Topklasse Live | Finals Round 1 | As it Happened

 Bertus de Jong  19:11
What drama at the last, a quite incredible comeback from the hosts driven by Sikander Zulfiqar’s magnificent century. Innings of the season for mine – turning the game on its head and propelling Punjab into the final. VCC will have another chance to get there when they host VRA in the semi-final next Saturday, though they’ve lost the chance of a grand final on home turf. Rather this season’s champions will be crowned at the ZOmercomplex on Sunday. We’ll be there for both those games of course, do join us again then.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  19:01
VCC : 209-7 (50 overs)
Punjab : 211-7 (48.2 overs)
After a protracted conference de Leede takes responsibility himself. Single off the first Bhatti squeezes the next out to point who’s on it in a flash, Sikander’s set off early though, direct hit and VCC are convinced they’ve got him but square leg’s finger stays down as the ball ricochets off the stump and over the rope. Cheers turn to dismay and that is the game for Punjab.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  19:01
VCC : 209-7 (50 overs)
Punjab : 205-7 (48 overs)
High bump ball back to the bowler well fielded by van Beek, but the next is a full toss whipped away to midwicket for a couple to bring up 200. Full and a single out square. A dot to follow and a rank wide full toss is guided wide of third for a hard run three. Single off the last and just five needed now.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  18:58
VCC : 209-7 (50 overs)
Punjab : 198-7 (47 overs)
Wide and full first up and sliced over backward point for four. Next is better and blocked. Quick single off the third brings Zulfiqar on strike. Full toss through cover for a single, dot to follow, huge appeal for LBW on the final ball as Bhatti’s hit on the back pad going back to a full ball but the umpire’s unmoved. Van Beek to bowl his final over.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  18:54
VCC : 209-7 (50 overs)
Punjab : 192-7 (45 overs)
Seven off it, good bit of fielding from the cover sweeper to thank or it would have been nine. Boissevain to bowl the 47th.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  18:46
VCC : 209-7 (50 overs)
Punjab : 185-7 (45 overs)
And they’re headed back out, no overs off yet. Zulfiqar on strike, de Leede takes the ball looks like.

 ⛅ Weather Update ⛅  18:42
Covers coming off again, Punbjab are indeed 3 runs up on DLS we hear, but looks like we might get back on…

 🌧 Weather Update 🌧  18:30
And with that, the rain returns. No official word on DLS but my suspicion is Punjab will be just marginally ahead.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  18:28
VCC : 209-7 (50 overs)
Punjab : 185-7 (45 overs)
Van Beek returns, goes short and is pulled for four, Kingma still at the other end and a flick through square leg brings four more and Sikander’s century. Punjab surely favourites from here now, but it only takes one mistake from Zulfiqar to turn the tables again.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  18:14
VCC : 209-7 (50 overs)
Punjab : 163-7 (42 overs)
Zulfiqar on the charge, first ball of the 43rd and de Leede’s made to watch another pitched-up delivery launched over long on. A ball hunt ensues, and on it’s return it’s despatched over midwicket for six more. Punjab on track for a remarkable comeback here.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  18:04
VCC : 209-7 (50 overs)
Punjab : 143-7 (40 overs)
Mulder seems to cramp up in his follow through and goes down hard, but shrugs it off in the end. Zulfiqar is unsympathetic it seems as he dumps him back over his head for six next ball. A full toss from de Leede first ball of the 40th is put over the rope at midwicket, the next fectehd from outside off in the same direction for four more. Advantage still with VCC but momentum all with the hosts right now. Kingma returns.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  17:54
VCC : 209-7 (50 overs)
Punjab : 121-7 (38 overs)
Zulfiqar pulls Mulder low through midwicket and then works the next away to leg for a single to bring the deficit under 100. De Leede takes over from van Beek at the other end, and Zulfiqar goes to fifty slamming a full ball on off over long on for six. Required rate is just under 7.5 an over from here with 12 overs to go and effectively two wickets in hand if Nidamanuru doesn’t bat. Not inconceivable if Zulfiqar bats through.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  17:39
VCC : 209-7 (50 overs)
Punjab : 93-7 (34 overs)
Just a single off the first of van Beek’s second spell. Mulder continues at the other end but looks to be having some trouble with a slippery ball, full toss heaved away over long on for four by Zulfiqar. Punjab up toward triple figures as frustration creeps in for VCC, but van Beek finds the breakthrough, short and wide and Tariq throws everything at the cut, miscued high toward deep backward point and well taken. Sohail Bhatti in.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  17:25
VCC : 209-7 (50 overs)
Punjab : 80-6 (31 overs)
Tariq finding the rope one way or another here, edginbg Mulder across his stumps and then carving Dutt up over backward point. Game is just drifting a little here, Logan van Beek brought back looking to break this obdurate little partnership.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  17:15
VCC : 209-7 (50 overs)
Punjab : 65-6 (28 overs)
Mulder replaces de Leede, too wide first up and cut fine for a couple by Tariq, Dutt produces another maiden at the other end though, this Punjab chase going nowhere slowly.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  17:08
VCC : 209-7 (50 overs)
Punjab : 61-6 (26 overs)
Dutt has Tariq pushing forward at the ball just outside off and finds the edge but just wide of the diving slip. De Leede finds Zulfiqar’s outside edge in the next too but it also evades the cordon and runs away for four. Another ouside edge in Dutts next sees Tariq off the mark.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  16:58
VCC : 209-7 (50 overs)
Punjab : 53-6 (23 overs)
Another maiden for Dutt, and the procession continues and Usman is clean bowled by de Leede for a three-ball duck. Tariq at eight and possibly gaming out next week’s likely fixture against VRA at this point. 157 required in 27 overs and Punjab effectively seven down.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  16:48
VCC : 209-7 (50 overs)
Punjab : 51-5 (21 overs)
Ul Haq’s belaboured innings is brought to an end by de Leede, as he nicks a fuller ball behind on the drive. Usman in and Punjab’s task looks all but impossible from here.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  16:45
VCC : 209-7 (50 overs)
Punjab : 50-4 (20 overs)
Zulfiqar brings up the fifty for Punjab pushing the ball back past Dutt who slips as he tries to field in his follow through, but with that over completed we’re going to get a result one way or another, and at this point VCC are looking well in control.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  16:35
VCC : 209-7 (50 overs)
Punjab : 44-4 (18 overs)
And indeed a remarkably quick turnaround, they’re back on and Dutt continues to Saqib. Two dots and another down as Saqib goes back to a fullish ball and is pinned in front, struck quite high but didn’t look to be going over on this pitch. We’re told that Nidamanuru will play no further part in the game and is likely out for a couple of weeks at least, having been to hospital to get stitched up. Ul Haq joins Zulfiqar and Dutt completes a wicket maiden. De Leede still from the other end.

 Bertus de Jong  16:23
Some activity out there, the rain’s stopped for now and looks like the covers are coming off. Indeed they are, and the umpires are out having a look. Perhaps I’ve been unduly pessimistic…

 🌧 Weather Update 🌧  16:05
Well it’s not raining heavily by any means, but it’s the sort of drizzle that could keep them off for a long while. The weather’s coming down from the north today and there are brighter skies on the way, but it could be a couple of hours before it’s dry enough to restart. Still a while before we start losing overs but expect DLS will be unkind to the hosts if we do.

Looks like a long wait ahead | Image via

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  15:55
VCC : 209-7 (50 overs)
Punjab : 44-3 (17 overs)
De Leede and Dutt keep things tight for VCC, but the rain has gotten too much for the umpires. They’re off, covers on, three overs short of a game at this point and looks like we might be in for a long wait.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  15:46
VCC : 209-7 (50 overs)
Punjab : 38-3 (14 overs)
Scoring has slowed to a crawl now, two singles off Kingma’s next and van Beek follows it up with a maiden Kingma oversteps in the next but defends the free hit well with a slower yorker dug out back down the track. Kingma and van Beek have done the job early, Bas de Leede into the attack now.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  15:35
VCC : 209-7 (50 overs)
Punjab : 32-3 (11 overs)
Just one off van Beek’s next a thick edge evading the cordon, and a huge shout for LBW on Rehmat as Kingma finds the pad again, maybe a bit of bat involved? Certainly no question of height but the finger stays down. Maiden. Drizzle definitely getting heavier now but they seem determined to stay out for now, and van Beek’s glad they have as he delivers a perfect inswinging yorker into the base of leg stump to let Rehmat get in out of the rain. Sikander at five and Punjab in all sorts of trouble.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  15:26
VCC : 209-7 (50 overs)
Punjab : 29-2 (8 overs)
Five dots on Asad for Kingma bowling full an straight, Asad waiting for a bad ball that doesn’t come, instead he’s done by lateral movement as he’s forward to defend again but down the wrong line, struck in front and straight enough says the umpire. Saqib Zulfiqar at four as the rain begins to intensify.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  15:21
VCC : 209-7 (50 overs)
Punjab : 29-1 (7 overs)
Rehamt riding some slightly uneven bounce well, guides van Beek’s third ball between slip and gully for four. Asad off the mark in the next as Kingma strays too straight and is flicked square off the toes for four, and another four in van Beek’s next, driven just out of reach of the diving mid off.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  15:11
VCC : 209-7 (50 overs)
Punjab : 15-1 (4 overs)
Thick outside edge on the drive flies over gully to bring Myburgh his first boundary, full face of the bat out through extra for one two balls later. Zulfiqar yet to score. He’s off the mark in the next though as Dutt drops too short and is pulled round the corner for four. Myburgh picks up another boundary off Kingma on the first ball of the fourth, short and wide and cut through point, who gets a hand to it but can’t take enough pace off. The next is fuller and straighter and left alone just outside off, and Myburgh might have been best advised to do the same fpor the next but is tempted into the drive and a thin outside edge is gratefully received by Hingorani behind the stumps. Huge wicket for VCC, Asad Zulfiqar in, blocks two balls and looks to lay the third down in front of him but another outside edge, flies high and wide but safe. Van Beek on to replace Dutt. Two slips and a gully in.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  14:58
VCC : 209-7 (50 overs)
Punjab : 1-0 (1 over)
And we’re back. Stephan Myburgh and Rehmat Zulfiqar opening for the hosts, and VCC start with spin as Arjan Dutt takes the new ball. Myburgh off the mark first ball driving through the covers for one, Zulfiqar blocks out the rest of the over. Viv Kingma from the other end.

 Bertus de Jong  14:45
Thanks Rod and good afternoon all, we’re not too far from a resumption here assuming the weather stays away. Still clear for now though there is some light rain expected this afternoon. VCC are warming up on the outfield, they’ve 209 to defend. Punjab have yet th successfully chase a 200+ score at home this season, but then generally they’ve not needed to. Very much in the balance at this point, though one feels the powerplay will change that one way or another.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  14:21
Voorburg : 209-7 (50 overs)
A good finish that for Voorburg, 58 coming off the last six overs. It’s given them a decent total to bowl at, and sets up what should be a great battle between their attack and Punjab’s outstanding top order. Bertus de Jong will be with you in about half an hour to bring you all that action.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  14:18
Voorburg : 209-7 (50 overs)
Irfan bowls the last, and Van Beek, down on one knee, hammers the first back straight and onto the second field. He gets under the next, but it lands safely and they run two. An edge from the third yields two, and the fourth disappears over cow and into the undergrowth. The umpire’s too concerned with tracking the ball to bother signalling six, but I reckon we all understood. His tracking is in vain, however, and it’s another replacement ball. Van Beek tries for three, but finds Yasir Usman on the long on boundary. His 44 came from 23 deliveries. They get one off the final delivery, but De Lange is run out looking for the second.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  14:08
Voorburg : 192-5 (49 overs)
Bhatti back to bowl 49, and four for De Lange to third man off the first. Van Beek effortlessly lifts the fourth over long on for another six. Twelve off it.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  14:04
Voorburg : 180-5 (48 overs)
A picket fence of singles off Irfan, thanks to some good fielding from Punjab.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  14:01
Voorburg : 174-5 (47 overs)
A thumping six by Van Beek off Saqib deposits the ball into the trees. Another is produced from the Punjab dressing room, and a fascinating little battle between batter and bowler fills the rest of the over. A single off the last keeps Van Beek on strike.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  13:53
Voorburg : 164-5 (44.6 overs)
They go after Saqib now: back-to-back fours for Engelbrecht, and then another for Van Beek. But Saqib gets his revenge, taking a return catch off the last of the over, and Engelbrecht goes for 59. Floris de Lange joins Van Beek.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  13:46
Voorburg : 147-4 (42.5 overs)
That said, Dutt belts Saqib back over his head for six. But then he lofts him straight to cover. Logan van Beek in at six.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  13:42
Voorburg : 138-3 (42 overs)
Voorburg need a big finish here, but Saqib and Irfan aren’t giving much away.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  13:35
Voorburg : 126-3 (39.2 overs)
Long delay, ball replaced. Then De Leede lofts Saqib over long on for six. Next over Irfan pushes one through outside off, De Leede gets an edge, and Asad Zulfiqar does the rest. De Leede goes for 38, Aryan Dutt joins Engelbrecht, who’s on 42*

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  13:21
Voorburg : 114-2 (37.4 overs)
Irfan’s doing a good job filling in for Nidamanuru, but he can’t stop De Leede hammering him through mid-on for four. That’s the cue for another drink as they retrieve the ball.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  13:15
Voorburg : 106-2 (36 overs)
A cultured late cut by De Leede off Saqib provides a much-needed boundary, both for the team and for its captain. He’s on 25* now, Engelbrecht on 35*. Voorburg have a platform here, but even with Nidamanuru off the field Punjab won’t make a gear change easy.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  13:08
Voorburg : 98-2 (33 overs)
Four come off the rest of that over, and a single apiece from Saqib’s next. Engelbrecht now on 32*, De Leede 20*.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  13:01
Voorburg : 92-2 (31.1 overs)
A worrying repeat of yesterday as Nidamanuru gets a finger on an Engelbrecht straight drive and leaves the field clutching his hand. There’s a delay, and then Irfan ul Haq takes over to finish the over.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  12:56
Voorburg : 88-2 (30 overs)
Hussain too bowls ten straight; four off it, but two for 16 is a pretty good day’s work! A more positive stroke from De Leede yields three to long off from Sikander, and later in the over he picks up back-to-back twos, the first a firm stroke through point, the second turned to backward square. Saqib Zulfiqar replaces Hussain; spin into the attack for the first time. Run starting to flow a bit now – seven off Saqib’s first, including a meaty pull by Engelbrecht to deep midwicket. Nidamanuru on from the Equestrian Centre End, so spin from both ends. Umpire Van Liemt does star jumps at square leg as the preparations continue. Engelbrecht on 25* now, De Leede on 17*.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  12:41
Voorburg : 66-2 (26 overs)
Engelbrecht is showing every sign of wanting to get on with it, and he slashes Sikander past point for another four. Another economical over from Hussain follows, and De Leede remains becalmed; he’s faced 37 deliveries now for his 6 not out, as Sikander comes back with a maiden.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  12:30
Voorburg : 57-2 (23 overs)
Sikander Zulfiqar on from the Equestrian Centre End. He dislocated a finger during yesterday’s T20 Cup semi-final and, with the approval of the umpires, his right hand has two fingers taped together. Engelbrecht plays him down through the gully for the first boundary for what seems like an age. Seven off the over in all. But Hussain’s still in charge from the other end, just a ingle off his next, and now he has two for 10 from eight overs.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  12:18
Voorburg : 48-2 (20 overs)
Sybrand Engelbrecht joins De Leede, and he too is forced to concentrate on defence. Tariq bowls out with a maiden to De Leede; his ten overs cost just 24. Another great spell from the skipper.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  12:09
Voorburg : 48-2 (18.1 overs)
A rather indecisive forward prod from Hingorani to Hussain, and his middle stump is knocked back. He departs for 18, and with that they take a drink.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  12:03
Voorburg : 45-1 (17 overs)
Tariq’s last five overs have yielded just six runs, and Hussain has gone for eight off five. No boundary for ten overs, as Punjab turn the screw.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  11:56
Voorburg : 43-1 (15 overs)
Wicket maiden for Hussain. A little misfield at slip allows Hingorani a single, and De Leede is watchfulness personified for the rest of the over, getting off the mark with a push to mid-on and a very tight run. The strangle is on, as Asad Zulfiqar decides to stand up to Hussain. A single apiece off the over.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  11:47
Voorburg : 39-1 (12.4 overs)
And reward for Hussain, as De Grooth goes for a big heave and is bowled for 22. You miss, I hit. Bas de Leede in at three.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  11:44
Voorburg : 39-0 (12 overs)
Tidy from Hussain too: a single squirted to point the only scoring, partly because of a great stop there by Nidamanuru off the next delivery. Voorburg are having to settle for ones at the moment.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  11:38
Voorburg : 37-0 (10 overs)
Mubashar Hussain on from the Harbour End; the first’s overpitched, and De Grooth clips him off his toes wide of mid-on for a brace. A single apiece, a sharp one to point for De Grooth and a very comfortable to deep cover for Hingorani, complete the scoring. Maiden from Tariq, who’s bowling to his field pretty effectively.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  11:31
Voorburg : 33-0 (8 overs)
De Grooth sweeps Tariq for four to fine leg, then paddles another round the corner for a couple. A bit of lift from Bhatti, who catches Hingorani on the glove, but generally he’s getting into line and (I know the risk I’m taking here) looking as if he’s there for the long haul, as he has been all season. There’s the odd spit of rain, I think, as De Grooth tries to reverse to Tariq and survives a big appeal for leg-before. Just a single off it.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  11:21
Voorburg : 21-0 (5 overs)
Hingorani off the mark too with a push to deep midwicket, and then De Grooth plays the first real shot, leaning back and lofting Tariq over mid-on for four. An even better shot two balls later, a cover drive for four, in the air initially but wide of the man and safe. The Voorburg cause gets a bonus in Bhatti’s next, as they take a quick single to short extra and a shy at the bowler’s end stumps goes for four overthrows.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  11:13
Voorburg : 5-0 (3 overs)
Five dots, but De Grooth works the last out to deep midwicket for the first run off the bat. Bhatti pursues a fifth-stump line, De Grooth flashing and missing a couple of times, but in the end it’s a maiden.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  11:07
Voorburg : 4-0 (1 over)
Sohail Bhatti starts from the Harbour End to Mohit Hingorani, who opens for Voorburg with Tom de Grooth. A wide first up, and three more later in the over; Bhatti struggling a bit to find his radar, though for the rest it’s tidy enough. Suleiman Tariq from his favoured Equestrian Centre End.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  10:50
Voorburg : 0-0 ( overs)
’Usually reliable sources’ tell us that Suleiman Tariq actually won the toss, but the outcome’s the same . . .

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  10:45
Voorburg : 0-0 ( overs)
And the teams:
Punjab: Suleiman Tariq*, Asad Zulfiqar+, Sohail Bhatti, Mubashar Hussain, Steph Myburgh, Teja Nidamanuru, Irfan ul Haq, Yasir Usman, Rehmat Zulfiqar, Saqib Zulfiqar, Sikander Zulfiqar.
Voorburg: 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.

 Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg  10:44
Voorburg : 0-0 ( overs)
News from the middle: Bas de Leede has called correctly and elected to bat.

 Rod Lyall  10:20
By way of variation, it looks as if today’s rain is coming from the north-east rather than the traditional south-west, but that is unlikely to make much difference to its effect. We’ll bring you up to date with the position on the ground as soon as we can.

 Rod Lyall  10:15
A very hearty welcome, everyone, to TKcricket’s live coverage of the first match of this year’s Topklasse play-offs – a week late, and one semi-final short of a picnic, but after all the shenanigans of the past couple of weeks it’s great to be able to report on some actual cricket. Two very good sides going head-to-head, too, with the winner proceeding straight into the grand final and avoiding the potential banana-skin of a preliminary final encounter with VRA Amsterdam. I shall be with you for the first innings today, with Bertus de Jong slotting in to bring you the second. And of course, Sander Tholen and his camera will be there to bring you all the action in due course.