Rod Lyall 02/05/22
An exhilarating century by Tobias Visée and a first Topklasse victory for promoted side Salland were the highlights of Saturday’s matches in a busy double weekend.
Salland threw Group B wide open at the Hazelaarweg, half-centuries by German international Venkat Ganesan and Sahir Naqash enabling them to reach 203 for nine against VOC Rotterdam, Bobby Hanif taking four for 42 for the home side.
Then Ganesan removed both VOC’s openers, Dutch internationals Max O’Dowd and Scott Edwards, and although the 18-year-old Belgian-born Burhan Niaz put up a spirited fight with 46 on his Topklasse debut the Rotterdammers were dismissed for 174, Ganesan finishing with three for 31 and Elam Bharathi with three for 25.
The match was also notable for the return of 69-year-old former international captain Steven Lubbers, veteran of 362 top-flight matches, whose last appearance had been for VRA in August 2003.
Elsewhere in Group B, Excelsior ’20 Schiedam made short work of VRA Amsterdam, Brett Hampton making a successful return to his old club with four for 10 in six overs as the home side were shot out for just 57 in the Amsterdamse Bos.
Lorenzo Ingram also contributed with the ball with figures of 4 – 2 – 3 – 3, and VRA, having reached 34 without loss, saw all ten wickets fall for the addition of just 23 runs.
Tim Etman’s unbeaten 40 then helped Excelsior reach their target in a mere 11.1 overs, giving their net run rate a significant boost in what now seems likely to be a tough battle for second and third place in the group.
Voorburg, meanwhile, reinforced their early position as favourites to top the group table with a six-wicket victory over Dosti Amsterdam at Westvliet.
Viv Kingma, Delano Potgieter, Philippe Boissevain and Shariz Ahmad each claimed two wickets as Dosti were dismissed for 83, Waqas Raja, batting at eight, top-scoring with 22 after his side had been reduced to 37 for six.
The Voorburg reply was again not entirely convincing, but Nehaan Gigani made 25 and then Potgieter saw them home in 22.2 overs.
In Group A, HBS Craeyenhout opener Visée, standing in as captain after Ferdi Vink tested positive for Covid, produced a magnificent response to Kampong Utrecht’s 232 for nine, racing to his fifty off just 22 deliveries and completing his century from 45, hitting 18 fours and three sixes, including five off one Alex Roy over.
After the early loss of Tayo Walbrugh, Gavin Kaplan (47) supported Visée in a second-wicket stand of 119, but Kampong refused to give up the fight, and with Roy returning to claim five for70, including the wickets of both Visée and Kaplan, it was left to Kyle Klein and Benno Boddendijk to squeeze out a two-wicket victory.
Earlier, Kampong had been given a fine start by Cole Briggs (54) and Ratha Alphonse, who put on 103 for the second wicket, Alphonse going on to make 91.
But a middle-order collapse followed, and it took battling contributions from Roy and from Robert van der Harten to get the Kampong total well past 200; Stephan Vink was the most successful of the HBS bowlers with three for 35.
Zac Worden’s 67 gave HCC a great start against Punjab Rotterdam at Het Zomercomplex, but then Sharafat Khogyani worked his way through the middle and lower order, taking six for 29 as HCC declined from 136 for two to 198 all out.
Steph Myburgh again began in top gear, his 58 coming from just 31 deliveries with six fours and three sixes, but once he had gone the innings faltered somewhat, despite a solid 50 from Rehmat Zulfiqar.
But then Teja Nidamanuru was joined by Saqib Zulfiqar, and with the former making an unbeaten 43 they saw their side to a six-wicket win to stay top of the group.
On a miserable day for the three Amsterdam clubs, ACC were all out for 101 against Sparta 1888 at Het Loopveld, Khalid Ahmadi doing much of the damage with four for 17 after Ahsan Malik had removed both openers, including Anis Raza for a golden duck; newcomer Fergus Wegener top-scored with 24.
ACC fought back hard in the field, however, and although Ali Raza contributed a hard-hitting 38-ball 40, Mees van Vliet struck back with three wickets and with Sparta, on the brink of victory, slumping from 99 for five to 100 for eight, the Capelle side just managed to creep across the line for a hugely important two-wicket victory.