Scorecard | Final | VCC vs HCC | 10.09.22

Voorburg I Vs HCC I
1-Innings Match Played At Westvliet, Voorburg, 10-Sep-2022, Topklasse
HCC I Win by 12 runs
Round GF
Toss won by HCC I
Umpires RJ Akram – NR Bathi – M Prabhudesai
Scorers CC Schinkel – K Pattiselanno
Home Side Voorburg I
Comment Match reduced to 46 overs
Points Awarded HCC I 2, Voorburg I 0
HCC I 1st Innings 200/5 Closed (Overs 46)
Batter Fielder Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
DG Crowley   b VJ Kingma 0 1 0 0
AJ Staal c SF de Leede b BFW de Leede 11 15 0 1
ZA Worden   b AJ Malan 32 74 3 0
BHG Gorlee* c SF de Leede b S Ahmad 31 64 2 0
TJG Pringle not out   64 68 1 4
HC Overdijk   b AJ Malan 52 51 3 2
YJ Patel+ not out   4 3 0 0
C Floyd dnb          
FM Bennett dnb          
J-WM Overdijk dnb          
RR Bijloos dnb          
extras   (b0 lb4 w2 nb0) 6      
TOTAL   5 wickets for 200      
FOW
1-0(DG Crowley) 2-16(AJ Staal) 3-76(BHG Gorlee) 4-79(ZA Worden) 5-187(HC Overdijk) 
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
VJ Kingma 9 2 35 1 1
S Ahmad 8 0 42 1
BFW de Leede 9 2 31 1 1
AA Qasim 3 0 15 0
PRP Boissevain 8 0 34 0
AJ Malan 9 1 39 2
Voorburg I 1st Innings 188/9 Closed (Overs 46)
Batter Fielder Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
AJ Malan lbw b RR Bijloos 4 5 1 0
MN Ahmad c DG Crowley b HC Overdijk 75 135 6 0
M Hingorani+   b RR Bijloos 2 3 0 0
BFW de Leede* run out C Floyd   26 55 1 0
SA Engelbrecht c YJ Patel b FM Bennett 3 13 0 0
TN de Grooth c ZA Worden b C Floyd 18 20 1 0
S Ahmad c TJG Pringle b HC Overdijk 31 30 0 0
AA Qasim run out   17 10 2 1
PRP Boissevain not out   1 2 0 0
SF de Leede   b HC Overdijk 0 2 0 0
VJ Kingma not out   0 1 0 0
extras   (b2 lb2 w7 nb0) 11      
TOTAL   9 wickets for 188      
FOW
1-10(AJ Malan) 2-12(M Hingorani) 3-74(BFW de Leede) 4-80(SA Engelbrecht)5-117(TN de Grooth) 6-158(MN Ahmad) 7-185(AA Qasim) 8-185(S Ahmad)9-188(SF de Leede) 
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
RR Bijloos 4 0 19 2 1
HC Overdijk 9 1 34 3 1
TJG Pringle 10 3 35 0
J-WM Overdijk 4 0 24 0 4
C Floyd 9 2 28 1 1
DG Crowley 7 0 30 0
FM Bennett 3 0 14 1

HCC hold their nerve and take the title

Rod Lyall 11/09/2022

HCC held their nerve in another tense finish at Westvliet on Saturday, to beat Voorburg by 12 runs and claim their 47th national title, their first since 2008.

It was a bitter disappointment for Voorburg, who had led the competition throughout the season and who had beaten the same opponents by four wickets in last weekend’s semi-final, but HCC showed the same resilience and determination that had then taken them past HBS the following day and into the grand final.

Voorburg, it is true, missed Logan van Beek, called up by New Zealand A, but their squad had strength in depth, and they still went into this match clear favourites to take the second national championship in the club’s history.

It looked promising enough when, after a delayed start which led to the game being reduced to 46 overs a side, Viv Kingma bowled Damian Crowley with the very first ball, and when HCC were labouring their way to 79 for four after 27 overs.

Bas de Leede managed his attack effectively in the conditions, ensuring that runs were at a premium, and it took a fine stand of 108 for the fifth wicket between Tim Pringle and Hidde Overdijk to lift the tempo in the latter stages of the innings.

Overdijk was eventually bowled by Andre Malan for 52, but Pringle, who hit four sixes, stayed to the close, finishing with an unbeaten 64, and his side ended on 200 for five.

De Leede was the pick of the bowlers with one for 31 from nine overs, while Kingma had one for 35 and Malan two for 39.

Playing his final Topklasse match, Reinier Bijloos then gave HCC a great start, removing Malan and Mohit Hingorani in the third over of their reply and reducing them to 12 for two.

Musa Ahmad and De Leede rebuilt the innings with a partnership of 62, but after the Voorburg captain was brilliantly run out by a direct hit from Floyd as they attempted a second run, it was largely left to Musa to craft a victory.

Seamer Felix Bennett soon had Sybrand Engelbrecht caught behind, but it was now HCC’s spin trio of Floyd, Pringle and Crowley who steadily applied the pressure, and the asking rate began to inch its way upwards.

Tom de Grooth contributed 18 before he was well caught by Zac Worden at point off Floyd, but Voorburg were still in with a good chance as Shariz Ahmad settled in with his elder brother, who by now had gone past fifty for the sixth time this season.

The spinners had created the pressure, but it was the return of Hidde Overdijk which spelled the end for Musa, who holed out to Crowley at mid-off trying to hit him over the top; his patient 75 had come from 135 deliveries and included six boundaries.

Ali Ahmad Qasim made a rollicking 10-ball 17, hitting two fours and a six, but Voorburg needed 24 off the final two overs, and as he and Shariz tried to squeeze out every run he was, inevitably perhaps, the victim of a mid-pitch mix-up, and the home side were left to make 16 from the last.

Shariz had no option but to hit out, falling to a Pringle catch in the deep off Hidde Overdijk’s first ball and departing for 30, and when Stijn de Leede was bowled off the penultimate ball Kingma could only dig out a final yorker and HCC’s celebrations began.

They had gone into the second phase of the competition well off the pace, but they got steadily better as the play-offs approached, and showed great character in two very tense matches at the end.

Playoff Phase – Final Preview

Bertus de Jong and Rod Lyall 08/09/22


Whatever your opinion of the format adopted for this bumper Topklasse season, be it right or otherwise, it’s difficult to argue the two finalists have earned their place. Voorburg and HCC have racked up more wins than any other teams over the course of the season, and won through a fiercly competitive play-off stage that both kept the back end of the group phase interesting and produced a set of thrilling fixtures, with all three play-off matches going down to the wire. Likewise two of VCC and HCC’s three encounters this season have been run pretty close, and one suspects the biggest threat to another nail-biter at Westvliet on Saturday is the weather, which may yet prevent or at least postpone the resolution of the season’s two remaining questions. There is a reserve day on Sunday of course, as there is for the relegation play-off between Sparta and Hermes which takes place the same day. It’s that end of the table which provides us with a last bit of controversy this week, on which more below…


BdJ: Although champions-presumptive Voorburg have not looked quite as dominant as some expected, HCC remain the only side to have beaten them in a match that mattered. The replacement of Janneman Malan by his less-fêted brother Andre has seemingly only strengthened the side in Dutch conditions, though the departure of Logan van Beek and Delano Potgieter leaves them looking at least beatable. Malan and Musa Ahmad have proved a productive opening partnership once set, and Bas de Leede a capable marshal of the middle-order when under pressure, especially in company of Sybrand Engelbrecht since the latter’s return from injury. HCC’s success has been built on a combination of Tonny Staal and Zac Worden’s form at the top of the order, together with the left arm spin trio of Tim Pringle, Clayton Floyd and Damien Crowley whose discipline through the middle leaves opposing bats looking for runs against an enviable seam attack, with wickets the usual result. Conversely, VCC’s wicket-taking wrist-spin combo af Shariz Ahmad and Flip Boissevain will be eying up a vulnerable HCC middle-order, while a seam attack spearheaded by Vivian Kingma and Bas de Leede is nothing to sniff at either.

RL: HCC have reached the final the hard way, losing their semi-final at Westvliet last Saturday and then having to withstand a very determined challenge from HBS the following day. To the extent that cricket is a game of character the Lions demonstrated on Sunday that they have it in spades, twice coming back from perilous situations when batting and then holding on in a tense final act to win by the narrowest of margins. Their cause was helped by the addition of Jan-Wieger Overdijk to the attack, his inclusion as a fourth seamer enabling them to maintain the pressure in the middle overs, and in the absence of Van Beek there’s a case for stating that HCC have the better-balanced bowling unit. Still and all, Voorburg can draw on Ali Ahmed Qasim and/or Stef Mulder alongside Kingma and De Leede, and their top order has on the whole been more consistent that their opponents’. The beauty of the play-off system, though, is that the prize goes to the side which performs better on the big occasion, and both sides have plenty of players with the temperament and the experience to step up when it matters. Form says Voorburg, as it has all season, but don’t be surprised if HCC spring a surprise.


BdJ: At the other end of the table Kampong may still complain that they won as many matches and finished with a better net run rate, but it was Sparta 1888 that had to come through the crunch game against Dosti at the back end of the group phase to earn their showdown with Hoofdklasse champions Hermes DVS in the relegation/promotion playoff. Hermes’ long-running battle with Quick Haag for a shot at promotion saw the teams clash no less than five times over the summer, but it was the Schiedammers that won through in the end, bouncing back from defeat in the preliminary final to claim the Hoofdklasse title in emphatic fashion last weekend.

That’s not enough to earn them home advantage however, as owing to a faintly farcical fudge the playoff is to be played on neutral ground, specifically at Excelsior’s home ground of Thurlede. Having long-grassed the question of who was to host the match at the pre-season ALV, the eventual outcome of weeks of needless negotiation was to split the proverbial baby, with first Rood & Wit and then Excelsior being awarded hosting rights for the game. The question then belatedly arose as to who was to be officially the home side in the encounter, which might seem academic but for the fact that the nominal hosts have choice of wicket, and despite (or perhaps because of) Excelsior having turned out some remarkably good turf wickets all season, Sparta were keen to play on their thankfully seldom-used artificial wicket, widely regarded as among the worst in Holland. Inevitably the silliest solution again won out, and the two sides quite literally tossed a coin for it. Sparta won the toss and duly said “we’ll have a mat, thanks”. No doubt my esteemed colleague has plenty to say on this too, and at time of writing I – as the kids say – literally cannot even. So on to the actual teams and such.

Hermes’ chief stength through the season has been their seam attack, ably led by skipper Sebastiaan Braat, with youngsters Travis Ackermann and Roy Numair both bagging 30 wickets across formats over the season. All-rounder Sahil Kothari, formerly of ACC, has also proved a shrewd acquisition. The comparative frailty of the batting will be their chief concern as they head to Cappelle Thurlede, though with Sparta’s Mudassar Bukhari understood to have been planning to retire following the Dosti match they may have one less all-round threat to worry about. Bukhari has taken something of a back seat to Ahsan Malik and Belgium international Khalid Ahmadi with the ball this season, though given Samit Gohil’s departure Sparta are left with serious batting concerns of their own. All told could go either way, but safe to say that the credibility of the game as a serious pursuit in the Netherlands is the real loser.

RL: There are, in fact, clear historical precedents for a one-off promotion/relegation play-off being played on a neutral ground. Otherwise, should the home advantage be accorded to the side trying to retain their top-flight status, or to their challengers? It’s a question which has a particular bite when there are such marked differences between the venues concerned; it’s not just a matter of who tosses the coin and who calls.

As for the playing surface, it is surely understandable that a club who play all their home games on an artificial surface should prefer to play on such a surface for such a deciding match, while a club who play on turf at home should wish to play on turf. How, then, to resolve the issue? For the Bond to make such a decision on its own account would pretty certainly give rise to an objection from whichever side felt itself to be disadvantaged, and therefore a preliminary coin-toss seems, to this observer at least, to be the least-worst solution.

Underlying all this, however, there are much more fundamental issues: the near-pathological fear of relegation and an equal determination to gain promotion by whatever means available got us into this mess in the first place, the one-year twelve-team Topklasse an honest attempt to square the circle and give everybody what they wanted in the unique circumstances of the pandemic. The last question most clubs ask is what is in the best interests of Dutch cricket as a whole, and to be frank, the way in which the KNCB has attempted to find its way out of a genuine dilemma comes nowhere near the top of my list of factors compromising ‘the credibility of the game as a serious pursuit in the Netherlands’. But that’s an argument for another day.

As for the match itself, there at least we are in agreement: it’s very hard to predict which way it will go, especially given the likely intervention of the weather gods. Hermes lost only two matches during the regular Hoofdklasse season, their South African overseas Travis Ackerman averaging 32.60 with the bat and 10.44 with the ball, and although they had a bad day at the office in their semi-final against Quick, they have the all-round strength to test Sparta to the full. The acquisitions of Kothari from ACC and Numair from Kampong have been significant, but one should not underestimate the importance to the side of the long-serving former international Nick Statham, of skipper Braat, or of the home-grown brothers Ralph and Olivier Elenbaas. For Sparta, the contributions of Malik, Bukhari and Ahmadi are likely to be vital, but it was a remarkable innings by Ali Raza which got them into this play-off, while a valuable and too-often neglected contribution with the ball has come from skipper Joost Martijn Snoep.


BdJ’s picks: Rain, Absurdity, Voorburg, Sparta
RL’s picks: Voorburg, Hermes.

HCC vs HBS at De Diepput | Semi Final | 04.09.22

Scorecard | HCC vs HBS | 04.09.22

HCC I Vs HBS I
1-Innings Match Played At De Diepput, Den Haag, 04-Sep-2022, Topklasse
HCC I Win by 3 runs
Round PF
Toss won by HCC I
Umpires RJ Akram – ML Hancock
Scorers K Pattiselanno – MAP Wiegers
Home Side HCC I
Points Awarded HCC I 2, HBS I 0
HCC I 1st Innings 206/10 All Out (Overs 49.1)
Batter Fielder Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
DG Crowley c RP Mason b R Klein 4 6 1 0
AJ Staal c RP Mason b G Kaplan 33 33 2 2
ZA Worden c R Klein b FJ Vink 0 5 0 0
BHG Gorlee* c G Kaplan b JL de Mey 29 66 2 0
TJG Pringle c RP Mason b JL de Mey 1 7 0 0
HC Overdijk c MMR Scholte b G Kaplan 31 72 2 1
YJ Patel+ c FJ Vink b JL de Mey 40 53 4 2
C Floyd   c&b R Klein 20 20 0 2
FM Bennett c T Walbrugh b G Kaplan 2 9 0 0
J-WM Overdijk run out   9 16 0 0
RR Bijloos not out   5 9 1 0
extras   (b6 lb1 w24 nb1) 32      
TOTAL   10 wickets for 206      
FOW
1-4(DG Crowley) 2-6(ZA Worden) 3-65(AJ Staal) 4-66(TJG Pringle) 5-73(BHG Gorlee)6-157(YJ Patel) 7-174(HC Overdijk) 8-179(FM Bennett) 9-192(C Floyd)10-206(J-WM Overdijk) 
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
R Klein 10 1 41 2 2
FJ Vink 9.1 0 34 1 2 1
JL de Mey 9 0 34 3 1
G Kaplan 10 2 27 3 2
W Barresi 6 2 23 0 1
SP Vink .2 0 1 0
K Klein 1.4 0 21 0 6
Navjit Singh 3 0 18 0 2
HBS I 1st Innings 203/10 All Out (Overs 50)
Batter Fielder Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
T Walbrugh c C Floyd b J-WM Overdijk 35 35 5 0
G Kaplan run out   29 36 4 1
RP Mason   b C Floyd 22 61 2 0
Navjit Singh c YJ Patel b J-WM Overdijk 0 2 0 0
W Barresi c FM Bennett b HC Overdijk 50 66 5 2
JL de Mey c C Floyd b HC Overdijk 37 51 1 1
R Klein   b TJG Pringle 4 16 0 0
K Klein lbw b DG Crowley 9 15 0 0
FJ Vink* c ZA Worden b HC Overdijk 10 15 0 0
MMR Scholte+ not out   1 1 0 0
SP Vink c TJG Pringle b HC Overdijk 0 2 0 0
extras   (b0 lb1 w5 nb0) 6      
TOTAL   10 wickets for 203      
FOW
1-66(T Walbrugh) 2-68(G Kaplan) 3-70(Navjit Singh) 4-135(RP Mason) 5-144(W Barresi)6-150(R Klein) 7-171(K Klein) 8-202(JL de Mey) 9-202(FJ Vink) 10-203(SP Vink) 
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
HC Overdijk 9 1 42 4 2
RR Bijloos 3 0 24 0 1
J-WM Overdijk 9 0 35 2 1
C Floyd 10 0 28 1
TJG Pringle 10 1 41 1 1
FM Bennett 3 0 7 0
DG Crowley 6 1 25 1

Scorecard | VCC vs HCC | 03.09.22

Voorburg I Vs HCC I
1-Innings Match Played At Westvliet, Voorburg, 03-Sep-2022, Topklasse
Voorburg I Win by 14 runs
Round SF1
Toss won by Voorburg I
Umpires MA Din – M Prabhudesai
Scorers CC Schinkel – K Pattiselanno
Home Side Voorburg I
Points Awarded Voorburg I 2, HCC I 0
Voorburg I 1st Innings 234/6 Closed (Overs 50)
Batter Fielder Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
AJ Malan c AJ Staal b RR Bijloos 9 23 1 0
MN Ahmad c JP Trijzelaar b RR Bijloos 4 15 0 0
M Hingorani+ lbw b F Bennett 18 38 2 0
BFW de Leede* c ZA Worden b HC Overdijk 86 110 5 1
SA Engelbrecht c TJG Pringle b HC Overdijk 61 86 6 0
S Ahmad not out   24 17 1 0
AA Qasim   b F Bennett 12 11 0 1
PRP Boissevain not out   6 2 0 1
TN de Grooth dnb          
SF de Leede dnb          
VJ Kingma dnb          
extras   (b1 lb4 w7 nb2) 14      
TOTAL   6 wickets for 234      
FOW
1-14(AJ Malan) 2-15(MN Ahmad) 3-45(M Hingorani) 4-157(SA Engelbrecht)5-194(BFW de Leede) 6-226(AA Qasim) 
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
HC Overdijk 10 1 44 2 4 2
RR Bijloos 8 1 24 2
C Floyd 9 0 45 0
F Bennett 9 0 44 2 1
TJG Pringle 8 0 41 0
JP Trijzelaar 3 0 12 0 1
DG Crowley 3 0 19 0
HCC I 1st Innings 220/10 All Out (Overs 49.1)
Batter Fielder Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
DG Crowley   b S Ahmad 2 2 0 0
AJ Staal run out SA Engelbrecht/M Hingorani   77 72 11 1
ZA Worden lbw b AJ Malan 80 145 8 0
BHG Gorlee*   b PRP Boissevain 3 11 0 0
TJG Pringle run out   0 3 0 0
HC Overdijk c M Hingorani b AJ Malan 4 8 0 0
YJ Patel+ lbw b PRP Boissevain 1 9 0 0
C Floyd c SF de Leede b S Ahmad 6 11 0 0
F Bennett not out   15 23 0 0
JP Trijzelaar   c&b BFW de Leede 6 7 1 0
RR Bijloos c SA Engelbrecht b VJ Kingma 5 5 0 0
extras   (b4 lb0 w16 nb1) 21      
TOTAL   10 wickets for 220      
FOW
1-2(DG Crowley) 2-148(AJ Staal) 3-163(BHG Gorlee) 4-171(TJG Pringle)5-181(HC Overdijk) 6-182(ZA Worden) 7-184(YJ Patel) 8-194(C Floyd)9-213(JP Trijzelaar) 10-220(RR Bijloos) 
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
S Ahmad 10 1 43 2
VJ Kingma 5.1 1 29 1 1
BFW de Leede 10 0 41 1 7 1
AA Qasim 4 1 18 0
PRP Boissevain 10 0 46 2 1
AJ Malan 10 1 39 2 2

Scorecard | Excelsior vs HBS | 03.09.22

Excelsior 20 I Vs HBS I
1-Innings Match Played At Thurlede, Schiedam, 03-Sep-2022, Topklasse
HBS I Win by 10 runs
Round SF2
Toss won by HBS I
Umpires AND van den Dries – WPM van Liemt
Scorers EM Heggelman – MAP Wiegers
Home Side Excelsior 20 I
Points Awarded HBS I 2, Excelsior 20 I 0
HBS I 1st Innings 261/8 Closed (Overs 50)
Batter Fielder Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
T Walbrugh   c&b NT Etman 0 1 0 0
G Kaplan c RTF Verhagen b J Kroesen 107 114 8 2
W Barresi c SG Shankar b NT Etman 86 108 10 1
R Klein c RTF Verhagen b NT Etman 9 25 0 0
JL de Mey   c&b TJ Heggelman 4 9 0 0
Navjit Singh c RWA van Troost b TJ Heggelman 14 12 1 1
K Klein not out   14 19 1 0
FJ Vink* run out LT Ingram/RTF Verhagen   2 4 0 0
RP Mason c NT Etman b TJ Heggelman 2 4 0 0
MMR Scholte+ not out   5 8 0 0
SP Vink dnb          
extras   (b10 lb1 w3 nb4) 18      
TOTAL   8 wickets for 261      
FOW
1-0(T Walbrugh) 2-188(W Barresi) 3-208(R Klein) 4-220(JL de Mey) 5-224(G Kaplan)6-242(Navjit Singh) 7-250(FJ Vink) 8-254(RP Mason) 
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
NT Etman 10 0 51 3 1 1
TJ Heggelman 10 0 46 3
LT Ingram 8 0 35 0
RWA van Troost 4 0 33 0 1 3
LA Kroesen 3 0 19 0
UF Baker 5 0 24 0
J Kroesen 10 0 42 1 1
Excelsior 20 I 1st Innings 251/10 All Out (Overs 47.5)
Batter Fielder Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
TC Etman c T Walbrugh b JL de Mey 78 50 11 4
TJ Heggelman c G Kaplan b Navjit Singh 30 65 1 0
SL van Troost lbw b R Klein 52 50 4 3
RTF Verhagen*+   b R Klein 22 33 2 1
LT Ingram c MMR Scholte b Navjit Singh 33 37 5 0
J Kroesen   b R Klein 6 17 1 0
LA Kroesen lbw b W Barresi 0 4 0 0
NT Etman c W Barresi b Navjit Singh 4 16 0 0
SG Shankar run out Navjit Singh/RP Mason   6 7 0 0
RWA van Troost c FJ Vink b SP Vink 1 2 0 0
UF Baker not out   2 6 0 0
extras   (b0 lb6 w11 nb0) 17      
TOTAL   10 wickets for 251      
FOW
1-105(TC Etman) 2-142(TJ Heggelman) 3-186(RTF Verhagen) 4-202(SL van Troost)5-218(J Kroesen) 6-219(LA Kroesen) 7-242(NT Etman) 8-242(LT Ingram)9-247(RWA van Troost) 10-251(SG Shankar) 
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
FJ Vink 1 0 12 0
R Klein 10 2 29 3 3
G Kaplan 1 0 10 0 1
JL de Mey 10 0 60 1 5
W Barresi 10 2 55 1
SP Vink 7 0 44 1 1
Navjit Singh 8.5 0 35 3 1

VCC vs HCC at Westvliet | Preliminary Final | 03.09.22

HCC hold on to win a thriller

Rod Lyall 05/09/2022

In an absorbing finals weekend in which three Topklasse matches had combined margins of no more than 27 runs, two of them going into the final over, the climax came on Sunday evening with HCC squeezing past HBS Craeyenhout at De Diepput and into next week’s grand final against Voorburg.

Three wickets fell in Hidde Overdijk’s final over with just five runs needed for an HBS victory, and a game which had started dramatically and which continued to twist and turn throughout the day ended in a three-run win for Boris Gorlee’s Lions.

It had begun with HCC, after winning the toss, on 6 for two after two overs, Damian Crowley brilliantly caught by Reece Mason at point off Ryan Klein’s bowling and then Zac Worden falling to Ferdi Vink without scoring.

A useful stand between Tonny Staal and Gorlee saw the total on to 65, but then a flurry of three wickets, two of them catches by Mason at point, left HCC again struggling at 73 for five.

This time the rescue came from Hidde Overdijk (31) and Yash Patel (40), who added 84 for the sixth wicket, and with Clayton Floyd contributing 20 before he was superbly caught by Ryan Klein off his own bowling, the home side managed to set a reasonably demanding total of 206.

Gavin Kaplan had bowled with his usual discipline for figures of three for 27, while Julian de Mey took three for 34.

Tayo Walbrugh, who made 35 without looking entirely comfortable, and Kaplan gave HBS a great start with an opening stand of 66 at six an over, but when Jan-Wieger Overdijk, in only his second Topklasse game of the season, removed Walbrugh and then Kaplan was the victim of a dreadful mid-pitch mix-up and departed for 29 HCC were suddenly back in the game.

Mason and Wesley Barresi steadily restored the Crows’ fortunes with a partnership worth 65 for the fourth wicket, but the turning point came when Barresi, having reached 50 with an innings which combined patience with moments of aggressive strokeplay, tried to hit Hidde Overdijk over midwicket and holed out to Felix Bennett on the boundary.

With HCC’s spinners, Floyd, Tim Pringle and Crowley, tightening the screw and the brothers Overdijk, along with Bennett, providing contrasting pace, HBS were hard-pressed to make the 63 they still needed, but De Mey, after looking all at sea when he first came to the crease, batted with increasing determination, and with the support of the lower order he whittled away at the deficit.

34 were still needed with five overs left, and now HBS had only three wickets in hand; only two came from Pringle’s final over, and now the ask was 32 from four.

A six by De Mey off Crowley in an over that yielded 12 runs eased the pressure considerably, and after ten came from Hidde Overdijk’s next HBS required ten from two.

Five were still needed as Overdijk began the last, but when De Mey, looking to find the boundary, was caught for 37 off the second delivery and Ferdi Vink fell off the next, five were still required as last man Stephan Vink, nursing a hamstring injury suffered during the HCC innings, joined young Martijn Scholte in the middle.

A single left Vink needing to find the boundary off the final delivery, but he could only find Pringle at long off, and HCC were able to celebrate an epic victory.

Hidde Overdijk finished with four for 42 and Jan-Wieger with two for 35, but it was arguably the spinners who had set up the win with their steadiness in the middle overs.

They had very nearly gone directly into the final by beating Voorburg at Westvliet on Saturday, when Staal (77) and Worden (80) had produced a second-wicket stand of 146 as HCC chased Voorburg’s total of 234 for six, but a collapse by the middle order, only Bennett reaching double figures, saw them dismissed for 220.

Here it was the seamers who kept them in the game, Reinier Bijloos taking two for 24 and Hidde Overdijk and Bennett each two for 44, but a fourth-wicket partnership of 112 between Bas de Leede (86) and Sybrand Engelbrecht (61) provided the basis of Voorburg’s score.

Shariz Ahmad struck early when HCC replied, and after Staal and Worden’s long partnership, Philippe Boissevain, Andre Malan and Shariz combined to reduce the Lions from 148 for one to 194 for eight before De Leede and Viv Kingma returned to finish things off and take Voorburg straight into the grand final.

It was even closer at Thurlede, where Excelsior ’20 failed by just 10 runs to match the HBS total of 261 for eight.

After Walbrugh fell to a stunning return catch by Niels Etman off the very first ball of the match Kaplan and Barresi put on 188 for the second wicket, Barresi making 86 and Kaplan going on to a 114-ball 107.

Although Etman (three for 51) and Tom Heggelman (three for 46) pegged the later batting back the Crows still managed to set an imposing total, but Heggelman and Tim Etman responded with an opening stand of 105, Etman hitting a 50-ball 78 which included 11 fours and four sixes.

It looked as if Excelsior were on course for victory as Stan van Troost, promoted to three, made a 50-ball 52, but three wickets by Ryan Klein saw them subside from 186 for two to 218 for five, and now it was up to Lorenzo Ingram to see his side home.

With wickets falling at the other end he brought the total to 242, but once he had gone, caught by Scholte off Navjit Singh for 33, it was only a matter of time, and the innings ended on 251, Klein finishing with three for 29 and Navjit three for 35.

In the finals of the Hoofdklasse competition Hermes-DVS, who had seen off Bloemendaal on Saturday to set up a rematch with Quick Haag in the grand final, dismissed their opponents for just 88 after making 193 for nine, winning by 105 runs and setting up a play-off against Sparta 1888 next week to decide which of the sides will play in next season’s Topklasse.

Finals Play-offs Round 2 Preview

Rod Lyall & Bertus de Jong 03/09/2022

One reasonable conclusion from Saturday’s games is that the round-robin phases saw the four best teams into the finals, and the result was two matches which see-sawed all day and produced two outstanding semi-finals. Let’s hope that Sunday’s preliminary final and next week’s grand final are able to live up to the standard set today.

RL: One obvious difference between Saturday and Sunday is that while both semi-finals were played on turf pitches, the game between HCC and HBS Craeyenhout will take place on the former’s artificial track surrounded by a bijou outfield. On the basis that lightning doesn’t strike in the same place four times it seems unlikely that the visitors’ Tayo Walbrugh will go for a fourth successive duck, but apart from him, Gavin Kaplan and Wesley Barresi, the Crows do not appear to have the depth of batting to take on a HCC attack which had Voorburg in early trouble and held on pretty well at the back end. But by the same token, once Tonny Staal and Zac Worden had gone HCC’s batting failed against the Voorburg bowling, although one might reasonably doubt whether the Crows’ bowling can sustain the same levels of pressure as the championship favourites. Home advantage suggests a HCC win, but it would only take a couple of heroic performances from HBS to turn that calculation on its head.

BdJ: Though HBS came out of today’s quarter final (which is what I shall continue to call this fixture despite it’s baffling official designation as a semi-final) with a win, while HCC fell short against VCC, the same middle order fragility which coast HCC was evident in the Crows batting too, as it has been for much of the season. While both sides have the firepower at the top to put up big scores, HCC have the advantage of an abundance of left arm spin to call on through the middle overs. If the HCC seamers can take early wickets as they did today, the Crows will likely struggle to recover. Should the HBS top order come off, however, HCC have shown themselves vulnerable to collapse under even moderate scoreboard pressure. Though HCC’s line-up looks less top-heavy than that of HBS on paper, a string of single-digit scores on today’s card speaks to a potential vulnerability, and simple momentum should not be entirely discounted either. HCC’s bowling alone still makes them clear favourites ahead of the game, but HBS have every chance of bagging an upset here if they bat with discipline and show the same tenacity in the field that got them the win today. Bit of a punt it may be, but for the sake of keeping things interesting I’m picking the Crows to come out on top.


RL’s pick: HCC

BdJ’s pick: HBS