Rod Lyall & Bertus de Jong 12/05/2021
The programme is always a little crowded in May, but this year, in addition to the uncertainties arising from the pandemic, the Topklasse schedule has been complicated by the conjunction of Ascension Day (when there is normally a full round of matches) and the feast of Eid al-Fitr. As a result four of the five Round 3 games have been moved to Sunday, and will be preceded by four Round 4 games on Saturday. The Round 4 match between Dosti and HBS has been rescheduled to 30 May because the ground will be needed for football, only a religious matter in the loosest sense of the term.
Thursday: Round 3
RL: Unable to use their ground on Sunday (football again), HBS Craeyenhout have reconciled themselves to taking on ACC without their Netherlands A representatives, Tobias Visée and Ryan Klein. That evens up the odds considerably, but the Crows will still have their other overseas, Tayo Walburgh, making his Topklasse debut, and the rest of the side is strong enough to trouble an Amsterdam outfit which is still finding its feet. The inclusion of Shreyas Potdar reinforces their batting, but the visitors will need to be at their best if they are to take the points back north.
BdJ: Given the unrelentingly grim weather forecast for the weekend this is, by process of likely elimination, the match of the round. ACC of course remain in a lengthy “transitional phase” as they seek to rebuild following the great Zulfiqar Exodus of 2018-19, but showed a commendable amount of fight at times during their opening defeat to HCC. With the Visée and Klein watching the rain in Wicklow the Amsterdammers may sense an opportunity against an under-strength HBS. Klein was the pick of the bowlers for HBS in their nine wicket win over Sparta in the first round, and aside from Visée, Reece Mason and Navjit Singh are the only Crows to have spent any time in the middle thus far. HBS will hope Walburgh acclimatises swiftly to unfamiliar conditions given the length of the tail, while still more responsibility will fall on the shoulders of captain, opening bowler and (at least on Thursday) likely top-order bat Ferdi Vink. If ACC can find early wickets they have the discipline in the field to keep their hosts under pressure, but if HBS can string a couple of partnerships together they’ll quickly become favourites. ACC might hope for a better showing from last season’s stand-out all-rounder Sahil Kothari, and Charles McInerney if fully fit, but there’s been little to suggest them capable of chasing a serious total.
Saturday: Round 4
RL: The most mouth-watering prospect of the entire weekend is Voorburg’s visit to De Diepput to take on HCC. Having dropped points against Excelsior in their first match Voorburg need to win this to avoid falling two games behind the early leaders, and much will depend on whether Kingma and Van Beek are able to seize the initiative by grabbing early wickets against the home side’s menacing top order. On the other side of the coin, HCC’s attack hasn’t yet been tested, and the Villagers have the batting to make life difficult for them. But HCC have the momentum, and on De Diepput’s diminutive dimensions may have the firepower to see off Voorburg’s challenge.
BdJ: Van Beek and Kingma’s efforts with bat and ball, together with Phillipe Boissevain’s impressive spell of legspin, were among the few positives to be taken from the Dutch A side’s dismal showing against the Irish yesterday, and if the three can replicate that form at de Diepput HCC may find themselves in trouble. While HCC have not been put under real pressure in the field, neither has their batting faced an attack of the quality Voorburg can call upon. If conditions this weekend resemble those last week of course it’s unlikely Kingma or van Beek will be bowling at full pace, while Boissevain may struggle to get purchase on a wet ball. Staal and Ahmad at the top of the order have shown themselves more than capable of taking ruthless advantage of struggling bowlers, while the expected return of Hidde Overdijk strengthens both the HCC middle order and provides ten dangerous overs of seam bowling in most any conditions. With two of the four points on offer disapearing into the aether in the event of a washout, both sides will be hoping for better weather than last weekend of course. But the hosts might just prefer it not be too much better.
RL: Yet to settle into a groove, VRA Amsterdam face a potentially difficult trip to the Bermweg to face Sparta 1888. Their bowling suffered at HCC’s hands before the rain intervened last week, but the fallibility of Sparta’s batting has been all too evident in their two outings so far, and VRA’s young attack should find this a more encouraging prospect than taking on either VOC or HCC. It’s hard to believe, on the other hand, that VRA will perform as poorly with the bat as they did against VOC, although with Max Hoornweg, Mudassar Bukhari, Nasrat Ibrahimkhil, Joost Martijn Snoep and Manminder Singh among their bowlers Sparta have a pretty good record on their own track. And they really need to pick things up if they are to turn their season around.
BdJ: VRA are indeed off to another of their now customary slow starts this season, their lack of seam options twice exposed in the opening rounds. This was of course an anticipated problem, though they will hope both Abid and Gunning fire with the new ball on Saturday they have the batting line-up to paper over almost any shortcomings with the ball. Their failure with the bat at Hazelaarweg consequently looks all the more alarming, though conditions were as tough as they’d ever likely face and they were without Eric Szwarczynski, Marcus Andrew and Jack Balbirnie in that opening game. Their opponents have likewise had an abject start to the season, going down by nine wickets to HBS and looking on course for another heavy defeat against Excelsior when the rain intervened. Only the evergreen Mudassar Bukhari has yet crossed thirty with the bat for Sparta, who will likely need some or all of trio of Belgian bats Raza, Latif and Butt to fire if they are to bag their first points of the season.
RL: Punjab Rotterdam’s top order, without Steph Myburgh, looked surprisingly brittle against Dosti last Sunday, and they will be keen to restore normal service when they play host to VOC Rotterdam this week. The return of Pierce Fletcher has sharpened VOC’s new-ball attack, but they will need to be at their most disciplined against a Punjab top order which is capable of flaying any opposition, especially at the Zomercomplex. Punjab’s frustration at not getting a start last Saturday was all too evident, and now that they have a first win under their belts they will be determined to see off the challenge offered by Max O’Dowd, Scott Edwards and Pieter Seelaar. Whether their bowlers are up to that challenge may well be issue that settles the outcome.
BdJ: Last year’s runners-up indeed looked rusty when they finally got their first game at Drieburg last weekend, though the bowling was sufficient to roll over an under-strength (and already flimsy) Dosti batting line-up to set up a nigh-unmissable target of 101, Vinoo Tewarie’s captain’s knock showed what a bit of application and well-timed acceleration could do to a Punjab attack that still looks more serviceable than menacing. Their showing with the bat, Saqib Zulfiqar aside, looked little more convincing in the slow and stumbling chase, though it’s worth noting that they were indeed missing Myburgh and despite the early clatter of wickets there was still batting to come when they crossed the line, not least in the form of overseas all-rounder Teja Nidamanuru. That batting depth probably gives them the edge against a dangerous but top-heavy VOC line-up, though even with points in the bag it’s hard to argue they carry much momentum into the game, and a showing like that against Dosti is unlikely to be as profitable against VOC.
RL: Already established as part of a somewhat crowded field of title contenders, Excelsior ’20 Schiedam travel to Het Loopveld to meet ACC. It was Lorenzo Ingram’s turn last week to step into the spotlight, and the presence of both him and Tristan Stubbs in the Schiedammers’ line-up is enough to give them a huge advantage against an ACC outfit which has elected not to go with an overseas player this season. ACC’s youngsters are capable of giving a good account of themselves, but the absence of some more experienced protection can leave them dreadfully exposed, and the side has not yet really recovered from the personnel losses it suffered last year. It’s hard to see anything but a convincing away win here.
BdJ: Little argument here, even without skipper Tom Heggelman (sidelined by a hamstring injury) Excelsior looked on course for a comfortable win last week before they too were frustrated by the unseasonably wet weather that has plagued the season so far, and despite admirable discipline in the field and competitive spirit ACC likely lack the bowling firepower to trouble a solid Excelsior line-up made menacing by the inclusion of Stubbs and Ingram. The Excelsior bowling attack may lack for penetration, and indeed they’ve taken only 12 wickets in two matches, but is too well-drilled and dependable to be called a real weakness.
Sunday: Round 3
RL: After facing VOC on Saturday Punjab Rotterdam will take on an equally daunting task on Sunday, when they visit to Thurlede to play Excelsior. The Schiedam side, led by Joost Kroesen in the absence of Tom Heggelman, was unfortunate to miss out on the points after taking control against Sparta, and this could well be an outstanding encounter between two of the league’s strongest sides. Excelsior have trump cards in Ingram and Stubbs, but if Punjab can find a way to neutralise their menace the combination of four Zulfiqars, Myburgh, Teja Nidamanuru and the emerging Hussain brothers should be enough to take them home.
BdJ: Excelsior’s trusted tactic of containment has generally served them well at Thurlede, as was the case against VCC in their season opener, and given how Punjab struggled to score at Drieburg on Sunday suggests it could well pay off again. There is one major caveat there however, and that is of course Stephan Myburgh. In their last encounter at Schiedam back in 2018 Myburgh demonstrated that he still knew how to score at his old home ground, making a run-a-ball 48 before his dismissal saw the game turn decisively in the hosts favour. It was a similar story at the Zomercomplex last season, with the run rate plummeting after Myburgh’s dismissal. With Stubbs and Ingram in the Excelsior middle order the hosts have a greater capacity for acceleration than in seasons past, and if they can bag Myburgh early (a big if of course, but hardly unheard of) the title holders will have the game in their hands.
RL: VOC Rotterdam definitely caught the rough end of the DLS calculation against Voorburg on Saturday, and they need to get their campaign back on track by making sure of the points at home against a Sparta 1888 outfit which has been unimpressive so far, especially with the bat. But Mudassar Bukhari gave a reminder against Excelsior, if any were needed, that he can still be a decisive factor, and with more support from the top order – and perhaps the advent of Garnett Tarr – Sparta could be capable of causing an upset or two. VOC, on the other hand, have a well-balanced side with a trio of international stars, and seem likely to have too much firepower for the men from Capelle.
BdJ: As usual VOC seem to be the only team in the competition who have any real idea how to bat at their home ground of Hazelaarweg, even the most experienced of VRA’s enviable batting order looking all at sea in round one. Though their vulnerability away from home was made plain last week, the Rotterdammers’ attack looking a little toothless in more batting-friendly conditions, they have consistently proven a handful at home and Sparta’s batting has inspired little confidence thus far. One cause for concern, however, remains the form of Netherlands opener Max O’Dowd. Bowled for a duck by Ashir Abid in round one, O’Dowd was then skittled by what turned out to be a front foot no ball from Vivian Kingma in round two, and could make only two runs before chipping a return catch to the same bowler. Effectively out three times for two runs this season, O’Dowd might have appreciated the chance to find some form in Ireland this week before the serious business of the Topklasse resumes.
RL: After three away games, or more accurately two and a bit, VRA Amsterdam will be on their own turf for the first time this season, taking on in Voorburg another side who play their home games on grass. The Villagers showed last week that, as we all suspected, their timid performance against Excelsior was well short of their true potential, and with Bas de Leede, Sybrand Engelbrecht and Logan van Beek in good form with the bat and an almost all-international attack, they are as powerful a side as any in the competition. VRA, on the other hand, are something of an enigma: in one sense a work in progress, they have the quality and experience of Peter Borren, Eric Szwarczynski and Ben Cooper, and the contest between the home side’s top order and Voorburg’s bowlers should be one for the connoisseur.
BdJ: If VRA are looking forward to their first outing in front of a home absence-of-crowd this season, one suspects Voorburg’s pace attack will likewise relish the prospect of pulling the spikes on again. Both sides are unarguably at their best on a good grass wicket, though whether the weather will permit the preparation of anything particularly batting-friendly (or indeed any play at all) is of course an open question. Though both sides boast array of former, current and likely future Dutch internationals, it is Voorburg that will be fielding more men of this particular moment. Van Beek, Boissevain and Kingma all looked in fine form across the waters in Wicklow, and while Bas de Leede had [what one hopes for his sake was] a forgettable outing yesterday, that failure looks like an aberration in the context of his current form. Conversely Vikram Singh has looked bereft of both of form and confidence at the crease, and while Cooper had a fine tour to Nepal he’s not had much time in the middle since. With the rest of VRA’s young line-up still finding their feet at senior level, VRA look more dependent on veterans Szwarczynski and Borren than they would like.
N.B. It has since been announced that VRA vs VCC will be played at Westvliet
RL: Three outstanding individual performances, by Vinoo Tewarie with the bat and Asief Hoseinbaks and Waheed Masood with the ball, enabled Dosti Amsterdam to give Punjab a scare last Sunday, but the whole team will need to step up if they are to offer a serious challenge to visitors HCC. The Lions have been in dominating mood with the bat so far, and their attack is good enough to trouble most opposing line-ups. Tewarie had little enough support against Punjab, while his bowlers will need to be at their absolute best if they are to contain Musa Ahmad, Tonny Staal and Boris Gorlee. Anything other than an away win here would amount to one of the upsets of the season.
BdJ: Fair to say that Dosti have struggled to even scrape a team together so far this season, making their showing in the field against Punjab (though admittedly not with the bat) all the more commendable. With Rahil Ahmed expected to return this week and Anees Davids potentially back at some point this season, Dosti have the makings of a competitive side if they can get them all on the field at the same time. The addition of Ahmed, who hasn’t played any competitive cricket since 2019, does not in itself give Dosti anything that looks like a proper batting line-up, but had Tewarie received any support at all on Sunday they might have had four points in the bag already. All that said, HCC won the league last season and Dosti didn’t win a game. I’m not about to talk myself into another wild punt of a prediction here.
Rod Lyall’s tips: Round 3: HBS; Punjab, VOC, Voorburg, HCC | Round 4: HCC, VRA, Punjab, Excelsior.
Bertus de Jong’s tips: Round 3: HBS, Excelsior, Voorburg, HCC, VOC | Round 4: Voorburg, Punjab, VRA, Excelsior
|Toss won by||Dosti United I|
|Umpires||RJ Akram – PJ Jansen|
|Scorers||JA van der Wenden – N Mohammed|
|Home Side||Dosti United I|
|Comment||Rain stopped play, Dosti 80-6 (26 overs). Match reduced to 45 overs. Revised DLS target 101.|
|Points Awarded||Dosti United I 0, Punjab I 4|
|JRM Wegecsanyi||c SA Zulfiqar||b S Tariq||1||6||0||0|
|W Masood||c Y Usman||b S Bhatti||5||7||1||0|
|VAB Tewarie*||not out||60||94||5||1|
|M Hans||c Y Usman||b S Tariq||0||12||0||0|
|S Raji||c RU Zulfiqar||b Mubashar Hussain||6||12||0||0|
|S Zazai+||c SA Zulfiqar||b Mubashar Hussain||0||5||0||0|
|Arief Hoseinbaks||c Mubashar Hussain||b AT Nidamanuru||11||18||2||0|
|Asief Hoseinbaks||c SA Zulfiqar||b AT Nidamanuru||6||19||1||0|
|A Sardha||lbw||b SA Zulfiqar||0||8||0||0|
|S Mahendram||lbw||b AT Nidamanuru||0||8||0||0|
|A Nawaz||b SA Zulfiqar||0||3||0||0|
|extras||(b0 lb0 w14 nb0)||14|
|TOTAL||10 wickets for||103|
|1-6(W Masood) 2-6(JRM Wegecsanyi) 3-10(M Hans) 4-24(S Raji) 5-24(S Zazai) 6-49(Arief Hoseinbaks) 7-81(Asief Hoseinbaks) 8-82(A Sardha) 9-94(S Mahendram) 10-103(A Nawaz)|
|RU Zulfiqar||lbw||b Asief Hoseinbaks||5||26||1||0|
|Mudassar Hussain||b Asief Hoseinbaks||1||13||0||0|
|Y Usman||b Asief Hoseinbaks||4||15||0||0|
|SM Zulfiqar||not out||48||81||4||1|
|K Khan||b W Masood||1||5||0||0|
|SA Zulfiqar||lbw||b M Hans||14||17||2||0|
|AA Zulfiqar+||not out||15||41||1||0|
|extras||(b2 lb2 w8 nb1)||13|
|TOTAL||5 wickets for||101|
|1-7(Mudassar Hussain) 2-9(RU Zulfiqar) 3-15(Y Usman) 4-18(K Khan) 5-40(SA Zulfiqar)|
There were two winners in Saturday’s second round of Topklasse matches: Voorburg, who beat VOC Rotterdam by 42 runs at Westvliet, and the weather, which ensured that there was no result anywhere else.
The weather, it should be noted, had some assistance in two of the games from the umpires, who let the players stay out in steady rain for some time before taking them off.
If this was an attempt to avoid abandoned matches it proved counterproductive, for in one case conditions had by this time deteriorated so far that no further play was possible, and in the other, after a long wait, only twelve deliveries could be bowled before the umpires decided that conditions were unplayable and called it a day.
It is surely not a coincidence that the one fixture concluded was the only one played on turf, since the effect of the rain on an uncovered mat and run-ups was only too predictable. It’s quite possible, given the weather on Saturday, that none of these games could have been saved, but earlier covering could have made a difference.
At Westvliet, the home side, after being put in to bat, recovered from the early loss of Aryan Dutt and had reached 80 for two in 15 overs by the time the weather intervened, skipper Bas de Leede making 42 not out at a run a ball and receiving good support from Mohit Hingorani and Sybrand Engelbrecht.
When play resumed 29 overs had been deducted, so Voorburg had just six overs to pile on the runs.
They did so to good effect despite De Leede’s dismissal off the first delivery after the restart, Engelbrecht and Logan van Beek leading the way as they added 43 for the loss of five wickets in a hectic finale, and the DLS calculation rewarded the side’s earlier enterprise, setting VOC the tough target of 154 in 21 overs.
As long as Scott Edwards was at the crease they were in the hunt, but once he was fifth out in the 17th over with the total on 100, having made a gallant 45-ball 55, the task proved too great and the last wicket fell in the final over with the score on 111.
Philippe Boissevain, who had effectively settled things by removing Edwards, went on to finish with five for 12 from 20 deliveries.
HCC’s start against VRA Amsterdam at De Diepput was even more promising, as Musa Ahmad and Tonny Staal put on 64 in under 11 overs before the umpires decided the rain was too heavy and took the players off.
Staal in particular took off where he had left off against ACC last week, savaging young Abid Ali and making 40 from 39 deliveries with two fours and two sixes.
But the Deep Well lived up to its name, and no further play was possible.
32.1 overs had been bowled at the Bermweg before the interruption, and home side Sparta 1888 were in serious trouble against Excelsior ‘20, Mudassar Bukhari and Manminder Singh having managed to get them to 86 for six after the first six wickets had fallen for just 66.
Lorenzo Ingram had a sensational return to the Topklasse after missing last week’s game, bowling Ali Raza and Sherry Butt with his first two deliveries and then adding the scalp of Mamoon Latif to finish with three for 11.
Eventually, the umpires decided, the ground had recovered sufficiently for play to resume with Excelsior’s reply comprising 20 overs, and as Voorburg had been rewarded by DLS for their batting performance, so Sparta suffered for theirs: Excelsior’s target was a mere 72.
But although Max Hoornweg removed Tim Etman in his first over Nasrat Ibrahimkhil had not completed his before the umpires concluded that the pitch was too wet after all, and the match was abandoned with Excelsior still needing 62 runs.
Further north in Amstelveen, where the game began at the originally-scheduled time of midday, only five overs of Dosti United’s innings against ACC were possible, enough for opener Joe Wegecsanyi to make his Topklasse debut and for Dosti to reach 13 for one, but at Rotterdam’s Zomercomplex there was no play at all between Punjab Rotterdam and HBS Craeyenhout, the umpires calling the game off after a protracted wait for conditions to improve.
At Sportpark Drieburg on Sunday, in the rescheduled Round 1 game between Dosti Amsterdam and Punjab Rotterdam, Punjab survived a serious scare before securing a five-wicket victory over a determined home side.
Dosti had struggled with the bat, collapsing to 24 for five after winning the toss, but a fine captain’s innings from Vinoo Tewarie, who made 60 not out from 94 deliveries, enabled them to reach 103. Teja Nidamanuru took three for 10 and Suleiman Tariq and Mubashar Hussain a brace of wickets apiece.
The game having been reduced to 45 overs a side after a break for rain midway through the Dosti innings, the target was only 101, but Punjab were soon in trouble against Asief Hoseinbaks and Waheed Masood, who took four wickets between them for just 18 runs.
Bowling unchanged for his nine overs, Hoseinbaks claimed three for 19, but Saqib Zulfiqar, supported by his triplet brothers Sikander and Asad, saw his team home with an 81-ball 48 not out.
|Toss won by||VRA I|
|Umpires||DJ Kalloe – P Muthucumaru|
|Scorers||K Pattiselanno – K Holdsworth|
|Home Side||HCC I|
|Points Awarded||HCC I 1, VRA I 1|
|MN Ahmad||not out||21||26||2||0|
|AJ Staal*||not out||40||39||2||2|
|extras||(b0 lb0 w3 nb0)||3|
|TOTAL||0 wickets for||64|
|extras||(b0 lb0 w0 nb0)||0|
|TOTAL||0 wickets for||0|
|Toss won by||Excelsior 20 I|
|Umpires||D Das – M Prabhudesai|
|Scorers||J Snoep – EM Heggelman|
|Home Side||Sparta I|
|Comment||Rain stopped play, Sparta 86-6 (32.1 over). Match reduced to 20 overs; DLS target 73. Match abandoned due to wet conditions.|
|Points Awarded||Sparta I 1, Excelsior 20 I 1|
|D Umar||c LT Ingram||b RWA van Troost||4||17||0||0|
|PB Balwantsingh||c T Stubbs||b NT Etman||5||17||0||0|
|A Raza+||b LT Ingram||16||48||0||0|
|F Iqbal||c JJ van Troost||b NT Etman||11||16||2||0|
|M Bukhari||not out||32||59||3||0|
|SY Butt||b LT Ingram||0||1||0||0|
|M Latif||c T Stubbs||b LT Ingram||5||17||0||0|
|Manminder Singh||not out||10||18||0||0|
|extras||(b1 lb0 w2 nb0)||3|
|TOTAL||6 wickets for||86|
|1-9(PB Balwantsingh) 2-9(D Umar) 3-35(F Iqbal) 4-45(A Raza) 5-45(SY Butt) 6-66(M Latif)|
|RWA van Troost||4||1||11||1||–||–|
|TC Etman||c M Bukhari||b MB Hoornweg||4||4||1||0|
|RTF Verhagen+||not out||4||4||1||0|
|LT Ingram||not out||0||2||0||0|
|JJ van Troost||dnb|
|RWA van Troost||dnb|
|extras||(b0 lb0 w2 nb0)||2|
|TOTAL||1 wickets for||10|
|Toss won by||VOC I|
|Umpires||PGHA van Giezen – ML Hancock|
|Scorers||CC Schinkel – CCH Kaulingfreks|
|Home Side||Voorburg I|
|Comment||Rain stopped play, Voorburg 80-2 (15 overs). Match reduced to 21 overs. DLS target 154.|
|Points Awarded||Voorburg I 4, VOC I 0|
|A Dutt||lbw||b BW Hanif||1||5||0||0|
|M Hingorani+||lbw||b ZDA van Baren||14||20||2||0|
|BFW de Leede*||c SA Edwards||b JD Schoonheim||42||43||5||1|
|SA Engelbrecht||c A Jain||b BW Hanif||21||28||3||0|
|LV van Beek||b MP O’Dowd||19||14||0||1|
|PRP Boissevain||c MP O’Dowd||b SB van Wingerden||3||5||0||0|
|VJ Kingma||c TIM de Kok||b MP O’Dowd||0||2||0||0|
|TN de Grooth||not out||9||9||0||0|
|FJ de Lange||not out||0||0||0||0|
|extras||(b0 lb4 w10 nb0)||14|
|TOTAL||7 wickets for||123|
|1-2(A Dutt) 2-47(M Hingorani) 3-80(BFW de Leede) 4-98(SA Engelbrecht) 5-106(PRP Boissevain) 6-114(LV van Beek) 7-115(VJ Kingma)|
|ZDA van Baren||5||1||18||1||–||–|
|SB van Wingerden||2||0||17||1||1||–|
|MP O’Dowd||c&b VJ Kingma||2||6||0||0|
|SA Edwards+||c R Pieterse||b PRP Boissevain||55||45||5||0|
|TIM de Kok||c SA Engelbrecht||b AA Qasim||16||20||2||0|
|PM Seelaar*||c SA Engelbrecht||b A Dutt||7||6||1||0|
|ZDA van Baren||lbw||b A Dutt||6||6||1||0|
|A Jain||c VJ Kingma||b PRP Boissevain||15||24||0||0|
|JD Schoonheim||b LV van Beek||3||4||0||0|
|MA Durrani||b PRP Boissevain||1||2||0||0|
|PJ Fletcher||c FJ de Lange||b PRP Boissevain||1||2||0||0|
|BW Hanif||not out||1||4||0||0|
|SB van Wingerden||st M Hingorani||b PRP Boissevain||2||4||0||0|
|extras||(b0 lb0 w1 nb1)||2|
|TOTAL||10 wickets for||111|
|1-6(MP O’Dowd) 2-44(TIM de Kok) 3-67(PM Seelaar) 4-67(ZDA van Baren) 5-100(SA Edwards) 6-104(JD Schoonheim) 7-105(MA Durrani) 8-108(A Jain) 9-108(PJ Fletcher) 10-111(SB van Wingerden)|
|LV van Beek||5||0||20||1||1||–|
|BFW de Leede||3||0||16||0||–||–|
|Toss won by||Dosti United I|
|Umpires||RJ Akram – E Ruchtie|
|Home Side||ACC I|
|Points Awarded||Dosti United I 1, ACC I 1|
|JRM Wegecsanyi||not out||5||18||1||0|
|W Masood||run out AE Alangara Napoleon/S Hannema||0||4||0||0|
|VAB Tewarie*||not out||4||8||1||0|
|extras||(b0 lb0 w4 nb0)||4|
|TOTAL||1 wickets for||13|
|M van Vliet||2||1||5||0||1||–|
|AE Alangara Napoleon||1||0||7||0||–||–|
|RK Ramesh Babu||dnb|
|AE Alangara Napoleon||dnb|
|M van Vliet||dnb|
|extras||(b0 lb0 w0 nb0)||0|
|TOTAL||0 wickets for||0|
Bertus de Jong & Rod Lyall 07/05/21
After a batch of somewhat one-sided matches to open the 2021 season last Saturday, round two will largely pit last week’s losers against the winners, assuming the weather stays away.
BdJ: Last season’s table-toppers HCC hit the ground running at Het Loopveld last week when they steamrolled ACC, and they’ll be up against another Amsterdam team this week when VRA arrive at De Diepput. VRA were a tad understrength when they lost to VOC in their opener, missing Jack Balbirnie and Eric Szwarczynski due to illness or threat thereof, but the return of the pair will do little to address the relative paucity of quality pace bowling options available to skipper Peter Borren, who shouldered much of that responsibility himself against VOC. De Diepput will likely prove a less challenging environment for batsmen than Hazelaarweg did last week, but HCC no less challenging opponents. Skipper Tonny Staal led from the front against ACC but most all of the HCC top-order have runs under their belt, and while Clayton Floyd’s maiden five-fer was the standout performance of the round with the ball, all five of HCC’s other bowlers also did themselves credit. In short HCC again look the team to beat this season, and will start clear favourites at home against a VRA side that still looks a tad rusty.
RL: Borren’s tactic of alternating young and inexperienced batters with the older hands only works if the latter come off, which was signally not the case last week. The presence of Szwarczynski and Balbirnie will ease that problem somewhat, and the resistance offered in a losing cause by Mitch Lees and Leon Turmaine at least shows that VRA bat all the way down. But HCC look a pretty complete outfit, and on their own ground seem likely to have too many guns for their visitors. The Lions’ top five of Staal, Musa Ahmad, Boris Gorlee, Damian Crowley and Floyd looks settled and menacing, and while VRA’s attack is capable of presenting a greater challenge than ACC’s did last week, it’s hard to see anything other than a home win.
BdJ: The much-fancied Voorburg will be looking to get their campaign back on track when they welcome VOC Rotterdam to Westvliet, after suffering something of an upset against and understrength Excelsior last week. It was arguably lack of ambition with the bat that cost VCC in that game, though it’s tough to say what a winning total might have been in the face of Tristan Stubbs’ exploits in the chase. VCC’s apparent difficulty playing Umar Baker will be of particular concern considering VOC’s spin stable, Arnav Jain’s success last week meaning skipper Pieter Seelaar only had to bowl four overs himself. Westvliet will likely offer less assistance to slow bowlers than Hazelaarweg however, especially if VCC are minded to tailor conditions to suit their enviable seam attack.
RL: VOC’s curate’s egg effort against VRA last Saturday tended to confirm their dependence on their international stars, although Jain’s performance with both bat and ball was an encouraging sign for Pieter Seelaar and his men. Voorburg will provide a stiffer test, and the contest between Viv Kingma, Logan van Beek and Bas de Leede for the home side and Max O’Dowd, Scott Edwards and Seelaar promises to be something to savour. The Villagers’ own batting is less obviously stellar, although with De Leede, Sybrand Engelbrecht and Van Beek it is strong enough to test a VOC bowling unit which only fired intermittently last week. A harder one to pick, this, but Voorburg should come out on top if they play anywhere near their best.
BdJ: Meanwhile Sparta 1888 will take on Excelsior ‘20 in their first home game of the season, hoping to bounce back from a nine-wicket drubbing at the hands of HBS on Saturday. It was above all the batting that let them down at Craeyenhout, and though the Excelsior attack lacks anyone with the accuracy of Ryan Klein, Sparta lost plenty of wickets to less celebrated HBS bowlers. Both Tom Heggelman and Niels Etman look in decent rhythm for Excelsior, as does off-spinner Umar Baker. The arrival of overseas bat Garnett Tarr may do something to strengthen the Sparta batting, though it’s not clear that he’ll be available come Saturday. Of Sparta’s bowlers only Mudassar Bukhari found any reward in the brief HBS chase, and this round will also have to contend with the in-form Tristan Stubbs who stepped admirably into the shoes of the absent Lorenzo Ingram to see Excelsior comfortably home in the face of VCC’s much vaunted attack. Sparta will have to find some way to remove or contain him if they’re to take points off the 2019 Champions.
RL: Sparta and Excelsior tied last time they met at the Bermweg, and the year before that, in 2018, the Schiedammers were shot out for 41 in one of the great shocks of that or any other season. Neither seems on the cards on Saturday, although Excelsior will be greatly handicapped by the loss of Heggelman, whose hamstring injury last week is likely to keep him out for some time and whose leadership will be missed as sorely as his bowling or, for that matter, his batting. The return of Ingram is therefore even more vital than ever, while Sparta will be hoping that Tarr is there to bolster their rather hit-or-miss batting line-up. But Ali Raza and Sherry Butt will plunder opposing attacks on occasion this season, and Bukhari’s reaction to his rather soft dismissal last week as well as his effort with the ball shows that he’s lost none of his appetite for the battle.
BdJ: With their opener against Dosti postponed due to positive Covid tests in the Dosti camp, Punjab Rotterdam will open their season at home against HBS Craeyenhout. HBS looked in flying form against Sparta last week, but last season’s runner-up will likely provide a sterner test for the Crows. Veteran opener Stephan Myburgh was key to their success last season, topping the run tables and forcing his way back into national consideration. His duel with newcomer Ryan Klein, another who has caught the eye of national coach Ryan Campbell, is arguably the individual match-up to watch this round. The depth of Punjab’s Zulfiqar-heavy batting line-up probably makes them favourites on home turf against a dangerous but somewhat top-heavy HBS (even one bolstered by the arrival of Klein’s Western Province team-mate and fellow Rondebosch alumnus Tayo Walburgh) yet with a points on the board and momentum on their side the Crows may just catch Punjab napping.
RL: Match-up of the day overall for this observer, Punjab and HBS can be expected to slug it out on the Rotterdammers’ smallish ground, and quite a bit of time may be spent retrieving the ball from the undergrowth or the even tinier second field, where there will at least be no lower-division players risking their lives. Klein’s arrival undoubtedly adds cutting edge to the HBS attack, more than compensating for the retirement of Wessel Coster, but Myburgh and the Zulfiqars can be expected to take him on as well as the rest of the Crows’ bowling. How strong the visitors’ batting would be under pressure wasn’t tested last week, but Punjab’s bowling is usually protected by the side’s efforts with the bat, and whoever bats first this game may be decided in the home team’s innings.
BdJ: Likewise Dosti Amsterdam will have to be quick out of the blocks when they cross the Amstel to take on ACC in their 2021 opener. ACC were never really in the game against HCC last week, though their fightback with the ball in the latter stages of the first innings showed some creditable tenacity. Certainly a raw Dosti side still coming out of winter hibernation looks an easier prospect than last year’s winners, though with Rahil Ahmed and possibly Anees Davids returning Dosti may not be the pushovers they were last summer.
RL: This has the look of an early contest in the battle to avoid the wooden spoon, although ACC could legitimately claim that their efforts last year belie that suspicion, and that taking on HCC first up is scarcely a fair test of their potential. In the club’s centenary season they will be keen to see their youngsters make further progress, and the fact that Dosti had to reschedule last week’s game certainly does the visitors no favours. But overall Dosti have more potential match-winners than their opponents, and if one or two of them come off it could be another difficult day for the Loopveld side.
BdJ: Finally on Sunday Dosti and Punjab are slated to meet in their delayed Round 1 match, and the odds are little different than they were last week.
RL: What the man said, although the second match of a double weekend can often turn up a couple of surprises.
Bertus de Jong’s tips: VRA, Voorburg, Excelsior, Punjab, ACC, Punjab
Rod Lyall’s tips: HCC, Voorburg, Excelsior, Punjab, Dosti, Punjab