|Toss won by||Punjab I|
|Umpires||ML Hancock – WPM van Liemt|
|Home Side||Voorburg I|
|Points Awarded||Voorburg I 0, Punjab I 4|
|M Hingorani+||b Mubashar Hussain||18||44||1||0|
|TN de Grooth||b Mubashar Hussain||22||47||3||0|
|BFW de Leede*||c AA Zulfiqar||b I Ul Haq||38||75||2||1|
|SA Engelbrecht||c&b SM Zulfiqar||59||82||4||0|
|A Dutt||c sub||b SM Zulfiqar||15||16||1||1|
|LV van Beek||c Y Usman||b I Ul Haq||40||23||1||4|
|FJ de Lange||run out Y Usman/AA Zulfiqar||10||13||1||0|
|PRP Boissevain||not out||0||0||0||0|
|extras||(b1 lb0 w6 nb0)||7|
|TOTAL||7 wickets for||209|
|1-39(TN de Grooth) 2-48(M Hingorani) 3-126(BFW de Leede) 4-147(A Dutt) 5-164(SA Engelbrecht) 6-208(LV van Beek) 7-209(FJ de Lange)|
|I Ul Haq||9.5||0||51||2||–||–|
|SJ Myburgh||c M Hingorani||b VJ Kingma||11||8||2||0|
|RU Zulfiqar||b LV van Beek||10||35||2||0|
|AA Zulfiqar+||lbw||b VJ Kingma||8||18||2||0|
|SM Zulfiqar||lbw||b A Dutt||4||21||0||0|
|SA Zulfiqar||not out||114||116||6||5|
|I Ul Haq||c M Hingorani||b BFW de Leede||1||11||0||0|
|Y Usman||b BFW de Leede||0||3||0||0|
|S Tariq*||c TN de Grooth||b LV van Beek||18||42||2||0|
|S Bhatti||not out||31||38||1||0|
|extras||(b0 lb2 w10 nb2)||14|
|TOTAL||7 wickets for||211|
|1-15(SJ Myburgh) 2-29(AA Zulfiqar) 3-31(RU Zulfiqar) 4-44(SM Zulfiqar) 5-51(I Ul Haq) 6-52(Y Usman) 7-93(S Tariq)|
|LV van Beek||10||1||38||2||3||–|
|BFW de Leede||9.2||0||54||2||6||1|
Rod Lyall 30/08/21
In one of the most extraordinary turnarounds of this or any other season Punjab Rotterdam, thanks to a magnificent unbeaten 114 from Sikander Zulfiqar, recovered from an apparently hopeless 52 for six to beat Voorburg by three wickets on Sunday and progress to next week’s grand final.
In a rain-punctuated reply chasing Voorburg’s 209 for seven, Punjab appeared to be heading for defeat for much of their innings, but dogged knocks from skipper Suleiman Tariq and from Sohail Bhatti gave Zulfiqar the support he needed as he batted his side into a winning position.
Earlier, Tariq had led from the front with an unbroken ten-over spell in which he conceded only 24 runs, while fellow-seamer Mubashar Hussain was even more economical, removing Voorburg openers Tom de Grooth and Mohit Hingorani into the bargain to finish with two for 16 from his unrelieved ten.
Punjab’s effort was all the more remarkable because key allrounder Teja Nidamanuru was able to bowl only seven deliveries before he was forced to leave the field with a hand injury sustained as he tried to stop a straight drive off his own bowling.
But Irfan ul Haq stepped into the breach, and for much of his spell he, too, was able to contain Voorburg’s batters.
Bas de Leede and Sybrand Engelbrecht batted solidly as they put on 78, but with boundaries few and far between it took them 21 overs to do it, and almost as soon as the runs began to flow a little De Leede was caught behind reaching for a delivery from Irfan.
Aryan Dutt made a cameo appearance for his 15, and Engelbrecht, having reached a hard-working half-century, decided that the time had come for more sustained aggression and, after hitting Saqib Zulfiqar for successive boundaries, fell to a return catch at the end of the same over and departed for 59.
There were now five overs left and Logan van Beek, who had already shown his intentions, made full use of them; they produced 45 runs, 34 of them from the bat of Van Beek, who made 40 from 23 deliveries, hitting four sixes, before he was caught on the long on boundary off the penultimate ball of the innings trying to add a fifth.
That final flurry had given Voorburg a solid total in the conditions, and when Viv Kingma had removed Steph Myburgh and Asad Zulfiqar and Van Beek had bowled Rehmat Zulfiqar, it began to look like a winning one, particularly with Nidamanuru unable to bat.
Rain held up proceedings for half an hour at 44 for three after 17 overs, and immediately after the resumption Saqib Zulfiqar fell to Dutt without addition to the score.
Dutt, if not unplayable, was certainly unhittable, and having opened the innings with two overs for six runs he now bowled his remaining eight at a cost of 10 more; when his spell came to an end Punjab were on 77 for six with just 20 overs left and 133 still needed.
By now Tariq had joined Sikander, combining rock-like defence with the occasional meaty blow. But it was one of the latter off Van Beek which flew to De Grooth on the point boundary and ended the skipper’s resistance.
Still Punjab needed 117, now from just 16 overs with only two effective wickets left, and Voorburg must have believed that they had one foot in the grand final.
Bhatti continued, however, where Tariq had left off, and Sikander, himself batting with an injured hand sustained in Saturday’s T20 semi-final, reached fifty with a six off De Leede.
Now Sikander moved quickly through the gears, needing only 25 deliveries to go from fifty to his hundred and hitting four more sixes in the process, and by the time the rain intervened with only five overs remaining, Punjab were on 185, requiring 25 more and just ahead on DLS.
Bhatti played his part, pushing singles to give Sikander the strike, and as the target neared he took a hand himself, slicing Philippe Boissevain away for four off the first ball of the only over he bowled.
Voorburg continued to fight all the way, knowing that dismissing Sikander would turn the game back their way, but Punjab could now be content with ones and twos, and they gradually edged their way towards victory.
The end had something of the Keystone Cops about it as, with four needed, Bhatti pushed to point for a quick single to get Sikander back on strike, the return hit the stumps, and with the fielders’ attention on a sustained appeal for the run out, the ball continued on to the boundary for four overthrows.
Sikander Zulfiqar’s unbeaten 114 came from 116 deliveries and included six fours and five sixes, while Bhatti finished with 31 not out from 38.
Voorburg will look back on this match as an opportunity lost as they prepare to face VRA Amsterdam next Saturday, but the truth is that they were denied by a superb and courageous innings, one which will be remembered for a very long time.
After two weeks of controversy, HCC and VOC Rotterdam have both elected to withdraw from the playoff phase of the Topklasse, citing the greater interests of Dutch cricket. The decision leaves Punjab Rotterdam and Voorburg CC to contest the preliminary final this Sunday, with the winner of that match going on to host the final a week later. Meanwhile VRA have been granted a bye to the semi-final on Saturday September 4th where they will take on the loser of that encounter with the winner taking the second spot in the final the following day.
HCC and VOC were originally slated to contest their final league phase match at de Diepput on the 15th of August, but that match was eventually abandoned with HCC refusing to continue after a heated exchange in the middle apparently included a racially-charged comment directed at the HCC keeper. After the KNCB initially awarded the game to VOC, the Commissie van Beroep overturned the decision, mandating that the match be replayed the following week, consequently delaying the start of the palyoff phase.
In the event, VOC declined to play the rescheduled match citing concerns over escalating tensions and throwing the competition into further confusion, compounded by an unrelated controversy over the conflicting rules over precedence of tie-breakers for teams finishing on equal points which cast doubt on which of VCC or HCC would finish in second should HCC be awarded the game.
HCC would then find themselves embroiled in a controversy of their own this week when a photo surfaced of the whiteboard on which the team had written their pre-game objectives ahead of their Round 17 match against Punjab, which featured a slogan which reffered to their opponents using a derogatory Urdu term.
As the ongoing mess threatened to overshadow the final phase of the Topklasse entirely, both clubs, in consultation with the KNCB, mutually agreed it would be best to withdraw.
In a statement on the club website VOC explained: VOC and HCC jointly discussed the situation surrounding the abandoned match. This was both desirable and necessary as it became clear this that the replay … had not been established in accordance with the regulations. Following consultations – and taking into account the interests of cricket in the Netherlands – VOC and HCC jointly decided to withdraw from potential participation in the playoffs.
HCC likewise issued a statement, saying, As a club we have certain norms and values. The unrest generated by the match against VOC is sufficient cause for us to withdraw from further participation in the play-offs. With this we hope that peace will return to cricket. We would like to emphasize that we consider it of great importance that we continue to maintain friendly and sporting ties with all clubs and hope by means of taking this step to demonstrate those intentions.
Sunday August 29th: Preliminary Final – Punjab Rotterdam vs Voorburg CC
Saturday September 4th: Semi Final – Loser Preliminary Final vs VRA
Sunday September 5th: Grand Final – Winner Prelim Final vs Winner Semi Final
Bertus de Jong 24/08/21
HCC have come under fire after the emergence a photograph, obtained by TK cricket, of the Hague club’s match-planning white board in the side’s dressing room ahead of their 17th round Topklasse match against Punjab Rotterdam. The whiteboard was discovered by Punjab players following the conclusion of the match on Sunday August 8th. Together with the team selection and a series of tactical goals for the match in question, the slogan “Let’s back each other, stick together and Beat the Behenchods! [sic]” appears, the latter being an obscenity in Urdu and Hindi loosely translating as one who has sex with his sister.
A little over a week ago HCC controversially left the field and refused to continue their match against VOC Rotterdam after VOC batsman Dirk van Baren allegedly directed a racial slur at the HCC wicketkeeper Yash Patel. HCC then successfully appealed after the KNCB awarded the game to VOC, the Commissie van Beroep determining that the match must instead be replayed. VOC declined to contest the rescheduled game last Sunday, citing concerns over the risk of further escalating tensions.
The emergence of the photograph leaves HCC open to charges of hypocrisy, and calls into question the sincerity of their stand in regards the VOC match. The teams match against Punjab was itself not without controversy at the time, as HCC’s improbably slow over rate in the final phase of the rain-affected match prompted suggestions that they were attempting to avoid likely defeat by forcing an abandonment. In the event Punjab went on to win the game regardless, leaving HCC needing a single point to ensure progression to the playoffs.
The awarding of the VOC fixture to HCC meant that as things stand HCC are set to progress to the playoffs, either in second or in third place – the exact final standings being the subject of another unrelated controversy regarding the precedence of tie-breakers in the competition. Should they be awarded second place it would set up a rematch with Punjab Rotterdam in the preliminary final on Sunday.
HCC Chairman Jan Nuijten told TKcricket “HCC takes this matter very seriously, and issue has been discussed with the team who are preparing their apologies to offer to Punjab. It is regrettable that this matter has emerged publicly before these could be made, though the chairman has already offered his apologies in a personal capacity. While the white board was intended only for internal use and was not intended to be seen by or directed at the opposition, nonetheless the use of such language is unacceptable and not in the Spirit of Cricket.”
The KNCB declined to comment on the situation at this time.
Bertus de Jong & Bertus de Jong 21/08/21
nb. the first half of this preview was written prior to the announcement of VOC’s withdrawal from the match in question.
Well the circumstances leading to this orphaned match are not uncontroversial, but the Commissie van Beroep have in their ineffable wisdom decreed that last weeks aborted game between HCC and VOC Rotterdam must be replayed before we can get to the business of the playoffs, so having scrapped our preview for those games we’re left with this final league phase encounter at de Diepput as the day’s only game.
BdJ: Realistically, given the forecast and the difficulty of getting de Diepput to dry out in reasonable time, the expected rain is likely to be the decisive factor tomorrow. A washout would give HCC the single point they’ve been after for the last couple of weeks to make the top four and leave VOC rueing missed opportunities. Should we get a game in however, the hosts are well placed to claim their playoffs spot by traditional means. VOC will of course be without Dirk van Baren, who despite an inconsistent summer has put in some crucial performances under pressure this season, and likely without skipper Pieter Seelaar, whose fitness stuggles have reportedly returned. Their absences leave the VOC batting card looking a little thin, though in a shortened game (which is likely the most we can hope for) they still have the top-order hitting power in Max O’Dowd and Scott Edwards to take advantage, while the returning Corey Rutgers has been in superlative form since shedding the responsibility of marshalling our neighbours to the South and VOC’s remaining middle order bats are arguably better suited to shorter contests. That said, HCC’s home advantage will likely prove a significant factor even in an abbreviated match. Their attack remains the league’s most balanced, and while the HCC batting lacks the hitting power of their opponents they make up for it in depth. The most probable outcome tomorrow remains a wash-out, which would see VOC eliminated and HCC claiming fourth place behind VRA by virtue of the latter’s total league phase win-count (or, equally likely, third place by virtue of the KNCB’s entirely arbitrary attitude toward the priority of tie-breakers). The Board’s limited understanding of the rules of their own competition likewise make it difficult to predict what an HCC victory would imply; according to the rules that have been in force all season they would finish in third place behind VCC – again on the basis of the latter’s superior win-count – but it’s equally possible they will be adjudged to have finished in second on the basis of a superior net run rate, head to head record against VCC, tasseomancy or the dictates of a monkey with a Ouija board. A convincing VOC win meanwhile would put them unambiguously in third ahead of VRA on most traditional metrics, while a close win ought to leave them in fourth but at this point who knows?
BdJ (2 hours later): VOC have just announced they’re not going to play the game that likely would have been washed out anyway, and are conceding the points to HCC. As a moral stand it is marginally less convincing than that of their intended opponents last week, but barring another bizarre and baseless decision from the game’s administrators it is likely to prove decisive. What this means is that we now have a weekend without any Topklasse cricket at all for absolutely no good reason, and HCC are through to the playoffs, in third position according to the actual rules but quite possibly in second place because “reasons”. So the farcical close to the league phase continues, having left us with four playoff contenders but relatively little idea of what order they might be in or why. Next weekend will see Punjab and VRA take on VCC or HCC in the preliminary final and de facto quarter final respectively, but the two will likely have to wait on a decision from the board as to which tiebreaker they intend to apply this week before finding out who their opponents will be. We’ll bring you news of that decision as soon as we get it. In the meantime we imagine that you, dear readers, like all of us at TK, will be on edge of your seats.
BdJ’s pick: Rain.
BdJ (2 hours later)’s pick: Nonsense.
Rod Lyall 21/08/21
Of the two controversies which have afflicted the Topklasse over the past week, that relating to last Sunday’s abandoned match between HCC and VOC Rotterdam is clearly the more far-reaching and ultimately the more significant.
The other issue, over which of two conflicting rules about rankings on the league table should take precedence, and thus whether VOC or VRA Amsterdam should be the home side for their semi-final, is down to an unfortunate administrative error, and could perhaps best have been resolved by tossing a coin, or by playing the match at a neutral venue.
But the battle over the outcome of HCC’s walk-off at De Diepput after an allegedly racist remark made by VOC batter Dirk van Baren to HCC wicketkeeper Yash Patel, culminating in the KNCB Appeals Committee’s ruling on Friday that the match should be replayed, goes to fundamental issues which have plagued Dutch cricket for many years as well as giving rise to concerns about what may happen in the future.
Sunday’s match was inevitably highly charged: the sides went into it in third and fourth positions on the table, knowing that the winner would be guaranteed a place in the play-offs while the loser’s chances were dependent on results elsewhere.
The atmosphere was not helped by an incident in the fifth over when HCC were convinced that Van Baren had been caught but the umpires, after consulting, ruled that he was not out, but it exploded a dozen overs later, when an exchange of words between Patel and Van Baren led to the former walking off, followed by his teammates.
Twenty-five minutes later, after negotiations which also involved KNCB Match Referee Rob Kemming, HCC confirmed that they were not prepared to continue, and the match was abandoned.
Law 16.3 is quite unambiguous on the point: ‘a match shall be lost by a side which in the opinion of the umpires refuses to play. If so, the umpires shall award the match to the other side.’
This is essentially confirmed by the KNCB’s own Playing Conditions, merely adding a procedure whereby the Match Referee is the one who awards the match, but another key document, the Competitiereglement [Competition Rules], takes a more nuanced position.
Under article 8 of this document the KNCB Board may, ‘where neither team should be deemed to have lost the match’, order a replay, while ‘in exceptional cases’ it may decide not to impose any further penalty on a team which is deemed to have lost.
A note lays down that the normal tariff of penalties for a team which refuses to play shall be, for a first offence, a reduction of two points and a fine of €100.
In this case the Board accepted the Match Referee’s decision to award the match to VOC, but chose not to impose any further sanction, either in the form of a points penalty or a fine; this has now been overturned by the Appeals Committee after HCC appealed, ordering that the match be replayed.
There is no dispute that an abusive remark with racial overtones was made by Van Baren to Patel, and that is a matter which will be properly pursued through the KNCB’s disciplinary procedures.
But does it follow from this that HCC were justified in refusing to play, as the Appeals Committee’s decision appears to suggest?
That they should have walked off in solidarity with Patel is understandable, but to continue the protest even when it was explained to them that they risked forfeiting the match took the dispute to an entirely different level.
There have been instances in international cricket – the West Indies at Christchurch in 1980, India at Melbourne in 1981 – when a captain has come close to refusing to play, but only once, in the infamous Oval Test of 2006 between England and Pakistan, has the situation been allowed to deteriorate to the point at which the match was forfeited, an outcome which continued to reverberate, to nobody’s credit, for almost three years.
The strongest position HCC could have adopted, in my view, would have been to make the protest and then return to finish the game, ideally with assurances that the disciplinary matter would be pursued to the fullest possible extent.
Instead, they chose to take the moral high ground, drawing the greatest possible attention to what they described in the announcement of their appeal as a ‘unique incident’.
Unfortunately, though, the incident, though undoubtedly unsavoury, is far from unique; rather, it is the tip of an iceberg of racial prejudice and misunderstanding which runs deep in Dutch cricket, and which has done so for many years.
Nor should that be surprising: cricket reflects the societies in which it is played, and racism, and specifically anti-immigrant feeling, is a feature, and indeed an increasingly evident feature with the rise of anti-immigrant parties, of Dutch society, as it is in many other Western societies.
This is a subject which deserves much more careful attention than it can be given here, and it is one to which we shall return.
But no-one who has had anything to do with Dutch cricket in recent decades can put their hand on their heart and say that they have never heard racist comments, on or off the field, and many would, if they were honest, admit that they had themselves made for such remarks.
As for the order that the match be replayed, although it appears that VOC had no objection to such an outcome, there is a real danger that it will open the way for sides in a losing situation to manipulate the circumstances in such a way that the match has to be abandoned, especially in the many games in which there are no official umpires.
If it is not to prove a sledger’s charter then the playing conditions need to be toughened in order to ensure that there is no repetition of Sunday’s unhappy events, at the same time reinforcing the message that there will be zero tolerance of racism in Dutch cricket, and indeed of any other violation of Law 42.
|Toss won by||Dosti United I|
|Umpires||PJ Jansen – DJ Kalloe|
|Home Side||Dosti United I|
|Points Awarded||Dosti United I 4, Sparta I 0|
|RI Ahmed+||c M Bukhari||b MB Hoornweg||22||19||5||0|
|M Hans||c M Bukhari||b PB Balwantsingh||1||8||0||0|
|Arief Hoseinbaks||run out CP Ambrose||7||32||1||0|
|Asief Hoseinbaks||lbw||b JM Snoep||10||15||0||1|
|JRM Wegecsanyi||lbw||b T Hoornweg||0||4||0||0|
|W Masood||b JM Snoep||35||34||3||2|
|S Shazai||b T Hoornweg||8||22||1||0|
|S Bhoelan||c L Snoep||b JM Snoep||9||54||1||0|
|AV Atwarie||b T Hoornweg||0||1||0||0|
|S Mahendram||c G Tarr||b M Bukhari||21||22||2||0|
|A Nawaz||not out||9||12||1||0|
|extras||(b8 lb6 w27 nb1)||42|
|TOTAL||10 wickets for||164|
|1-12(M Hans) 2-29(RI Ahmed) 3-54(Arief Hoseinbaks) 4-61(Asief Hoseinbaks) 5-63(JRM Wegecsanyi) 6-103(S Shazai) 7-108(W Masood) 8-108(AV Atwarie) 9-149(S Mahendram) 10-164(S Bhoelan)|
|MB Hoornweg||c RI Ahmed||b S Mahendram||13||24||3||0|
|CP Ambrose||lbw||b Asief Hoseinbaks||1||4||0||0|
|G Tarr+||b Asief Hoseinbaks||30||35||3||1|
|M Bukhari*||b W Masood||5||6||1||0|
|D Umar||c S Shazai||b Asief Hoseinbaks||25||21||3||1|
|PB Balwantsingh||c S Shazai||b M Hans||1||10||0||0|
|AO Smelt||b M Hans||1||7||0||0|
|JM Snoep||not out||24||26||3||0|
|T Hoornweg||b Asief Hoseinbaks||1||2||0||0|
|L Snoep||b W Masood||4||26||0||0|
|extras||(b10 lb1 w17 nb0)||28|
|TOTAL||9 wickets for||133|
|1-5(CP Ambrose) 2-35(MB Hoornweg) 3-46(M Bukhari) 4-66(G Tarr) 5-86(PB Balwantsingh) 6-90(D Umar) 7-95(AO Smelt) 8-98(T Hoornweg) 9-133(L Snoep)|
*provisional sorecard, details may change
|Toss won by||VOC I|
|Umpires||RJ Akram – Z Hussain|
|Home Side||HCC I|
|Points Awarded||VOC I 4, HCC I 0|
|MP O’Dowd||c&b HC Overdijk||10||23||1||0|
|ZDA van Baren||not out||22||53||2||0|
|SA Edwards+||not out||7||23||1||0|
|TIM de Kok||dnb|
|SB van Wingerden||dnb|
|extras||(b0 lb2 w4 nb0)||6|
|TOTAL||1 wickets for||45|
|extras||(b0 lb0 w0 nb0)||0|
|TOTAL||0 wickets for||0|
*result to be confirmed
|Toss won by||VRA I|
|Umpires||N Bathi – M Prabhudesai|
|Scorers||EM Heggelman – M Slagter|
|Home Side||Excelsior 20 I|
|Points Awarded||VRA I 4, Excelsior 20 I 0|
|V Singh||c J Kroesen||b TJ Heggelman||0||3||0||0|
|L Scully||c LT Ingram||b LP van Troost||4||12||0||0|
|BN Cooper||b UF Baker||33||31||4||0|
|ES Szwarczynski||b LP van Troost||2||13||0||0|
|PW Borren*||c KHJ Roelfsema||b UF Baker||16||26||1||1|
|J Balbirnie||lbw||b UF Baker||45||104||3||0|
|MB Lees+||c LP van Troost||b R van Bochove||6||31||1||0|
|LA Turmaine||not out||41||66||1||0|
|U Nashier||not out||13||14||0||0|
|extras||(b2 lb4 w10 nb0)||16|
|TOTAL||7 wickets for||176|
|1-0(V Singh) 2-16(L Scully) 3-34(ES Szwarczynski) 4-42(BN Cooper) 5-64(PW Borren) 6-72(MB Lees) 7-150(J Balbirnie)|
|LP van Troost||10||1||37||2||1||–|
|R van Bochove||5||0||11||1||–||–|
|JJ van Troost||5||0||20||0||–||–|
|TC Etman||lbw||b QWM Gunning||0||1||0||0|
|TJ Heggelman*||c L Scully||b LA Turmaine||30||52||1||0|
|LT Ingram||c QWM Gunning||b A Abid||15||15||1||0|
|J Kroesen+||c L Scully||b QWM Gunning||7||29||0||0|
|JJ van Troost||run out A Abid||9||21||0||0|
|UF Baker||c BN Cooper||b A Abid||6||12||0||0|
|AD Woutersen||c PW Borren||b V Singh||1||6||0||0|
|LP van Troost||c L Scully||b PW Borren||24||40||2||0|
|R van Bochove||c V Singh||b LA Turmaine||5||26||0||0|
|GG Kroesen||b PW Borren||3||11||0||0|
|KHJ Roelfsema||not out||0||4||0||0|
|extras||(b3 lb2 w1 nb0)||6|
|TOTAL||10 wickets for||106|
|1-0(TC Etman) 2-17(LT Ingram) 3-38(J Kroesen) 4-48(JJ van Troost) 5-60(UF Baker) 6-69(AD Woutersen) 7-71(TJ Heggelman) 8-85(R van Bochove) 9-105(GG Kroesen) 10-106(LP van Troost)|