Rod Lyall 09/05/22
Victory came in very different ways, but by the end of the fourth round of Topklasse matches there were still three unbeaten teams who are seemingly forging an irresistible path to the Championship group.
The easiest win of the weekend came at Het Schootsveld in Deventer, where Group B leaders Voorburg were untroubled in seeing off their hosts, Salland.
Put in to bat, Voorburg ran up the round’s highest total, 281 for four, with Janneman Malan making 92 and sharing a second-wicket stand of 142 with Bas de Leede (57).
After they had gone Delano Potgieter piled on the agony for Salland, belting an unbeaten, 43-ball 82 which included two fours and seven sixes.
Salland had no answer to this, and although skipper Victor Lubbers made a dogged 28 they were all out for 73, their misery compounded by three run-outs.
Elsewhere in Group B, Excelsior ’20 Schiedam had an almost equally comfortable win against Dosti Amsterdam at Thurlede, dismissing their opponents for 105 and then knocking off the runs in 17.3 overs for the loss of only two wickets.
Opener Waqas Raja top-scored for Dosti with 28 and Kuldeep Diwan chimed in with 22 not out at the end, but with Tom Heggelman taking three for 14 in ten overs the Amsterdammers’ travails with the bat were otherwise fully evident.
Excelsior’s star of the show, however, was Tim Etman, who hammered 79 not out in their total of 106 for two, facing 65 deliveries and hitting 11 fours and two sixes.
There was a somewhat more even contest at the Hazelaarweg, where VRA Amsterdam had a 60-run victory over VOC Rotterdam.
VRA were given a rapid start by Eduard Visser, whose 21-ball 35 included four sixes, and his opening partner Vikram Singh went on to make 68, with smaller contributions from the rest of the side enabling the Amsterdammers to reach a solid 262 for nine; spinners Pieter Seelaar and Max O’Dowd did most of the damage for VOC, each taking three for 29.
VOC’s reply was dominated by Scott Edwards, who posted his second century of the season with 120, made from 129 deliveries with seven fours and two sixes, but he received too little support from the rest of the side, and with Peter Borren taking four for 45 the Bloodhounds came no further than 202 for nine, 60 runs short.
In Group A, Sparta 1888 rocked leaders and defending champions Punjab Rotterdam at the Bermweg by reducing them to 29 for four inside twelve overs, with Steph Myburgh, Rehmat and Asad Zulfiqar and Sharafat Khogyani all removed by Ahsan Malik and Mudassar Bukhari.
Punjab recovered to 169 thanks to 63 from Saqib Zulfiqar, who shared valuable partnerships with Teja Nidamanuru and Sikander Zulfiqar, while Malik finished with four for 21 for the home side.
The champions then struck back hard when Sparta replied, and the combination of Saqib’s leg spin, which earned him figures of four for 28, and the seam bowling of Sikander (three for 8 from 24 deliveries) was sufficient to dismiss the Capelle side for just 109.
At Craeyenhout on Sunday HBS, the other unbeaten team, had to work very hard to maintain their record against determined challengers HCC.
The Lions’ attack was spearheaded by Hidde Overdijk, who removed Tobias Visée in the second over of the game and went on to claim five for 50, and although Gavin Kaplan helped to rebuild their fortunes with a steady 53 it needed a last-ditch 58 not out from Ryan Klein, including four sixes, to get HBS to 224 for eight.
Klein and Ferdi Vink opened with hostile spells when HCC replied, but Zac Worden again anchored the innings with his fourth consecutive half-century, again supported by Overdijk with 41.
HBS built the pressure effectively, Julian de Mey taking three for 48, and when Worden fell for 66, trying to increase the momentum, the asking rate had risen to nine an over.
Tim Pringle fought to keep his side in the game with an unbeaten 40, but the task was too great and HCC finished on 207 for nine, 18 runs short of their target.
ACC recorded their first win of the season on Saturday, beating Kampong Utrecht by 59 runs at Het Loopveld.
Patient half-centuries by Anis Raza (55) and Shreyas Potdar (51) enabled the Amsterdammers to reach 225 for eight, and although Cole Briggs made 63 for Kampong, Mees van Vliet’s five for 36 was instrumental in the Utrecht side being all out for 166.