Rod Lyall 11/5/18
The mildly sadistic master who was in charge of cross-country running at my secondary school used to claim that his task as a handicapper was to ensure that everyone crossed the line at the same moment.
He never achieved this, of course, but it’s beginning to look as if the self-regulating recruitment and transfer process which has operated in the Topklasse over the winter might just produce such a result, with all ten teams on 18 points at the end of August.
Two sides emerged from the second round of matches on Thursday with a brace of wins, but after an excellent start Excelsior ‘20 had to work hard to overcome the resistance of VRA Amsterdam, and it’s only Dosti United who have twice been really convincing winners. Intriguingly, these two sides will meet at Dosti’s Drieburg ground on Saturday.
Dosti, who could thank a fine double from Mohammad Hafeez – including five for 13, his best-ever figures in the top division – for their convincing victory over Quick Haag, will have every reason to relish this encounter, while Excelsior, after reducing VRA to 79 for eight on Thursday, saw their visitors recover to 176, George Dunlop contributing a career-best 57 and sharing a ninth-wicket stand of 82 with veteran former international Adeel Raja.
It was, moreover, only due to a fighting knock of 62 not out by James Hilditch that the Thurlede side squeezed home with a three-wicket margin and 11 balls to spare, and Tom Heggelman will be conscious that his side has yet to hit top gear in its attempt to win a third successive title.
Quick, bowled out for 71 by Dosti as they chased 209, only openers Jay Bista and Lesley Stokkers reaching double figures, came down to earth with a bump after their first-day victory over VRA, and they will visit VOC Rotterdam on Saturday determined to regain some momentum.
But it is the opposite story for the Rotterdammers: having suffered a disappointing defeat at the hands of Dosti last weekend, they bounced back with a vengeance against HCC on Thursday, dismissing the Hagenaars for 127 with an excellent all-round bowling performance.
Their own total of 206 for nine owed a huge amount to Dutch international keeper Scott Edwards, who batted throughout the innings for his 153-ball 90, including just three fours and a six, and a good deal to his partnership with Pieter Seelaar, who made a rather brisker 53 in a fourth-wicket stand of 91.
HCC now find themselves at the foot of the table, and will face difficult opponents this Sunday in the form of HBS Den Haag, whose demolition of Sparta 1888 secured them a position in the top half of a very crowded table.
Disappointing as their total of 160 may have been, Wesley Barresi and Tobias Visée again falling in single figures and Jaron Morgan top-scoring with 36, HBS made it seem like a decent score when they shot the Capelle side out for 61, seamer Berend Westdijk claiming four for 30.
This defeat put Sparta’s win over HCC into a different perspective, and they will be very keen to add Riaan Jeggels and Warren Bell to their strength at the earliest opportunity. They are clearly a workmanlike side, but it looks as if they may need every point they can muster as the season unfolds.
They, too, will face a tricky third game on Saturday, when they play Punjab Rotterdam at Het Zomercomplex. Punjab were in rampant form against ACC on Thursday, with Stef Myburgh (101 not out) and Ali Raza (73) ripping the Amsterdammers’ attack apart with an opening stand of 163 in just 22 overs.
The advent of legspinner Bernard Vorster gives the Punjab attack another dimension too, and while it may not be the most dangerous in the competition, the bowlers did well to restrict ACC to 204 for six, a total which the batsmen then passed with more than 17 overs to spare.
For ACC, who were admittedly weakened by the absence through illness of Richardt Frenz, this will have been something of a wake-up call, the innings of Rehmat (30), Saqib (45) and Sikander Zulfiqar (67 not out) again confirming just how vital the fortunes of the brothers are, not forgetting the contribution of father Ahmed (29), standing in for Frenz.
Saturday will see ACC make the short journey across Amstelveen to take on the enigmatic VRA, who share with HCC the indignity of being winless after two matches.
Their blushes rescued to a degree by the resistance of Dunlop and Raja, and by another fighting effort with the ball, the VRA top order again failed to live up to their reputation and their potential, and Emile van den Burg’s men will need to regroup quickly if they are to avoid losing contact with the leaders, one of whom will be on six points by Sunday evening.
One the first week, two on Thursday – can I make it three this weekend with the following picks?
Dosti, VOC, HBS, Punjab, VRA.
|Toss won by||Quick Haag I|
|Umpires||AND van den Dries – P Muthucumaru|
|Scorers||JWM Krulder – R Seetal|
|Home Side||Quick Haag I|
|Points Awarded||Dosti United I 2, Quick Haag I 0|
|VAB Tewarie*||lbw||b JG Bista||18||45||3||0|
|RI Ahmed+||c&b JG Bista||40||62||5||1|
|TS Kohli||c JG Bista||b GMC Mol||27||37||4||0|
|M Hafeez||not out||64||75||5||0|
|Vimal Tewarie||lbw||b GMC Mol||7||13||1||0|
|A Davids||c TJB Landheer||b GMC Mol||9||17||1||0|
|M Hans||c TJB Landheer||b GMC Mol||7||23||0||0|
|S Ghori||c D Vierling||b SB Davey||2||7||0||0|
|Asief Hoseinbaks||run out SB Davey/D Vierling||0||5||0||0|
|W Masood||b MI Khan||14||14||0||1|
|Arief Hoseinbaks||c D Vierling||b JA Brand||1||3||0||0|
|extras||(b1 lb5 w13 nb1)||20|
|TOTAL||10 wickets for||209|
|1-44(VAB Tewarie) 2-74(RI Ahmed) 3-97(TS Kohli) 4-114(Vimal Tewarie) 5-137(A Davids) 6-162(M Hans) 7-170(S Ghori) 8-171(Asief Hoseinbaks) 9-200(W Masood) 10-207(Arief Hoseinbaks)|
|MB van Schelven||3||0||13||0||–||–|
|JG Bista||c RI Ahmed||b A Davids||19||32||1||1|
|LW Stokkers||c A Davids||b W Masood||11||16||1||0|
|SB Davey||b W Masood||0||7||0||0|
|GMC Mol||lbw||b M Hans||7||14||1||0|
|RR Rooda||b M Hafeez||6||18||0||1|
|JA Brand*||lbw||b M Hafeez||5||18||0||0|
|D Vierling+||st RI Ahmed||b M Hafeez||5||18||0||0|
|MB van Schelven||c A Davids||b M Hafeez||4||17||0||0|
|S Ekelmans||c M Hafeez||b Asief Hoseinbaks||3||17||0||0|
|TJB Landheer||lbw||b M Hafeez||0||5||0||0|
|MI Khan||not out||2||14||0||0|
|extras||(b0 lb0 w9 nb0)||9|
|TOTAL||10 wickets for||71|
|1-30(LW Stokkers) 2-30(JG Bista) 3-30(SB Davey) 4-44(GMC Mol) 5-49(RR Rooda) 6-50(JA Brand) 7-64(MB van Schelven) 8-66(D Vierling) 9-67(TJB Landheer) 10-71(S Ekelmans)|
|Toss won by||Sparta I|
|Umpires||HM Butt – Z Hussain|
|Scorers||A Smelt – MAP Wiegers|
|Home Side||Sparta I|
|Points Awarded||HBS I 2, Sparta I 0|
|W Barresi||lbw||b M Bukhari||1||8||0||0|
|TP Visée*+||run out||8||25||0||0|
|Navjit Singh||c AF Buurman||b U Saleem||24||60||2||0|
|J Morgan||b U Saleem||36||37||2||1|
|SP Gomes||lbw||b JM Snoep||11||16||1||0|
|A Ahmed||run out||26||45||4||0|
|WT Coster||run out||12||39||0||0|
|J de Mey||st AF Buurman||b F Iqbal||7||25||1||0|
|BA Westdijk||b D Muhammed||23||21||1||1|
|F Khan||b M Bukhari||1||5||0||0|
|NE Wisse||not out||5||14||0||0|
|extras||(b2 lb0 w4 nb0)||6|
|TOTAL||10 wickets for||160|
|1-2(W Barresi) 2-25(TP Visée) 3-66(Navjit Singh) 4-74(J Morgan) 5-84(SP Gomes)6-116(A Ahmed) 7-127(WT Coster) 8-137(J de Mey) 9-138(F Khan) 10-160(BA Westdijk)|
|TIM de Kok||5||1||14||0||2||–|
|CP Ambrose||c J Morgan||b F Khan||18||18||2||0|
|M Bukhari||b BA Westdijk||0||2||0||0|
|TIM de Kok||b WT Coster||0||4||0||0|
|MA Pollard||b BA Westdijk||7||17||1||0|
|F Iqbal||lbw||b BA Westdijk||0||1||0||0|
|AF Buurman+||c J Morgan||b Navjit Singh||17||24||1||0|
|U Ishfaq||b W Barresi||12||36||2||0|
|JM Snoep*||c J Morgan||b F Khan||0||5||0||0|
|D Muhammed||lbw||b Navjit Singh||1||6||0||0|
|U Saleem||b BA Westdijk||4||5||0||0|
|S Sardha||not out||0||4||0||0|
|extras||(b0 lb0 w2 nb0)||2|
|TOTAL||10 wickets for||61|
|1-1(M Bukhari) 2-2(TIM de Kok) 3-25(MA Pollard) 4-25(F Iqbal) 5-29(CP Ambrose) 6-49(AF Buurman) 7-50(JM Snoep) 8-57(D Muhammed) 9-59(U Ishfaq) 10-61(U Saleem)|
|Toss won by||HCC I|
|Umpires||F Gruijters – DJ Kalloe|
|Scorers||N Kaulingfreks – K Pattiselanno|
|Home Side||HCC I|
|Points Awarded||VOC I 2, HCC I 0|
|SA Edwards+||not out||90||153||3||1|
|CL Rutgers||lbw||b R Ninan||14||14||2||0|
|ZDA van Baren||lbw||b HC Overdijk||14||27||1||1|
|MP O'Dowd||lbw||b AA Qasim||0||2||0||0|
|PM Seelaar*||b BE Street||53||66||4||0|
|MAA Jamil||b R Ninan||14||17||1||0|
|JD Schoonheim||b HC Overdijk||10||8||0||1|
|FJ Klaassen||c AJ Staal||b HC Overdijk||0||1||0||0|
|UF Baker||b AA Qasim||1||4||0||0|
|BW Hanif||b HC Overdijk||2||7||0||0|
|PJ Fletcher||not out||2||4||0||0|
|extras||(b1 lb3 w2 nb0)||6|
|TOTAL||9 wickets for||206|
|1-24(CL Rutgers) 2-50(ZDA van Baren) 3-51(MP O'Dowd) 4-142(PM Seelaar) 5-168(MAA Jamil) 6-180(JD Schoonheim) 7-180(FJ Klaassen) 8-184(UF Baker) 9-193(BW Hanif)|
|JZ-X van Kessel||2||0||14||0||–||–|
|BE Street||c SA Edwards||b FJ Klaassen||3||10||0||0|
|AJ Staal||c UF Baker||b BW Hanif||13||36||1||0|
|BHG Gorlee||lbw||b FJ Klaassen||0||1||0||0|
|HC Overdijk||c MP O'Dowd||b BW Hanif||22||52||3||0|
|R Ninan||not out||45||60||1||2|
|MBS Jonkman*||b PM Seelaar||3||13||0||0|
|LJF Lagas+||run out||0||2||0||0|
|AA Qasim||c JD Schoonheim||b MAA Jamil||13||26||2||0|
|T Peters||c PM Seelaar||b PJ Fletcher||3||27||0||0|
|JZ-X van Kessel||c PM Seelaar||b BW Hanif||12||18||0||1|
|RR Bijloos||b MAA Jamil||1||2||0||0|
|extras||(b1 lb4 w7 nb0)||12|
|TOTAL||10 wickets for||127|
|1-5(BE Street) 2-5(BHG Gorlee) 3-41(AJ Staal) 4-44(HC Overdijk) 5-49(MBS Jonkman) 6-49(LJF Lagas) 7-80(AA Qasim) 8-97(T Peters) 9-125(JZ-X van Kessel)10-127(RR Bijloos)|
|Toss won by||Punjab I|
|Umpires||R Kaulingfreks – WPM van Liemt|
|Scorers||DC Schinkel – N Mohammed|
|Home Side||ACC I|
|Points Awarded||ACC I 0, Punjab I 2|
|AA Zulfiqar+||c A Masood||b AK Bamunusinghe||16||56||0||0|
|R Zulfiqar||c A Khan||b A Masood||30||36||3||2|
|SM Zulfiqar*||lbw||b BI Vorster||45||65||0||0|
|SR Rasool||b BI Vorster||6||22||0||0|
|SA Zulfiqar||not out||67||64||5||1|
|MA Raza||c M Latif||b BI Vorster||2||7||0||0|
|Ahmed Zulfiqar||c A Masood||b MA Saleemi||29||44||0||1|
|DJ Botha||not out||1||6||0||0|
|extras||(b1 lb1 w6 nb0)||8|
|TOTAL||6 wickets for||204|
|1-44(R Zulfiqar) 2-55(AA Zulfiqar) 3-89(SR Rasool) 4-122(SM Zulfiqar) 5-126(MA Raza) 6-185(Ahmed Zulfiqar)|
|SJ Myburgh||not out||101||95||9||3|
|A Raza||b SM Zulfiqar||73||61||8||3|
|A Khan||c AA Zulfiqar||b MA Raza||13||29||1||0|
|A Masood||not out||3||5||0||0|
|extras||(b0 lb3 w12 nb0)||15|
|TOTAL||2 wickets for||205|
|1-163(A Raza) 2-189(A Khan)|
|Toss won by||VRA I|
|Umpires||Ali Mohammed – JPAW Molenaar|
|Scorers||EM Heggelman – T Jansen Schoonhov|
|Home Side||Excelsior 20 I|
|Points Awarded||VRA I 0, Excelsior 20 I 2|
|V Singh||run out RWA van Troost||21||27||3||0|
|DJ ter Braak||c RTF Verhagen||b TJ Heggelman||8||21||1||0|
|BN Cooper||c RTF Verhagen||b TJ Heggelman||11||12||2||0|
|ES Szwarczynski+||lbw||b S Bhatti||0||2||0||0|
|PW Borren||c RWA van Troost||b TJ Heggelman||5||8||1||0|
|E van den Burg*||b S Bhatti||1||4||0||0|
|LA Turmaine||run out DA Woutersen||10||38||1||0|
|QWM Gunning||b LT Ingram||15||53||1||0|
|MAK Raja||st RTF Verhagen||b LT Ingram||28||69||1||0|
|MG Dunlop||run out RTF Verhagen||57||67||5||2|
|VJ Kingma||not out||2||6||0||0|
|extras||(b0 lb4 w7 nb7)||18|
|TOTAL||10 wickets for||176|
|1-27(V Singh) 2-39(BN Cooper) 3-40(ES Szwarczynski) 4-47(PW Borren) 5-47(DJ ter Braak) 6-50(E van den Burg) 7-79(LA Turmaine) 8-79(QWM Gunning) 9-161(MAK Raja) 10-176(MG Dunlop)|
|RWA van Troost||5||0||25||0||2||–|
|TC Etman||c ES Szwarczynski||b PW Borren||21||34||1||1|
|RTF Verhagen+||c ES Szwarczynski||b VJ Kingma||0||8||0||0|
|SG Shankar||run out MG Dunlop||6||10||1||0|
|LT Ingram||c E van den Burg||b MAK Raja||25||59||0||1|
|JR Hilditch||not out||62||103||3||0|
|J Kroesen||c E van den Burg||b MG Dunlop||12||22||1||0|
|TJ Heggelman*||lbw||b PW Borren||13||23||0||0|
|DA Woutersen||c&b LA Turmaine||4||13||0||0|
|GG Kroesen||not out||9||18||0||0|
|RWA van Troost||dnb|
|extras||(b0 lb0 w24 nb1)||25|
|TOTAL||7 wickets for||177|
|1-5(RTF Verhagen) 2-19(SG Shankar) 3-38(TC Etman) 4-79(LT Ingram) 5-103(J Kroesen) 6-132(TJ Heggelman) 7-142(DA Woutersen)|
|DJ ter Braak||3||0||18||0||1||–|
Rod Lyall 09/05/18
The traditional Ascension Day fixtures on Thursday feature a clash between two of last weekend’s surprise winners, Quick Haag and Dosti United Amsterdam, at the former’s Nieuw Hanenburg ground.
It also brings into direct confrontation two of the overseas players, both Indian, who made the greatest impression in the opening round: Dosti’s Taruwar Kohli (Punjab), whose chanceless 115 not out was the first century of the new Topklasse season, and Quick’s Jay Bista (Mumbai), who took three for 23 on debut in his side’s three-wicket victory over VRA Amsterdam.
Bista’s arrival at Nieuw Hanenburg, along with New Zealander Sean Davey, looks to have compensated Quick to some degree for their loss of international opener Wesley Barresi and the long-serving Henk-Jan Mol, while Dosti, thanks to the batting of Kohli, Rahil Ahmed and Mohammad Hafeez, were never really stretched in their 81-run win against VOC Rotterdam.
Thursday’s contest will give us a clearer perspective on the relative strengths of both these sides, one of whom will be guaranteed at least a share of the early running in the Topklasse’s packed May programme.
Sparta 1888 also made a promising start to their campaign, and what was particularly encouraging about their six-wicket victory over HCC was the way in which, even without Riaan Jeggels and Warren Bell, they fought back after their visitors had established a firm initial platform.
The Capelle side have a well-balanced attack, led by Mudassar Bukhari and Dost Muhammed, backed up by the seam of Usman Saleem and skipper Joost Martijn Snoep as well as Faisal Iqbal’s spin, and in Michael Pollard they have an overseas player who seems well equipped to score plenty of runs in the middle order.
They will again have home advantage on Thursday, when they take on HBS Den Haag at Sportpark Bermweg.
HBS’s powerful batting lineup failed to fire against ACC on Saturday, only Sharn Gomes coming good as his side chased a target of 234, and they will need two or more of Wesley Barresi, Tobias Visée, Navjit Singh and Jaron Morgan to give him greater support if they are to recover from that setback.
The clash between Barresi and Visée on the one hand and Bukhari and Dost Muhammed on the other could well be one of the highlights of what looks like an intriguing encounter.
HCC’s decline on Saturday from a potentially winning position will have given Mark Jonkman’s side cause for serious reflection, and it is already clear that the Diepput outfit will be missing the resilience of leading run-scorer Jonathan Vandiar.
He dug them out of some difficult situations in recent seasons, stiffening a middle order which looked all too vulnerable against Sparta, and that absence will throw even greater weight upon the top three, Bryce Street, Tonny Staal and Boris Gorlee, while Ryan Ninan and Hidde Overdijk will also have a crucial role if HCC are to set – or chase – decent totals.
They will have their first chance to rectify matters at De Diepput on Thursday, when they entertain VOC Rotterdam, who were also disappointing in going down to Dosti United last Sunday.
One of the strongest sides in the competition on paper, a VOC attack which includes internationals Fred Klaassen, Ahsan Malik Jamil and Pieter Seelaar, as well as seamers Pierce Fletcher and Bobby Hanif and spinner Umar Baker, was able to make little impression on the Dosti top order, while the batsmen struggled against a disciplined opposing attack.
It can only be a matter of time before VOC realise their very considerable potential, but Dosti did enough on Sunday to show they cannot be taken lightly.
Another of the sides which underperformed on the opening day, VRA Amsterdam, travel to Schiedam to take on Excelsior ‘20, who once again took up the battle where they had left off last season.
The defending champions looked as strong as ever as they cruised to an eight-wicket victory over Punjab Rotterdam, with Lorenzo Ingram and James Hilditch again leading from the front, and VRA will need to raise their game considerably if they are to trouble their hosts.
Early-season rustiness can scarcely explain a VRA side which includes Ben Cooper, Eric Szwarczynski and Peter Borren, as well as openers Vikram Singh and Daan ter Braak, being bowled out for 124, and although the bowlers did well to keep their team in the game, a much more disciplined effort will be needed against Excelsior.
The Schiedammers are, of course, a much more experienced outfit than they were in their first championship season two years ago, and they seem virtually certain to be at the heart of the title race. That said, VRA are perfectly capable of bouncing back fast, and their potentially explosive batting and very considerable bowling resources are both strong enough to give Excelsior a serious run for their money.
At Het Loopveld West ACC, the fifth of last weekend’s winners, will be at home to Punjab, and looking to build on that opening victory over HBS.
The Rotterdammers remain something of an unknown quantity, and all the more so because they had to begin their campaign against as formidable opponents as Excelsior. But they did enough, especially with the bat, to indicate that last year’s mid-table position wasn’t a flash in the pan, and they will travel to Amstelveen hopeful of causing problems for an ACC side which remains far too dependent upon the Zulfiqar brothers and their overseas players.
But the Zulfiqars looked to be in great early-season form last weekend, and unless Punjab can find a way of neutralizing that threat a home win looks to be on the cards.
Rod Lyall’s I’m-not-sure-why-I-do-this predictions:
Quick, Sparta, VOC, Excelsior, ACC.