|Toss won by||Dosti United I|
|Umpires||PGHA van Giezen – Z Hussain|
|Scorers||R Seetal – N Kaulingfreks|
|Home Side||Dosti United I|
|Points Awarded||Dosti United I 2, VOC I 0|
|VAB Tewarie*||c BW Hanif||b PJ Fletcher||4||9||0||0|
|A Bali||c SP van Lent||b BW Hanif||135||118||16||5|
|TS Kohli||c CL Rutgers||b ZDA van Baren||75||106||6||0|
|A Singh||b SB van Wingerden||20||18||1||2|
|RI Ahmed+||not out||35||29||0||2|
|A Davids||not out||20||19||0||0|
|extras||(b0 lb3 w20 nb1)||24|
|TOTAL||4 wickets for||313|
|1-15(VAB Tewarie) 2-195(A Bali) 3-228(A Singh) 4-260(TS Kohli)|
|ZDA van Baren||10||0||47||1||2||–|
|SB van Wingerden||3||0||24||1||–||–|
|SP van Lent+||c Arief Hoseinbaks||b A Bali||2||4||0||0|
|ZDA van Baren||b A Davids||4||11||1||0|
|A Said||lbw||b A Davids||2||8||0||0|
|CL Rutgers||c A Bali||b Asief Hoseinbaks||15||28||2||0|
|DM Mullett||lbw||b A Davids||0||2||0||0|
|JD Schoonheim*||c Arief Hoseinbaks||b W Masood||12||21||1||1|
|MN Kamawi||c A Davids||b Asief Hoseinbaks||0||3||0||0|
|PJ Fletcher||c W Masood||b M Hans||42||41||2||5|
|BW Hanif||c Asief Hoseinbaks||b M Hans||9||31||0||0|
|SB van Wingerden||not out||0||1||0||0|
|T Moorman||c A Bali||b W Masood||0||6||0||0|
|extras||(b0 lb5 w5 nb0)||10|
|TOTAL||10 wickets for||96|
|1-2(SP van Lent) 2-12(A Said) 3-16(ZDA van Baren) 4-16(DM Mullett) 5-35(CL Rutgers) 6-41(MN Kamawi) 7-41(JD Schoonheim) 8-96(PJ Fletcher) 9-96(BW Hanif) 10-96(T Moorman)|
|Toss won by||HBS I|
|Umpires||DJ Kalloe – WPM van Liemt|
|Scorers||MAP Wiegers – H Reijmer-Steens|
|Home Side||HBS I|
|Points Awarded||HBS I 0, VOC I 2|
|TP Visée*+||c MN Kamawi||b A Said||4||9||1||0|
|ZW Elkin||b PJ Fletcher||17||33||2||0|
|A Ahmed||c SP van Lent||b PJ Fletcher||9||12||2||0|
|Navjit Singh||run out||0||0||0||0|
|W Barresi||b JD Schoonheim||51||76||6||0|
|SP Gomes||c ZDA van Baren||b PM Seelaar||109||110||11||1|
|WT Coster||lbw||b BW Hanif||13||31||0||1|
|JI de Mey||b A Said||7||14||0||0|
|ZN Gibson||c MN Kamawi||b PM Seelaar||9||11||0||0|
|BA Westdijk||not out||2||2||0||0|
|F Khan||st SA Edwards||b PM Seelaar||0||2||0||0|
|extras||(b0 lb4 w14 nb0)||18|
|TOTAL||10 wickets for||239|
|1-10(TP Visée) 2-33(A Ahmed) 3-34(ZW Elkin) 4-39(Navjit Singh) 5-144(W Barresi) 6-179(WT Coster) 7-195(JI de Mey) 8-236(ZN Gibson) 9-238(SP Gomes) 10-239(F Khan)|
|ZDA van Baren||4||0||20||0||2||–|
|MP O'Dowd||not out||96||113||9||1|
|CL Rutgers||c Navjit Singh||b BA Westdijk||9||12||2||0|
|ZDA van Baren||c F Khan||b BA Westdijk||0||3||0||0|
|SP van Lent||lbw||b BA Westdijk||4||4||1||0|
|PM Seelaar*||c Navjit Singh||b BA Westdijk||7||12||1||0|
|SA Edwards+||lbw||b BA Westdijk||81||76||13||1|
|JD Schoonheim||c BA Westdijk||b WT Coster||27||24||2||1|
|MN Kamawi||not out||4||6||0||0|
|extras||(b0 lb5 w8 nb2)||15|
|TOTAL||6 wickets for||243|
|1-11(CL Rutgers) 2-19(ZDA van Baren) 3-23(SP van Lent) 4-40(PM Seelaar) 5-186(SA Edwards) 6-232(JD Schoonheim|
|JI de Mey||2||1||13||0||–||–|
|Toss won by||VOC I|
|Umpires||Z Hussain – DJ Kalloe|
|Scorers||H Reijmer-Steens – MAP Wiegers|
|Home Side||VOC I|
|Points Awarded||VOC I 0, HCC I 2|
|MP O'Dowd||b BR Itagi||54||104||4||0|
|CL Rutgers||c BE Street||b JW Damhuis||4||13||0||0|
|SP van Lent||c BE Street||b HC Overdijk||6||14||1||0|
|DM Mullett||lbw||b BE Street||0||1||0||0|
|PM Seelaar*||c LJF Lagas||b BE Street||41||68||5||0|
|SA Edwards+||c BHG Gorlee||b MW Hay||36||42||4||0|
|ZDA van Baren||c AJ Staal||b BR Itagi||7||12||0||0|
|JD Schoonheim||b JW Damhuis||15||21||1||0|
|MN Kamawi||c AO Wiffen||b HC Overdijk||6||9||1||0|
|A Said||not out||8||10||1||0|
|PJ Fletcher||not out||5||6||0||0|
|extras||(b1 lb7 w8 nb0)||16|
|TOTAL||9 wickets for||198|
|1-22(CL Rutgers) 2-35(SP van Lent) 3-36(DM Mullett) 4-117(MP O'Dowd) 5-125(PM Seelaar) 6-144(ZDA van Baren) 7-175(JD Schoonheim) 8-182(SA Edwards) 9-185(MN Kamawi)|
|BR Itagi||c ZDA van Baren||b PM Seelaar||35||42||3||0|
|AO Wiffen||c SA Edwards||b A Said||3||25||0||0|
|AJ Staal*||c SA Edwards||b A Said||77||85||8||3|
|BE Street||not out||52||70||7||0|
|BHG Gorlee||c ZDA van Baren||b CL Rutgers||5||19||0||0|
|HC Overdijk||not out||12||16||1||0|
|extras||(b0 lb0 w15 nb0)||15|
|TOTAL||4 wickets for||199|
|1-16(AO Wiffen) 2-92(BR Itagi) 3-166(AJ Staal) 4-177(BHG Gorlee)|
|ZDA van Baren||3||0||29||0||3||–|
|Toss won by||Sparta I|
|Umpires||HKG Jansen – WPM van Liemt|
|Scorers||H Reijmer-Steens – AO Smelt|
|Home Side||VOC I|
|Comment||Match reduced to 36 overs|
|Points Awarded||VOC I 2, Sparta I 0|
|CL Rutgers||c AF Buurman||b D Muhammed||21||25||3||0|
|MP O'Dowd||c AF Buurman||b M Bukhari||1||6||0||0|
|SP van Lent||c TIM de Kok||b D Muhammed||8||18||0||0|
|ZDA van Baren||c A Raza||b D Muhammed||9||19||2||0|
|PM Seelaar*||c G Tarr||b D Muhammed||7||17||1||0|
|SA Edwards+||b JM Snoep||41||33||5||0|
|JD Schoonheim||c S Sardha||b TIM de Kok||66||56||8||2|
|RR Upadhyaya||c S Sardha||b TIM de Kok||5||10||0||0|
|MN Kamawi||run out||13||9||0||1|
|A Said||c AF Buurman||b M Bukhari||15||11||0||1|
|PJ Fletcher||not out||2||3||0||0|
|extras||(b0 lb2 w13 nb1)||16|
|TOTAL||10 wickets for||204|
|1-5(MP O'Dowd) 2-34(SP van Lent) 3-34(CL Rutgers) 4-53(PM Seelaar) 5-54(ZDA van Baren) 6-147(SA Edwards) 7-172(JD Schoonheim) 8-172(RR Upadhyaya) 9-202(MN Kamawi) 10-204(A Said)|
|TIM de Kok||2||0||14||2||1||–|
|AT Fletcher||c MP O'Dowd||b A Said||16||28||3||0|
|TIM de Kok||b A Said||0||4||0||0|
|G Tarr||c MP O'Dowd||b PJ Fletcher||2||4||0||0|
|M Bukhari||b A Said||4||23||0||0|
|AF Buurman+||c CL Rutgers||b RR Upadhyaya||13||13||0||2|
|A Raza||c MP O'Dowd||b PJ Fletcher||20||14||4||0|
|M Singh||c CL Rutgers||b RR Upadhyaya||3||5||0||0|
|JM Snoep*||st SA Edwards||b RR Upadhyaya||0||8||0||0|
|S Sardha||not out||1||2||0||0|
|U Saleem||b PJ Fletcher||7||6||1||0|
|D Muhammed||b RR Upadhyaya||6||4||0||1|
|extras||(b0 lb2 w2 nb2)||6|
|TOTAL||10 wickets for||78|
|1-5(TIM de Kok) 2-8(G Tarr) 3-21(M Bukhari) 4-21(AT Fletcher) 5-45(A Raza) 6-58(AF Buurman) 7-62(JM Snoep) 8-62(M Singh) 9-71(U Saleem) 10-78(D Muhammed)|
|Toss won by||ACC I|
|Umpires||HM Butt – D Das|
|Scorers||DC Schinkel – F van Lent|
|Home Side||ACC I|
|Points Awarded||VOC I 0, ACC I 2|
|MP O'Dowd||c SR Rasool||b A Kumar||95||129||9||3|
|CL Rutgers||c S Potdar||b BL Barends||3||11||0||0|
|SP van Lent+||b BL Barends||9||10||1||0|
|ZDA van Baren||b BL Barends||0||7||0||0|
|PM Seelaar*||lbw||b SM Zulfiqar||32||68||1||0|
|SA Edwards||c JL Marais||b BL Barends||20||23||1||1|
|JD Schoonheim||b A Kumar||4||6||0||0|
|RR Upadhyaya||not out||7||16||0||0|
|MN Kamawi||b A Zaidi||4||8||0||0|
|A Said||c JM Mulready||b A Kumar||2||4||0||0|
|PJ Fletcher||run out RU Zulfiqar||2||2||0||0|
|extras||(b0 lb2 w3 nb0)||5|
|TOTAL||10 wickets for||183|
|1-14(CL Rutgers) 2-41(SP van Lent) 3-49(ZDA van Baren) 4-134(PM Seelaar) 5-153(MP O'Dowd) 6-166(JD Schoonheim) 7-166(SA Edwards) 8-172(MN Kamawi) 9-179(A Said) 10-183(PJ Fletcher)|
|SM Zulfiqar*||b A Said||0||1||0||0|
|RU Zulfiqar||c SA Edwards||b PJ Fletcher||0||1||0||0|
|SR Rasool||c MP O'Dowd||b A Said||5||19||1||0|
|SA Zulfiqar||not out||99||125||9||0|
|JL Marais+||lbw||b ZDA van Baren||15||24||3||0|
|MA Raza||c ZDA van Baren||b RR Upadhyaya||28||89||2||0|
|JM Mulready||run out A Said||15||35||1||0|
|BL Barends||not out||1||3||0||0|
|extras||(b3 lb5 w16 nb0)||24|
|TOTAL||6 wickets for||187|
|1-1(SM Zulfiqar) 2-6(RU Zulfiqar) 3-18(SR Rasool) 4-51(JL Marais) 5-131(MA Raza) 6-176(JM Mulready)|
|ZDA van Baren||6.3||0||34||1||3||–|
Bertus de Jong 03/05/2019
With a youthful looking squad and an absent Jonathan Vandiar, HCC were more-or-less targetting a mid-table finish last season, and got it. The side is a year older this time round, and may revise their expectations upwards somewhat, even if rumours of Vandiar’s return proved only half-true (that is to say, he’s back in the country but headed to Punjab Rotterdam).
Bryce Street, the seam all-rounder brought in as Vandiar’s replacement, did an admirable job last season filling those considerable shoes with 649 runs at 41 and 23 wickets, and the addition of 21 year-old left-handed opener Adam Wiffen, who comes across from Worcestershire and has already drawn the attention of national team coach Ryan Campbell, means HCC’s top-order looks a deal stronger than last summer.
With two young overseas signings and the retirement of skipper Mark Jonkman over the winter,HCC will be reliant on the increasing maturity of youth graduates Hidde Overdijk and Tonny Staal, both now 23 and hovering around the fringes of national selection, and u-19s bat Boris Gorlee. Staal, returned from a season at Balcatta CC in Perth Grade Cricket, will be the league’s second-youngest captain, and if rumours that overseas spinner Ryan Ninan’s is in doubt prove accurate, HCC’s leadership group will look very young indeed.
Should Ninan stay away, HCC’s slow-bowling options will also be limited to part-timers or fringe players, though even without Jonkman the seam section of Qasim, Bijloos, Overdijk and Street is an enviable one. Consecutive defeats in their two warm-up matches against VRA and Excelsior do not augur well, however. A slow start last season left them fighting an uphill battle all Summer, and Staal’s side have no more time to settle in. There’s plenty of young talent at de Diepput, but they’ll need to hit the ground running if they are to mount a serious challenge this season.
After two championships on the trot in 2016 and 2017, Excelsior ‘20 finished a disappointing 4th last season, 5 wins behind VOC at the top of the table. A comparatively quiet season (by his standards) for star overseas Lorenzo Ingram rather exposed the Schiedammer’s reliance on the Jamaican left-arm spinning all-rounder, especially in terms of batting. Ingram’s tally of 611 runs was more than 200 clear of the next contributor, Tim Etman. The likely absence this season of opening bowler and lower-order trouble-shooter James Hilditch, who has been roped in as Assistant coach for the national team, is also likely to put more pressure on the young core of the side to step up this season.
That said, the signing of former West Indies test bat Brenton Parchment, probably the most eye-catching acquisition of the season will likely do more than a little to shore up the batting. Joost Kroesen’s unbeaten 80 in a warm-up against Hermes also suggest he may have put a disappointing 2018 behind him, and skipper Tom Heggelman also has runs under his belt heading into the season opener against Quick Haag.
Umar Baker arrives from VOC to share in Ingram’s slow-bowling duties, whilst Parchment is also capable of sending down some serviceable off-spin. Heggelman meanwhile leads a sprightly but occasionally expensive pace attack further comprising Sohail Bhatti, Gijs Kroesen and Rens van Troost, and will at least be spoiled for options when cycling through his attack.
With the addition of Parchment and Baker the Schiedammers arguably have a stronger side than they did in either of their championship seasons, but last season it was above all the failure of the promising youngsters in the side to kick on that cost them a shot at defending their title. Good seasons for one or both of their Jamaican overseas will likely be enough to keep them in contention this time round, but the Thurlede faithful will be hoping above all that their maturing youth cohort come into their own this season.
HBS-Craeyenhout’s big-hitting top order couldn’t quite carry them into Topklasse title contention last year, despite Sharn Gomes, Wesley Barresi, Toby Visee and Jaron Morgan all crossing 500 runs in the season. Even with the departure of Morgan the top order remains the most intimidating in the league, however, and with Western Province opener Zac Elkin coming in to play foil to the ever explosive Visee at the top of the order the batting may even have gained a degree of stability.
New Zealand under-19s seamer Zak Gibson also joins the Crows, taking some pressure off spearhead Berend Westdijk who will likely be skipping a few games this season owing to work commitments. With Farshad Khan and Wessel Coster coming off the back of solid seasons, the HBS pace attack looks in good shape, whilst the spin attack comprising Wesley Barresi (who has taken to his new role as off-spinning all-rounder with all the zealousness of a convert) paired with the ever more impressive Julian de Mey looks equally sound. With allrounders Navjit Singh and Ferdi Vink also impressing last season, there’s no obvious weak links in this HBS side.
After claiming the national T20 title last season, the Crows were disappointed to discover that qualification for the new European Championship competition hinged on final Topklasse standings. It’s not out of the question that they’ll make doubly sure of their place in the next edition by the simple expedient of winning both this time round.
After two seasons in a row as runners-up, VRA will be looking to end their seven-year title drought this season. They fell short by just one win last time round, and again a slow start to the season was in part to blame as opening losses to Quick and Excelsior left them playing catch-up for much of the season. They’ll be looking for a stronger start this time round, though with only a single serious warm-up against HCC ahead of the season opener against ACC on Sunday they risk again going in under-cooked.
They did bet HCC comfortably however, with rather unheralded overseas signing Brandon Graber bagging four wickets. South African seamer Graber comes in to replace the departing Vivian Kingma (who was largely sidelined by injury last season) and is one of a number of somewhat low-profile additions to the VRA roster that nonetheless look to have shored-up a side that often struggles with player availability, with Englishmen Matt Lake, Graeme Scott and Thomas Long also joining the side.
Headed the other way is opening bat Daan ter Braak, who won’t be returning for another season. His departure leaves a 600+-run gap in the batting and whilst new skipper Emile van den Burg would doubtless be delighted if Lake were to fill it, VRA will likely be looking first to the veteran Eric Szwarczynski to bounce back from a disappointing 2018 and cover the shortfall. Given a batting line-up that also includes Ben Cooper and former captain Peter Borren, VRA need not rue ter Braak’s departure unduly if the senior players deliver.
Borren will doubtless have a role to play with the ball too, though with Graber, Quirijn Gunning and Haseeb Gul in the side as front-line seamers and a solid spin section in Adeel Raja and Leon Turmaine he will hope to have more competition for the VRA lead wicket-taker title than he did last season. All told the Amsterdammers head into 2019 with a balanced side and a deeper bench than they have in the past couple of years, and going one better this time round is far from out of the question.
2018 champions VOC Rotterdam will have to mount their title defense without the services of new-ball spearhead Freddy Klaassen, the left arm quick having been picked up by Kent over the winter. The loss of their lead wicket-taker inevitably takes some of the sting out of the VOC seam attack, with more responsibility falling on the shoulders of Dirk van Baren, Bobby Hanif and newcomer Ashiqullah Said, as well as Pierce Fletcher, especially at the death.
VOC have never been over-reliant on pace however, their unbeaten home record at the spin-friendly Hazelaarweg last year largely built around the slow-bowling trio of Umar Baker, Max O’Dowd and skipper Pieter Seelaar. With Baker departing for Thurlede, O’Dowd and Seelaar will be all the more crucial to VOC’s fortunes both with bat and ball.
Together with keeper Scott Edwards, O’Dowd and Seelaar provided the bulk of VOC’s runs last season. VOC will hope that Corey Rutgers (the trio’s former analyst with the national side and VOC’s main overseas player) will be able to contribute more from the top of the order after a shattered finger rather limited his effectiveness last season.
As much as the absence of Klaassen, it is the strengthening competition that poses the biggest obstacle to a successful title defense for VOC – with their nearest rivals bagging some judicious signings and newcomers VCC arriving in the top division with an intimidating roster – but bar Klaassen the principle components of last season’s success remain in place.
|Toss won by||VRA I|
|Umpires||Z Hussain – JM Mulders|
|Scorers||H Reijmer-Steens – T Jansen Schoonhov|
|Home Side||VOC I|
|Points Awarded||VRA I 0, VOC I 2|
|BN Cooper||b PM Seelaar||45||68||6||0|
|DJ ter Braak||c BW Hanif||b PM Seelaar||31||48||3||0|
|ES Szwarczynski||c&b FJ Klaassen||7||18||0||0|
|PW Borren||run out MP O'Dowd||22||43||1||0|
|E van den Burg*||c CL Rutgers||b BW Hanif||4||16||0||0|
|V Singh||c FJ Klaassen||b PM Seelaar||3||21||0||0|
|LA Turmaine||lbw||b PM Seelaar||24||32||3||0|
|QWM Gunning||b ZDA van Baren||21||24||2||0|
|MB Lees+||c UF Baker||b ZDA van Baren||19||21||3||1|
|RM ter Braak||not out||14||8||0||1|
|P Rathore||not out||2||2||0||0|
|extras||(b0 lb5 w14 nb0)||19|
|TOTAL||9 wickets for||211|
|1-72(DJ ter Braak) 2-78(BN Cooper) 3-100(ES Szwarczynski) 4-120(E van den Burg) 5-121(PW Borren) 6-142(V Singh) 7-149(LA Turmaine) 8-180(MB Lees) 9-202(QWM Gunning)|
|ZDA van Baren||2||0||18||2||–||–|
|JD Schoonheim||c MB Lees||b QWM Gunning||10||12||2||0|
|CL Rutgers||lbw||b LA Turmaine||19||38||3||0|
|ZDA van Baren||lbw||b PW Borren||15||19||2||1|
|MP O'Dowd||b LA Turmaine||9||15||1||0|
|PM Seelaar*||not out||80||87||6||0|
|SA Edwards+||b PW Borren||56||87||5||1|
|SP van Lent||b LA Turmaine||4||2||1||0|
|FJ Klaassen||c V Singh||b P Rathore||5||10||1||0|
|UF Baker||not out||0||0||0||0|
|extras||(b4 lb4 w4 nb3)||15|
|TOTAL||7 wickets for||213|
|1-26(JD Schoonheim) 2-53(ZDA van Baren) 3-53(CL Rutgers) 4-74(MP O'Dowd) 5-186(SA Edwards) 6-191(SP van Lent) 7-207(FJ Klaassen)|
|RM ter Braak||6||1||31||0||2||1|
|DJ ter Braak||2||0||13||0||1||–|
|E van den Burg||1||0||3||0||–||–|
|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)|
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.