Rod Lyall 15/08/2022
A fighting century by Peter Borren, the tenth of his twenty-year career in the top flight, and a strong defensive effort by the VRA attack carried the Amsterdam side to a 24-run victory over HBS Craeyenhout in the Amsterdamse Bos on Saturday, their second win in successioin keeping alive their faint hopes of reaching the final four.
Borren received little support from the rest of the VRA batting, stands of 73 for the fifth wicket with Aryan Dutt (31) and of 45 for the eighth with Mitch Lees apart, but when HBS began chasing their target of 225 the bowlers responded magnificently.
Dutt was especially disciplined, bowling five maidens in his initial nine-over spell and conceding just ten runs for the wickets of Reece Mason and Wesley Barresi, and then Vikram Singh chimed in, tearing through the HBS middle order and taking four wickets as the visitors were reduced to 69 for six.
Tayo Walbrugh, however, was still there, and Julian de Mey now joined him in a stand of 129 which brought their side back into the game.
But Udit Nashier, Jack Balbirnie and Borren himself all succeeded in restricting the boundaries so effectively that the asking rate kept rising, and when the batters began to accelerate it was Nashier who bowled De Mey for 59, initiating the final collapse which, although Walbrugh reached his fifth century of the season just before the end, saw HBS dismissed for 200 of the last ball of their 50 overs.
HCC, meanwhile, took full advantage of the HBS defeat with a 69-run victory over Voorburg at Westvliet which enabled them to leapfrog into second place on the table, greatly improving their chances of securing a double crack at reaching the grand final on 10 September.
A second-wicket stand of 147 between Tonny Staal (78) and Zac Worden (55) was the basis of HCC’s total of 224 for six, Boris Gorlee chipping in with a run-a-ball 31 and Viv Kingma the most successful of the Voorburg bowlers with three for 30.
Then seamer Felix Bennett, in only his sixth Topklasse match, ran through the powerful Voorburg batting line-up, taking six for 27 as the home side collapsed to 155 all out.
Bas de Leede again fought a rearguard action, making a 90-ball 57 and sharing a 72-run stand for the fifth wicket with Shariz Ahmad (35), but this time was on the losing side as Voorburg dropped their first points in the championship pool.
Yet another century by Jonathan Vandiar, his third in four innings, saw Punjab Rotterdam to 253 for five against Excelsior ’20 at Thurlede, Teja Nidamanuru making 37 and Sikander Zulfiqar 48 not out, and after three times failing to defend larger totals the Punjab bowlers returned to their winning ways as they dismissed Excelsior for 141.
Nidamanuru did the initial damage with a nine-over spell in which he took four for 22, and then Saqib Zulfiqar claimed three for 54, ending a dogged innings of 30 by Roel Verhagen, while Vandiar and Asad Zulfiqar combined to run out Brett Hampton, whose 30-ball 32 had been Excelsior’s last hope of a successful chase.
In the relegation pool, Dosti Amsterdam improved their chances of avoiding the two automatic places leading to next season’s Hoofdklasse with a six-wicket defeat of Kampong Utrecht at Sportpark Drieburg.
Waheed Masood took three for 25, Kuldeep Diwan three for 27 and Asief Hoseinbaks and Waqas Raja two wickets apiece as Kampong were dismissed for 112, Tom Cooper top-scoring with 37.
Raja then led the reply with 38, and Dosti needed only 21.2 overs to knock off the runs.
In a hard-fought match at Het Loopveld ACC got off to a remarkable start against VOC Rotterdam, Robin Smith (57) and Chris Knoll (69) putting on 111 for the first wicket at eight and a half an over, but the Rotterdammers were brought back into the game by Matt Smit, who removed both openers and finished with three for 53 and by the unlikely person of Scott Edwards, converted from wicketkeeper to spinner, who ran through the middle order to the tune of three for 33.
Siebe van Wingerden finished things off with three for 27, and ACC were all out for 226.
VOC were in trouble at 69 for four, 40 of them from the bat of Smit, but they were rescued by the depth of their batting, Tim de Kok making 44, Edwards (batting at six) contributing a quick 23, Corey Rutgers adding 32, and then Jelte Schoonheim, who had engineered last week’s victory over Kampong with a fine spell with the ball, hitting a 35-ball 59 not out to see VOC home by two wickets with six overs to spare.
At Het Schootsveld on Sunday Sparta 1888’s relegation woes deepened despite a much-improved effort with the bat, as they lost to Salland Deventer by three wickets in a harfd-fought game.
They were given a decent start by Craig Ambrose (31) and Raza Noor (43), and then Samit Gohil (32) and Mudassar Bukhari (23) took them on to 135 for two.
But once Bukhari, hampered by a leg strain, was dismissed, soon followed by Gohil, the wickets again began to tumble, the last eight wickets falling for 52 as they were dismissed for 187, Akhil Gopinath taking four for 34.
Some wayward bowling from Sparta aided Salland’s chase, but after Khalid Ahmadi had removed both openers Bukhari, bowling spin off a couple of steps, grabbed three wickets, and the game was evenly balanced with Salland on 129 for five.
They were rescued by a brisk 59 from Sahir Naqash, and although Ahsan Malik, who conceded just 22 from his ten overs, returned to remove Naqash and Gijs van Molen, Salland reached their target with more than ten overs to spare.
Now bottom of the table on points average and with a worse net run rate than their rivals, Sparta will need a radical reversal of form if they are to have any chance of avoiding the drop to the Hoofdklasse.