through square leg. A single apiece, then Szwarczynski goes down on one knee to sweep the last an succeeds only in playing it into his leg stump. He made an invaluable 41, Lees finishing on 16*.


 Voorburg vs VRA  14:25
VRA : 202-6 (49 overs)
Kingma on from the Pavilion End, starting round the wicket to Lees. Full outside off, and Lees pushes the second for a single. Ditto Szwarczynski. The fourth is a full toss, which Lees misses. He doesn’t miss the next, driving it to long off for four. Six off it. Szwarczynski plays Van Beek square for a single. The bowler’s flirting with the wide line, but he stays on the right side of it. Then he goes straighter, and Lees pushes back for another single. One more for Szwarczynski to finish.


 Voorburg vs VRA  14:07
VRA : 193-6 (47 overs)
Nieuwoudt’s hand connects with the stumps for a third time, conceding another no ball. Not too much damage, though, scoreboard-wise. Van Beek returns from the Paddock End, presumably with a view to bowling out, and Lees drives him through extra for four. He’s not afraid to drop one short; Lees makes to ramp him and misses.


 Voorburg vs VRA  14:07
VRA : 182-6 (45 overs)
Still no palpable acceleration, although the wides keep mounting. Boissevain finishes his stint with three for 25, a little bit fortunate, perhaps, but he’s bowled well overall. Five overs left for VRA.


 Voorburg vs VRA  13:58
VRA : 174-6 (42 overs)
Into the final powerplay. Boissevain restricts the scoring to a single, although Lees shows signs of wanting to get on with it. Nieuwoudt’s on the spot as well, apart from the more-or-less obligatory wide. And a no ball, although the free hit’s a dot.


 Voorburg vs VRA  13:50
VRA : 170-6 (39.5 overs)
A fine edge gets Turmaine off the mark with three to third man. Nieuwoudt on for Dutt. A leg-side wide produces a stumping appeal, but next ball Turmaine is caught in front. Mitch Lees in at eight.


 Voorburg vs VRA  13:42
VRA : 164-5 (38.2 overs)
Van Beek’s spell lasts just two overs; Boissevain back now. And he promptly gets Balbirnie, caught behind cutting. Leon Turmaine joins Szwarczynski, who’s on 21*.


 Voorburg vs VRA  13:37
VRA : 160-4 (37 overs)
Double change, with Van Beek back from the Paddock End. Four more singles keep the scoreboard moving. This is a good battle between bat and ball, with the batters knowing that their side needs a decent partnership after those three quick wickets. Van Beek strays onto leg stump, and Szwarczynski turns him square for the first boundary in quite a while.


 Voorburg vs VRA  13:24
VRA : 149-4 (34 overs)
Dutt back, and an attempted reverse sweep by Szwarczynski goes for three wides. That’s all the scoring, and it’s time for another drink.


 Voorburg vs VRA  13:06
VRA : 146-4 (33 overs)
Kingma back from the Paddock End, almost getting his first delivery through Balbirnie’s defence. Mulder switches his range-finder back on, just a single to Szwarczynski off his next. They’re happy with the ones at the moment, four of them off Kingma this time.


 Voorburg vs VRA  13:06
VRA : 137-4 (30 overs)
Mulder proves very difficult to get away, with Boissevain mixing it up effectively from the Paddock End. Szwarczynski plays across the line to Mulder, surviving a very persistent LBW appeal. But then Mulder spoils it with a couple of wides, off one of which they run three. The wide count’s up to 21 now.


 Voorburg vs VRA  12:55
VRA : 126-4 (27 overs)
Szwarczynski sweeps at Boissevain, big appeal for leg-before turned down. Boissevain can’t believe it. Stef Mulder on from the Pavilion End, tidy over, just a couple of singles off it. And just one off Boissevain’s next.


 Voorburg vs VRA  12:46
VRA : 122-4 (24 overs)
Szwarczynski off the mark with an edge between keeper and slip. That’s been a huge ten minutes for Voorburg! And VRA have a lot of rebuilding to do.


 Voorburg vs VRA  12:39
VRA : 113-4 (22.1 overs)
And three: Borren cuts at Boissevain, the field goes up, followed closely by umpire Ruchtie’s finger. Borren evidently not happy, but he has to go. Jack Balbirnie in at six.


 Voorburg vs VRA  12:34
VRA : 112-3 (21.4 overs)
One brings two, as Singh is caught by Engelbrecht off Dutt. Borren in to join Szwarczynski.


 Voorburg vs VRA  12:30
VRA : 112-2 (20.5 overs)
But Boissevain get the breakthrough: Cooper, on 22, pulls him to deep midwicket, and Dutt takes the catch. Eric Szwarczynski in to join Singh, who’s on 31*.


 Voorburg vs VRA  12:28
VRA : 111-1 (20 overs)
Aryan Dutt back from the Pavilion End, and a single apiece from it. And spin from both ends as Philippe Boissevain comes on from the other. Two for Singh into the covers, a wide, another two to third man and a single to midwicket completes the scoring. Hundred up in the 19th, with Voorburg bowling way too many wides. A little misfield by Dutt yields a single and takes Singh to 30*, before Cooper lofts him over mid-on for four. Then two more twos, through extra cover and off the back foot through point. This is starting to look ominous for Voorburg.


 Voorburg vs VRA  12:15
VRA : 94-1 (17 overs)
The field’s now well and truly spread, but De Leede’s bowling bit too straight, and concedes a string of leg-side singles. Another Van Beek bouncer has Singh ducking under it, and the following fuller delivery causes another false stroke for one. That’ll be drinks, with things looking pretty promising for VRA.


 Voorburg vs VRA  12:06
VRA : 87-1 (15 overs)
Much better over from Van Beek, including a couple of testing lifting deliveries, yields just a single and a leg-bye. Cooper works De Leede off his pads for one, then the Voorburg skipper catches Singh’s edge and it runs to fine leg for four. Singh’s not looking entirely comfortable, but a well-timed shot to the cover boundary should help him settle. Another wide in Van Beek’s next, and then Cooper uppercuts him to third man for another four.


 Voorburg vs VRA  11:54
VRA : 70-1 (12 overs)
Two left-handers at the crease now. Van Beek sprays it about a bit: a wide to start, then another goes for five. Four through the gully gets Cooper off the mark, so that’s a pretty expensive over. De Leede on from the Pavilion End; just a single for Singh and a wide off it.


 Voorburg vs VRA  11:42
VRA : 54-1 (9 overs)
Another inside edge across the stumps off Kingma, it’s Singh that gets lucky this time. And abottom edge a couple of balls later on the cut, but safe again. Scully connects next ball though pulling a shorter ball up over square leg for four. Dutt still looking tricky to play next over, just a couple of singles off him. Van Beek takes over from Kingma and Scully finds the rope againwith a semi-controlled outside edge up high and wide of gully for four. Fifty up for VRA, but that will be his last scoring shot as van Beek finds the breakthough, top of off through the defences and Scully gone for a very handy 39. Cooper in at three.


 Voorburg vs VRA  11:27
VRA : 36-0 (6 overs)
Singh off the mark in the fourth with a push wide of mid on, Scully takes yet another boundary off Nieuwoudt cutting hard behind point to go to 25*. Kingma still looking dangerous, two slips and a gully in, but strays too straight to Scully and is flicked away behind square, only some very sharp work on the rope to keep them to three. Dutt takes over from Nieuwoudt, spin from him today, worked away square off the hip by Scully for one first up. Singh takes a few balls to take a look before making room to cut for one. Dutt’s bowling slow cutters into the wicket here really, tough to get away on this deck by the looks of it. Kingma still from the Paddock End.


 Voorburg vs VRA  11:15
VRA : 23-0 (3 overs)
Nieuwoudt oversteps first up, the free hit is full and straight and whipped off the pads through square for four. The next is pitched up on off and lifted wide of of mid on for four more. The third shapes in and takes an inside edge but the result is the same in the scorebook as it runs away to the rope through fine leg, a dot on the fourth brings some respite for the bowler but the next is too straight and is glanced fine for four more. Single out square on the last ball ends a horrible opening over for Niewoudt. Kingma’s next over features a half-appeal for caught behind second ball but sounded very paddy from here, and the next ball is short outside off and uppercut over gully for another boundary. Kingma looking sharp though, puts two more past Scully’s outside edge before the end of the over.


 Voorburg vs VRA  11:06
VRA : 1-0 (1 over)
And they’re off. Singh and Scully opening for VRA, Kingma takes the new ball from the Paddock End. A wide down leg second ball the only blemish on Kingma’s opening over, delivered with good pace and beating the bat a couple of times. Nieuwoudt to share the new ball.


 Voorburg vs VRA  10:35
Kulkarni and Rasool are the ones to miss out, so the teams are:
Voorburg: (from) Bas de Leede*, Mohit Hingorani+, Logan van Beek, Philippe Boissevain, Aryan Dutt, Sybrand Engelbrecht, Tom de Grooth, Viv Kingma, Floris de Lange, Stef Mulder, and Karl Nieuwoudt.
VRA: (from) Peter Borren*, Mitch Lees+, Ashir Abid, Jack Balbirnie, Ben Cooper, Quirijn Gunning, Udit Nashier, Luke Scully, Vikram Singh, Eric Szwarczynski, and Leon Turmaine.


 Voorburg vs VRA  10:33
VRA : 0-0 ( overs)
Peter Borren calls incorrectly, and Bas de Leede invites VRA to have a bat.


 Voorburg vs VRA  10:28
Today’s teams:
Voorburg: (from) Bas de Leede*, Mohit Hingorani+, Logan van Beek, Philippe Boissevain, Aryan Dutt, Sybrand Engelbrecht, Tom de Grooth, Viv Kingma, Nirav Kulkarni, Floris de Lange, Stef Mulder, and Karl Nieuwoudt.
VRA: (from) Peter Borren*, Mitch Lees+, Ashir Abid, Jack Balbirnie, Ben Cooper, Quirijn Gunning, Udit Nashier, Shirase Rasool, Luke Scully, Vikram Singh, Eric Szwarczynski, and Leon Turmaine.


 Rod Lyall  10:25 Word from Bertus: ‘the weather is currently cloudy with patches of blue sky in the distance, and rather chilly.’ We expect news of the toss shortly.


 Rod Lyall  10:15
And welcome once more, as we go into what we expect will be the final weekend of this season’s Topklasse competition. If I sound a little cautious, that’s because no-one could have predicted the twists and turns of the past few weeks, and because if it’s true that cricket is a funny game, cricket administration can be even funnier. Still, here we are, and we’re all ready to bring you TKcricket’s live coverage of today’s preliminary final, which will decide who plays Punjab in tomorrow’s grand final. Voorburg will be at home to VRA Amsterdam today, and it looks as if, after a summer of record-breaking wetness, the weather is going to be on our side. I shall again be bringing you the first innings, and then Bertus de Jong will step in to bring you the second; Sander Tholen, of course, will provide us with a pictorial record of all the action.