Season Preview – Part 2

Rod Lyall and Bertus de Jong 04-07-2020

This may be the first year since 1945 that there will be no Dutch national champion, but that doesn’t mean that clubs won’t be keen to finish as high on the Topklasse table as possible, and that last season’s top five won’t be doing their level best to hold on those positions.
‘Level best’ is, of course, the operative term, since Covid-19, the closing of the borders and the virtual collapse of international air travel have combined to reverse the effects of the successful challenge to the KNCB’s attempt to limit the number of overseas players in the top divisions of Dutch cricket.

DostiLike Punjab Rotterdam, Voorburg and some others, Dosti Amsterdam will clearly feel the effects of these changes, and will be forced to rely more on the contribution of locally-based players.
At its core the Sportpark Drieburg club has a seasoned group of experienced Topklasse players, not least key all-rounder Anees Davids, South African-born but now a Dutch citizen and one of the most dangerous contributors in the competition with both bat and ball.
But Davids will need more consistent support with the bat from the openers, skipper Vinoo Tewarie and wicketkeeper Rahil Ahmed, while spinner Mahesh Hans has recently demonstrated that his work on his batting is bearing fruit and is likely to assume a greater role in a middle order which otherwise seems pretty threadbare.
In the attack, seamer Masood Wahid bowled some very effective spells in 2019 and he, too, is likely to play a more significant part in the absence of the likes of Taruwar Kohli, while the same applies to spinner Asief Hoseinbaks.
The big question for Dosti, though, will be the ability of a number of fringe players who have had their chances in the side without ever really establishing themselves: Shadaab Ghori, Rishal Varma, Raj Verma and Arjun Atwarie, not forgetting the youthful Arghem Khan.
If two or three of this group step up to the challenge, it could have positive consequences not only for this season, but also for Dosti into the future.

LogoHBSHBS Craeyenhout likewise will need some former fringe players to step up as they head into the abbreviated season missing a number of big names. The absence of last year’s overseas Zac Elkin and Zak Gibson leaves a gap to fill both in terms of runs and wickets, exacerbated by the retirement of Berend Wesdijk – who took 31 wickets at 17 for the Crows last season.
Also missing will be Sharn Gomes, who has departed for the UK and there is also some uncertainty regarding how much of a role Wesley Barresi will play this season, potentially leaving HBS without their three top scorers from last season as well as their lead wicket-taker, and with Farshad Khan also understood to have taken retirement HBS will be missing more than half their first choice XI from 2019.
The arrival of former KwaZulu-Natal bat (and sometime South Africa hockey international) Tim Drummond will likely go some way toward bolstering an otherwise brittle-looking batting card, though the extent of his availability is also in question.
The Crows will be looking to skipper Toby Visee to score big as well as fast, while all-rounder Navjit Singh, as the only sure surviving middle order bat form last season, will also have a significant role to play. Ferdi Vink will likely move up the order whilst Wessel Coster will assume the role of leader of the pace attack, with Julian de Mey the key figure in the slow-bowling department.
Visee was downbeat about the teams’ambitions and sceptical of the format, but nonetheless positive about getting back into the action. “It’s obviously good to be playing any kind of cricket again, though we would have preferred a T20 competition, if only because it might have helped with player availability. A lot of the guys have other commitments now and especially some of the younger guys who have been without work for a while will have other priorities. We’ve just had intra-squad games by way of preparation, but we’ll look to get as much out of the season as we can, some of the guys from the seconds will be getting a chance and hopefully we can win a few games.”

LogoACCNot much is known about what is happening at ACC, beyond the fact that the Loopveld club has lost the services of its three remaining Zulfiqars (who have decamped to Punjab) and of Shirase Rasool (now with VRA).
Without overseas players into the bargain, that will throw huge responsibility onto the shoulders of the club’s (even) younger brigade, along with Anis Raza, Devanshu Arya and Chris Knoll.
The most successful of the youngsters up to now has been seamer Aryan Kumar, while others who may now have a more significant role are Jamieson Mulready, Areeb Shoaib, Shreyas Potdar, Ammar Zaidi, Beau de Boekhorst, and perhaps Mees van Vliet.
This latter group never had more than a walk-on part in a side dominated by the Zulfiqars and the overseas players, but the club has at least ensured that they have tasted the demands of Topklasse cricket.
It would also not be surprising if some of ACC’s old hands, like Bas van der Heyde and Rehan Younis, who made occasional first-team appearances last year, played more regularly in this very unusual season.

Logo HCCConversely HCC, despite the absence of Adam Wiffen, his planned replacement Zac Worden, and last seasons’ stand-out performer Bryce Street, look in decent shape ahead of the 2020 season. Skipper Tonny Staal will himself be under a degree of pressure to perform consistently in the absence of his overseas bats, but the experience of Itagi at the top of the order will offer some reassurance, as will the continued development of the young Boris Gorlee coming in behind him, who has looked in fine form during intra-squad training games with the national set-up. Gorlee is joined by another promising youngster in the form of Musa Nadeem (formerly of Goen Wit), whilst VCC’s spin all-rounder Clayton Floyd has also come over to HCC for the coming season.
Another new face will be Italian international Damian Crowely, who joins HCC having emigrated to the Netherlands. A top-order bat and useful left-arm spinner, Crowley will doubtless add some welcome experience to the top order. The departure of Ali Ahmed nonetheless leaves the pace attack looking a little underpowered, and HCC will hope Netherlands occasional Hidde Overdijk is fit and firing throughwhat remains of the Summer. Stall will also look to Regulars Douwe Walhain and Ollie Klaus to contribute more consistently with bat and ball, but is also positive about the introduction of some younger prospects.
“We will try and get our young guys in as well. I think this will be a great learning curve for youngsters like Boris Gorlee, Ditmar Hennop and Felix Vecchi.” Staal told Tkcricket. “We have trained since we were allowed and have been playing loads of intra-club games against each other. I would say this has been one of our better season preparations so far and I think it will show when we get going.”

LogoExcelsiorReigning champions Excelsior ’20 Schiedam will have to wait until next season to mount an official title defence, but will nonetheless be looking to continue their winning ways. They will be without Brenton Parchment, who remains in the Caribbean, and Tim Etman, who has departed for Australia. First team regular David Woutersen is also understood to be injured at present, but the core of the 2019 champion side remains intact.
Crucially, the evergreen Lorenzo Ingram is in-country, haviing made the trip early to take up his coaching duties. The spinning all-rounder led the Schiedammers in both runs and wickets in 2019 and will remain indispensible if they are to come out on top again in their centennial year. Skipper Tom Heggelman himself will likewise be key to their hopes both with bat and ball, with Sohail Bhatti and Rens van Troost rounding out the seam attack.
Filling in for the absentees will be an assortment of Ingram’s young charges from the youth programme, with young bat Luuk Kroesen expected to join Joost and Gijs as a regular fixture in the senior side. Heggelman is cautiously optimistic about his team’s hopes of topping the table again, and confident they’ll be as well prepared as any.
Before the Corona lockdown we had trained a couple of times at VOC and a selection of the team have been working on fitness at the Perfect Performance Sport Center (PPSC), one of our sponsors. After lockdown we resumed training as soon as it was permitted, and in the run up to the season we’ve been training twice a week as well as doing Wednesday fitness sessions at PPSC. The first three weeks we didn’t have training games, but we now have a 40-over game and a T20 under our belts.”
“We’ll be playing every game to win and look to continue the momentum from previous years, albeit with a team that will look a bit different. As is known we think it’s important that team mostly comprises Excelsior-produced players, and we’ll be using the coming games to give some of the youth Topklasse experience. We’ve a large group of youngsters coming through, and while it’s maybe a bit early to say they’ll make an immediate impact, but we’ll be looking to offer them a platform to perform and contribute for the club, our first team and hopefully for Dutch cricket.”

Read Part One here


Season Preview – part 1

Bertus de Jong and Rod Lyall 03-07-2020

Nothing is normal in the world we now find ourselves inhabiting, and even by normal standards this year’s abbreviated – and in a certain sense unofficial – Topklasse is difficult to predict.

The most obvious source of uncertainty, of course, is the absence of overseas players, with or without a Dutch passport, from the ranks of most teams. That means that those who are around, like Excelsior ‘20’s Lorenzo Ingram, may well be even more influential than usual.

But other than that, the 2020 competition will be an unusually clear indication of clubs’ strength in depth, and of emerging players’ true ability to make their mark.

logo punjabFew clubs will be more greatly affected by the situation than promoted side Punjab Rotterdam, whose Hoofdklasse win last year owed a great deal to a quintet of South Africans, led by former HCC coach Jonathan Vandiar.

The Rotterdammers will, however, be compensated for that loss by the acquisition of Saqib, Sikander and Rehmat Zulfiqar, who have joined family voortrekker Asad at the Zomercomplex.

With international opener Stef Myburgh also in the line-up Punjab will have a powerful, hard-hitting top five, while Sikander’s lively fast-medium bowling will complement long-serving captain Sulaiman Tariq in the attack.

Then there’s evergreen Muhammad Hafeez, still scoring runs and bamboozling batsmen, the utility players’ utility player Ashan Bamunusinghe, who can slot into the side in almost any capacity, a well as brothers Mohsin and Faizan Bajwa, and Punjab should be capable of giving any team in the competition a run for their money.

SpartaOver at the Bermweg in Capelle a/d Ijssel, Sparta 1888’s principal gain is the transfer of top-order batsman Lenert van Wyk from Excelsior ’20.

A former Boland, Cape Cobras and Free State player with 2000 first-class runs to his credit, Van Wyk appeared in four matches for the Schiedam club last season after taking a job in the Netherlands.

His arrival will compensate Sparta to some degree for the absence of overseas players, as well as the return of Tim de Kok to VOC.

New skipper Mudassar Bukhari will have a strong attack at his disposal, with Martijn Snoep, Manminder Singh and youngster Max Hoornweg joined by Punjab’s Mamoon Latif and the returning Faisal Iqbal.

Bukhari, of course, is a powerful force with both bat and ball, and with Ali Raza at the top of the order former international keeper Atse Buurman still valuable in the middle order as well as behind the stumps, and 16-year-old Prithvy Balwantsingh showing real promise with the bat, Sparta will be hoping for a better season than they managed in 2019.

Former skipper (and now Chairman) Snoep was upbeat about his club’s preparation and prospects despite the absent overseas players, “We’ve been training, had some intra-club and intra-squad games, and we also took the initiative to play in Belgium against Antwerp, we good contacts there and outdoor sports where allowed there. Missing Ter Braak en Hampton makes a big difference for obvious reasons. Still with an experienced team with Bukhari, Van Wyk, Ali Raza, Buurman, Manin Singh Myself and with Latif coming over from Punjab as well as Max Hoornweg who’s in the KNCB setup we feel we have a decent local squad to pick from, Faisal Iqbal back as well. New players Van Wyk, Latif, Iqbal and young players Maxi and 16-year old Prithvi Balwantsingh (who scored 28 of 20 against Antwerp) will get some games. Ivo Hoornweg (Max’s youngest brother) will get opportunities, hes a medium pacer. We’ll be looking to win every game and develop the team into a better one for next season.”

LogoVOCOne of the biggest disappointments of least season was the form of defending champions VOC Rotterdam, who slumped to eighth, and they will not be helped this time by the absence of international star Max O’Dowd and the (mostly) retired seamer Bobby Hanif.

They had hoped to have the services of international keeper-batsman Scott Edwards, but word is the Netherlands gloveman has run into difficulties securing permission to fly from Australia. Top-order batsman Corey Rutgers did manage to return to the Netherlands just before the borders closed however, and will have an increased role in the first team in O’Dowd’s absence.

His experience will be valuable support for skipper Pieter Seelaar, who is likely to find his bowling assumes even greater importance without not only Hanif but also Pierce Fletcher, Dirk van Baren and Ashiqullah Said.

On the other hand, there will be a good deal of interest in the progress of teenager Siebe van Wingerden, who made his Topklasse debut last season and who now has the opportunity to establish himself in the side.

Seelaar was understandably keen to downplay expectations somewhat ahead of the opening round, telling Tkcricket; Thursday will be our first and only practice of the year. When the season was cancelled earlier, there was hardly any commitment to training or practice games, that is was decided to pretty much cancel this year … Our ambition is to enjoy what is left of the cricket season. For some players it will be good to see how they will develop.”

logo VRAConversely VRA’s roster is comparatively unaffected by the continued travel restrictions, but nonetheless the Amsterdam club has seen more than a few departures over the winter, and will be fielding a somewhat new-look side this season. Pre-season talks with Adam Wiffen were eventually nixed in part due to the virus, Brandon Graber will not be returning and left arm quick Haseeb Gul is also understood to be seeking his fortune in England. Former skipper Emile van den Burg also departs for Nijmegen, while seamer Tom Long’s work commitments have taken him to Germany.

Veterans Adeel Raja and Eric Szwarczynski remain on the roster, though it’s unclear how regular a role the latter especially will play. Young Vikram Singh will consequently have to shoulder a greater share of responsibility at the top of the order, where he will likely open with Dutch international Ben Cooper. Skipper Peter Borren will likely also call upon Singh to contribute with ball in hand, alongside senior seamer Quirijn Gunning and offspinner Leon Turmaine, and indeed with the latter pair also likely to miss a couple of games owing to prior commitments, Singh’s reportedly much-improved bowling may prove crucial to his team’s considerable ambitions.

Despite the departures the VRA club look in better shape than many for the abridged season, with a bevy of promising youngsters expected to follow Singh into the senior side.

“We have a great bunch of u18s most if whom are in the Dutch u18 side.” Borren told Tkcricket,As well as Vikram Singh we have Udit Nashier, Zamaan Khan, Shirase Rasool, Luke Hartsink, Ashir Abid, Debrup Dasgupta. They are a group who has been together for a while and I’m looking forward to seeing them all getting opportunities to grow and learn at this level. Our ambition is to win the competition. I don’t think it is an unrealistic goal. Also exposing some young talented guys to a decent standard of cricket. These guys will all be future Topklasse stars, to get this chance to get used to that standard is a win in itself.”

VCCLikewise Voorburg CC will be looking to improve on their 6th place finish despite a number of last season’s first choice side being stranded abroad. Absent will be keeper-bat Noah Croes as well as the Smit brothers, whilst pace spearhead Brandon Glover has been snapped up by Gloucestershire and Clayton Floyd by HCC.

HCC’s Ali Ahmed has made the trip in the opposite direction, however, and Voorburg are also bolstered by the return of Bas de Leede from the UK, whist national legspinning prospect Philippe Boissevain will also be sticking with the club in liueu of a planned stint at MCC Young Cricketers. Aryan Dutt also returns to Westvliet after a stint at Kampong, and together skipper Tom de Grooth VCC will be looking to returnees Dutt and de Leede to plug the run-gap left by the absent Croes and Smit brothers.

Much will also depend on the fiery but fragile Viv Kingma as he steps back into the spearhead role, but de Grooth is bullish about his side’s chances. “We were back at training pretty much straight away. We’ve been playing (an intra-club) T20 comp with four competitive teams and a league with four social teams. Last round of that will be this Friday. So should all have some games behind us. Will be great to have Bas back in the side and see how he has develops. Aryan Dutt is back from Kampong and is looking the part and young keeper Tobias Nota is one to look out for with the gloves. I think there is a great opportunity to show that we can play competitive cricket without the big overseas stars. Hopefully a season where young players can step up and as a club to show out depth. Lots of chances for coming players to shine and grab their chances.”

Round 9 Preview

Bertus de Jong & Rod Lyall 15/06/18

Already we’re closing in on the half-way stage of the season, and the table has to a fair extent sorted itself into title contenders and relegation candidates. Excelsior’s implosion against Sparta last week keeps a few more teams in the hunt than at a similar stage last season, but at the other end of the table Punjab look to be running away with the relegation race even without the aid of the points penalty that may or may not be coming their way.

BdJ: Two sides now barely in contention for either the title or the wooden spoon are the mid-tablers Dosti-United and HCC, who are set to meet at Drieburg tomorrow. Neither carry much momentum into the game having both gone winless in their last three matches after promising early season starts. Dosti’s fortunes have ridden largely on the performances of Taru Kohli with the bat and Mohammad Hafeez with the ball, the former looking rather out of sorts against VRA, yet despite struggling for his usual fluency he still managed to top-score with 58. It’s a safe bet that a return to familiar surroundings will be accompanied by a familiar looking score for the league’s leading run-scorer. HCC are still missing the runs of Jonathan Vandiar, but Mark Jonkman has yet to replicate his flying form from last year either. New overseas Bryce Street has stepped admirably into the breach with the bat, whilst Hidde Overdijk and Tonny Staal have also upped their games, but this remains a weaker HCC side than in years past. A test of bounce-backability for both sides at Drieburg then, though if the home crowd get behind them I’d make Dosti marginal favourites.

RL: Dosti United and HCC have both won three games, but HCC have lost twice more than their hosts over the first eight rounds. Both have been less than impressive in recent weeks, although the Hagenaars made a surprisingly good fist of chasing ACC’s 300 total last Saturday, Bryce Street having demonstrated something of his true quality in the process. Kohli’s half-century against VRA turned out to be insufficient to get his side to a more modest target, and Dosti’s dependence on his batting is starkly apparent, especially with Mohammad Hafeez not fully fit. After an outstanding start for HCC Staal’s last three innings have produced 8, 0 and 0, and he is undoubtedly due a score. But the HCC batting generally has been fragile, and unless the bowlers are able to account for Kohli (and the dangerous Davids), a Dosti win is on the cards.

BdJ: A little further up the table fourth-placed VRA head to Hazelaarweg to take one VOC Rotterdam, currently in third. A defeat for either could mean the end of their title hopes, especially if Excelsior replicate their run from last season or Sparta’s dream return season continues. For two sides with enviable batting line-ups the two have a strange habit of producing ugly, low-scoring scraps whenever they meet, and it may just come down to who wants it more on the day. VOC’s four Dutch internationals may have their minds elsewhere with two T20s against Scotland looming, but three of the four have been in fine form both for VOC and in Orange. Max O’Dowd is coming off the back of a match-winning knock against the Irish, and last week was in the runs both in the T20s and against Punjab. Fred Klaassen looks set to defend his title of leading wicket taker, whilst skipper Pieter Seelaar has plenty of recent runs and two international wins under his belt as he prepares to meet his mentor.

Peter Borren won’t be in charge for VRA of course, having passed the reigns to Emile van den Burg, but one suspects his influence will be key in galvanising and underperforming batting line-up and a bowling unit weakened by injury. On paper VOC head into the match as clear favourites on form, but the visitors have plenty to prove.

RL: The rivalry between VOC and VRA is one of the oldest in Dutch cricket, and the two clubs have had many memorable encounters over the years. This time they have both worked their way into the top half of the table, and as m’colleague observes, a win is vital for both if they are to maintain the challenge to the sides above them. VOC could even go top if Excelsior and Sparta both lost, while VRA would jump ahead of the Bloodhounds if they were to take the points. More of VOC’s key players are performing consistently at the moment than are their guests’, and that should give the home side the edge. If Borren is fit, however, he is capable of turning a game around very quickly, and it’s hard to believe that Eric Szwarczynski’s run of poor form will continue much longer.

BdJ: Equally crucial to the shape of the top of the table will be defending champions and frontrunners Excelsior ‘20’s clash with HBS Craeyenhout at Thurlede. With a remarkable battery of big guns at the top of the order, HBS have every chance of knocking over the title-holders, who will still be reeling from the ambush Sparta sprang on them at Bermweg last week. Toby Visée and Jaron Morgan especially look in dangerous form, with a partnership of 123 in 38(!) balls against Quick in the T20 last week underscoring their hitting abilities. Wesley Barresi’s knee niggle may keep him out of the side tomorrow, but HBS remain the most intimidating batting side in the competition, and Excelsior may need more than their usual discipline with the ball to contain them, especially if the pitch cooperates. Excelsior are of course top of the table for good reason, and the double failure of James Hilditch and Lorenzo Ingram last week remains something of an aberration, yet their ability to bounce back from defeat is rather untested, having rarely been called upon, and HBS are a tough side to regain your feet against.

RL: Whatever the defeat of Excelsior last week may have told us about (a) the brittleness of their batting, (b) the incisiveness of Sparta’s attack, or (c) conditions at Sportpark Bermweg, it is difficult to imagine that they will collapse so thoroughly for a second time in succession. The HBS threat comes more from the batting than the bowling, and no doubt Excelsior’s attack is better equipped to deal with that than Quick’s (or, for that matter, Dosti’s). Nor are HBS as formidable away from Craeyenhout. Still and all, this match should be a cracker, and it’s only Excelsior’s record of managing to win even when not playing at their best that leads me to plump for the home side.

BdJ: Meanwhile Excelsior’s conquerors last week, Sparta 1888, march on to Het Loopveld where they will take on an ACC side looking to turn around a poor start to the season. The Amsterdammers’ batting finally came together against HCC last week, with overseas Richardt Frenz knotching his first Topklasse century with support from Zulfiqars Rehmat and Sikander to take them to their first 300 total, but they face a Sparta attack at the top of their game, Dost Mohammad proving a fine partner for Mudassar Bukhari, and Warren Bell right back in the swing of things after his belated entrance to the season. ACC remain reliant on their top order for runs, with resistance rare after the Zulfiqars are done. Sparta are likewise rather top-heavy in their batting, but of the two attacks it is theirs that looks more likely to find early breakthroughs.

RL: Sparta 1888, having demolished the leaders, travel to Amstelveen to take on an ACC side which finally ran into decent batting form against HCC last week. If the seam quartet of Bell, Bukhari, Muhammed and Saleem bowl as well this week as they did against Excelsior ACC will find the going tough, and Het Loopveld is traditionally a ground which favours the bowlers. That said, ACC’s own attack has scarcely been a dominant force this season, and with Michael Pollard, Bell, Bukhari and Tim de Kok the visitors have a cluster of useful batsmen. ACC need to create some momentum if they are to move away from the danger zone, but Sparta are capable of making that extremely difficult for them.

BdJ: Finally at the bottom of the table Punjab Rotterdam take on their nearest wooden spoon rivals Quick Haag in what also looks a genuine four-pointer. With Quick’s home ground under renovation, the match has been relocated to Sportpark Harga. Quick will have neither home advantage nor much confidence heading into the game, having been bested twice by Hague rivals HBS last week (the latter match being the utter demolition at the hands of Visée and Morgan in the T20). Punjab’s recent record is little better, having followed their collapse in the face of VOC by losing to VCC in the T20. They will likely be bolstered by the return of Stef Myburgh however, the Netherlands opener allowed a run out to test his recovering ankle, and will be keen to prove his fitness. It’s questionable how much Myburgh will enjoy his return to Harga however, as things have changed rather since he last played for Hermes. The new turf wicket is still very much a work in progress we hear, and with the grass still bedding in (and thus uncut) in the outfield too, batting conditions will be less than ideal. That may of course serve to neutralise the threat of Quick’s Jay Bista as much as that of Myburgh, and with the conditions liable to play a major role in an already evenly-matched encounter, this looks a toss-up to me.

RL: Four-pointers at the bottom of the table can be a lot more decisive than those at the top, and for Quick Haag and Punjab this game will determine who finishes the first round of matches in relegation position – and possibly a good deal more than that. It’s only four years since Quick were champions, but retirements and transfers have taken their toll, while Punjab, too, are missing the key players who took them to fifth place last season. Quick’s efforts to rebuild from within their own resources have had only limited success so far, although Daan Vierling’s maiden Topklasse half-century against HBS is a sign of progress. Both teams, however, need their overseas players to have a more consistent impact than they have been able to achieve until now. If Myburgh is back in the side that will indeed provide a much-needed fillip for Punjab, but it’s another hard one to call. The toss may be crucial, but I’m going with Quick by a whisker for now.

BdJ’s tips: Punjab, Sparta, HBS, VRA, Dosti.

RL’s tips: Quick, Sparta, Excelsior, VOC, Dosti.

Scorecard | Punjab vs VOC | 09.06.18

Punjab I Vs VOC I
1-Innings Match Played At Zomercomplex, Rotterdam, 09-Jun-2018, Topklasse
VOC I Win by 7 wkts
Round 8
Umpires PGHA van Giezen – WPM van Liemt
Scorers N Mohammed – F van Lent
Home Side Punjab I
Points Awarded Punjab I 0, VOC I 2
Punjab I 1st Innings 147/9 Closed (Overs 50)
Batsman Fieldsman Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
A Khan b PJ Fletcher 9 29 1 0
A Raza c BW Hanif b PJ Fletcher 20 9 5 0
Y Ali b FJ Klaassen 0 6 0 0
BI Vorster c PM Seelaar b FJ Klaassen 0 4 0 0
M Latif lbw b MP O’Dowd 16 33 1 0
AK Bamunusinghe not out 53 122 3 2
Y Usman c FJ Klaassen b BW Hanif 12 11 2 0
MA Saleemi c CL Rutgers b PM Seelaar 9 43 0 0
M Bajwa+ run out sub 2 14 0 0
S Tariq* c FJ Klaassen b BW Hanif 4 24 0 0
J Alagarajah not out 3 5 0 0
extras (b0 lb6 w13 nb0) 19
TOTAL 9 wickets for 147
1-23(A Raza) 2-30(Y Ali) 3-36(A Khan) 4-36(BI Vorster) 5-59(M Latif) 6-72(Y Usman) 7-117(MA Saleemi) 8-123(M Bajwa) 9-141(S Tariq)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
FJ Klaassen 10 3 17 2 8
PJ Fletcher 9 0 39 2
MP O’Dowd 10 1 17 1 3
BW Hanif 9 1 28 2 1
PM Seelaar 10 1 27 1
UF Baker 2 0 13 0 1
VOC I 1st Innings 148/3 (Overs 19.5)
Batsman Fieldsman Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
JD Schoonheim c Y Usman b S Tariq 12 6 3 0
CL Rutgers b MA Saleemi 15 14 3 0
ZDA van Baren c M Latif b MA Saleemi 14 12 3 0
MP O’Dowd not out 49 47 3 4
PM Seelaar* not out 52 40 7 2
SA Edwards+ dnb
FJ Klaassen dnb
UF Baker dnb
PJ Fletcher dnb
BW Hanif dnb
RW van Ierschot jr dnb
extras (b0 lb0 w6 nb0) 6
TOTAL 3 wickets for 148
1-12(JD Schoonheim) 2-28(CL Rutgers) 3-49(ZDA van Baren)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
S Tariq 4 0 31 1
MA Saleemi 5 0 27 2
A Khan 2 0 18 0
Y Ali 4 0 48 0 2
BI Vorster 4 0 13 0
J Alagarajah .5 0 11 0

Gallery | ACC vs Dosti-United | 19.05.18

ACC vs Dosti-United at het Loopveld – 19/05/18
scorecard | as it happened

Round 4 Preview

Bertus de Jong & Rod Lyall 18/05/18

BdJ: The first round of this coming Topklasse double weekend is set to kick off a tad earlier than usual at de Diepput, where HCC and Quick Haag will be getting underway an hour early to leave ample time for HCC’s 140-year Jubilee celebrations in the evening. Quick will be looking to spoil the party, but with the Hanen in a dreadful rut of form it would certainly be an upset. Quick’s batting has looked fragile all season and only their only points so far have come from a surprise win against an undercooked VRA side in the season opener. Overseas signings Jay Bista and Sean Davey have not really taken to Dutch conditions so far, and a Quick side in the midst of rebuilding will need them to come good quickly if they are to stay afloat.

Their hosts meanwhile will be full of confidence, coming off the back of their Ali Ahmed-inspired demolition of HBS last week. HCC’s own new signing, Australian Bryce Street, seems to have adjusted rather more quickly, hitting his maiden Topklasse fifty last week as well as lending some variety to the pace attack. With Ryan Ninan pairing Ahmed in the spin section HCC have the look of a balanced team, though the batting still looks rather brittle without Jonathan Vandiar to underpin it. Nonetheless Quick this season have not looked the side to take advantage.

RL: After a slow start HCC suddenly found another gear against HBS on Sunday, although they have some way to go before they can be seen as one of the stronger teams in the competition. The batting does, indeed, lack real conviction, but there is little evidence that Quick are in a position to cause them major problems. The Nieuw Hanenburg outfit were never in the game against VOC last week, and the bowling looked, if anything, even more dispirited than the batting.

BdJ: Meanwhile defending Champions Excelsior ‘20 will welcome the widely-tipped VOC Rotterdam to Thurlede looking to extend their latest unbeaten run. VOC have recovered from an upset opening defeat away at Dosti to win their next two games convincingly, but have yet to fully live up to the pre-season hype. Of their batch of eye-catching new signings only keeper-bat Scott Edwards has really delivered thus far, and they will be without skipper first-choice spinner Pieter Seelaar when they head to Schiedam due to bereavement, young Seb van Lent returning to the side in his place.

Nonetheless the Rotterdammers pose a serious threat to Excelsior’s nascent streak, with Ahsan Malik and Fred Klaassen as capable of taking advantage of Thurlede’s occasionally two-speed pitch as the host’s own disciplined young seamers. Early wickets will likely be key one way or the other, with limited batting depth the key weakness of both sides. James Hilditch’s especially will be the scalp VOC will be looking for, together with that of the evergreen Lorenzo Ingram, whilst the hosts will want to see Edwards and Corey Rutgers back in the pavilion as soon as possible.

RL: This should be the game of the round, with Excelsior’s established, twice-champion outfit taking on a VOC side which, as m’ colleague points out, has yet to deliver its full potential. But the VOC attack was in complete command against a disappointing Quick side, and even without Pieter Seelaar they have the variety to test Tom Heggelman’s team.

BdJ: Also unbeaten thus far, to the surprise of many, are the perhaps rather underrated Dosti-United, who will meet Amsterdam rivals ACC at het Loopveld on Saturday. The Dosti middle order of Mohammad Hafeez, new overseas Anees Davids and especially Taruwar Kohli have proved the backbone of their success thus far, whilst sometime national team prospect Rahil Ahmed seems to have recaptured some of his old confidence.

ACC meanwhile remain thankful that the unduly less-celebrated Rehmat Zulfiqar was blessed with three younger brothers at once, the four Zulfiqars and their semi-retired father still providing the backbone of the batting order. New overseas keeper Richardt Frenz has yet to make a significant impact for his side, having missed one of their three matches due to illness, but with his return the visitors arguably have the advantage in batting depth. That aside there’s really little to pick between the two Amsterdam sides, though on current form probably Dosti have momentum on their side.

RL: ACC and Dosti have provided some memorable encounters in recent years, and this one should be no exception. In a crowded table matches like this acquire extra significance, and with Kohli in supreme form with the bat – and capable of chipping in with the ball as well – Dosti have fully deserved their excellent start to the campaign. If they are to maintain their challenge to Excelsior, and others’, title hopes, and having lost the chance to take a two-point advantage at the top last week, they will be especially keen to maintain the momentum at Het Loopveld.

BdJ: Fellow Amsterdammers VRA have been rather underwhelming thus far, an intimidating middle order line up of Ben Cooper, Eric Szwarczynski and Peter Borren having misfired in the early rounds, but they remain odds-on to take two points back from Bermweg when they take on Sparta on Saturday.

Nonetheless Sparta have thus far performed creditably on their return to the Topklasse with two wins from three games, and with Tim de Kok in fine form and new overseas Michael Pollard looking sound pick the absence of last season’s stalwarts Riaan Jeggels and Warren Bell has not proved too costly. Dost Mohammad has grown into his role as new-ball partner to former Netherlands international Mudassar Bukhari, and at full strength the Capelle side will be no pushovers. VRA will need to shake off the early-season cobwebs if they are to avoid the stumbling start that cost them so dearly last season.

RL: Sparta’s assiduously assembled team has made a good start to the campaign, even without Jeggels and Bell, and were decidedly too strong for Punjab last week. Although Pollard has had less impact with the bat than his first-day knock suggested, he is too good a player to struggle for long, and his contribution will be needed if the Bermweg side is to hold its own against a VRA team which is capable, on its day, of beating anyone in the competition. The same applies in reverse to VRA’s international batting line-up, and on current evidence I would be inclined to tip a narrow Sparta victory here.

BdJ: HBS will look to bounce back from their disastrous outing at de Diepput last week when they take on Punjab Rotterdam at Craeyenhout, thought the vulnerability to the moving ball that Ali Ahmed exposed in their top order will doubtless give their opponents hope of taking two points back to Rotterdam. The big question of course remains whether they will awarded any points regardless of what happens on the field, should they indeed persist with the selection of Belgian nationals Ali Raza and Mamoon Latif, whom the KNCB have deemed ineligible as local players.

Punjab have indicated that the two will continue to play until the dispute is resolved, and the board have made clear that every in which match they appear will be awarded to the opposition. Even with Raza and Latif the Rotterdammers head to the Hague as underdogs, but there’s every chance that with them they will be earning only penalty points on Saturday.

RL: HBS and Punjab were both surprise packets last season, but the Kraaien have been less convincing so far this time round, while the eligibility dispute which hangs over Punjab makes any prediction difficult. Punjab do have a well-balanced side, whatever its legitimacy, and the departure of Corey Rutgers to VOC has removed some solidity from the HBS top order. Barresi and Visée have the ability to take any attack apart, but they have yet to maintain the fireworks for very long. If they, and Jaron Morgan, don’t pile on the runs on Saturday Punjab may prevail, but as m’ colleague points out, any victory may prove to be Pyrrhic.

BdJ’s Round 4 tips: HCC, VOC, Dosti, VRA, HBS
RL’s Round 4 tips: HCC, Excelsior, Dosti, Sparta, HBS

VRA and HCC post first victories, but rain the only winner at Drieburg

Rod Lyall 14/05/18

The top-of-the-table clash between Dosti United and Excelsior ’20 fell victim to the weather on Sunday, but not before Dosti’s Taruwar Kohli had posted his second century in succession at Sportpark Drieburg.

Kohli’s sixth-wicket stand of 128 with fellow-overseas player Anees Davids put the home side in a strong position when the light drizzle finally turned to serious rain and put an end to proceedings, with Dosti on 213 for eight.

Kohli made exactly 100, from 135 deliveries with nine fours and two sixes, before edging Gijs Kroesen through to keeper Roel Verhagen, while Davids, the more aggressive of the pair once he had settled, contributed a 48-ball 66 which included five fours and four sixes.

Kroesen and Rens van Troost claimed a brace of wickets apiece, but after a promising start the Excelsior attack was made to toil in the inclement conditions by two of the most accomplished batsmen in the competition.

The other match rescheduled to Sunday was unaffected by the weather, and reached a speedy conclusion: HCC’s Ali Ahmed Qasim was in supreme form with the ball, achieving career-best figures of eight for 36 as hosts HBS were shot out for 112, after reaching 30 without loss, at Craeyenhout. Wesley Barresi top-scored with 40.

HCC took just 21.3 overs to knock off the runs, with opener Bryce Street making an unbeaten 53 and sharing a second-wicket stand of 60 with Tonny Staal (33).

On Saturday, VOC Rotterdam began to fire in earnest as they hammered a disappointing Quick Haag side by 10 wickets at Hazelaarweg.

Pierce Fletcher quickly reduced the visitors to 8 for three after stand-in captain Thijs van Schelven elected to bat first, and they were eventually dismissed for 63, only Geert Maarten Mol showing any real resistance with a dogged 16.

Pieter Seelaar completed the rout, taking four for 8 in 9.5 overs of left-arm spin, and then Scott Edwards and Corey Rutgers were untroubled in reaching their target in just 8.2 overs, with Edwards striking five fours in his 33-ball 38 not out.

VOC tighten the noose

In the Amsterdamse Bos, VRA Amsterdam recorded their first win of the season by beating local rivals ACC in a hard-fought game.

The foundation of VRA’s total of 235 for eight was an unbeated 113 from opener Daan ter Braak, who batted throughout the innings and shared a second-wicket partnership of 76 with Ben Cooper (43). The middle order failed again, but a handy seventh-wicket stand of 64 between Ter Braak and Quirijn Gunning (20) enabled the home side to set a challenging total.

Anis Raza was the most successful of the ACC bowlers with four for 41, which Dewald Botha and Saqib Zulfiqar picked up two wickets each.

ACC’s wicketkeeper-batsman Richardt Frenz led the chase with 63, supported by Saqib Zulfiqar and Shirase Rasool, both of whom made 39, but VRA kept things tight, spinners Adeel Raja and Leon Turmaine in particular maintaining the pressure, and the asking rate steadily rose.

When Turmaine had Frenz caught by Vikram Singh as he attempted to force the pace the total was 181 for six and there were only four overs left with 51 still needed.

This was clearly an impossible ask, and the ACC innings closed on 210 for seven, Turmaine finishing with three for 44 and Raja two for 34.

After faltering against HBS on Thursday Sparta 1888 returned to winning ways at Het Zomercomplex, beating Punjab Rotterdam by 80 runs.

Sparta owed their total of 222 for eight to a fourth-wicket partnership of 118 between Tim de Kok (62) and Mudassar Bukhari (58), with Atse Buurman contributing a rapid 21 and Joost Martijn Snoep 29 not out in the closing stages.

Punjab’s new-ball bowlers, Suleiman Tariq and Assad Saleemi, took three for 35 and three for 29 respectively.

In dispute with the KNCB Board over the selection of foreign players – an issue which seems to have cost them the two points they earned by beating ACC on Thursday – Punjab could not mount a serious challenge to Sparta’s score, and were dismissed for 142.

Ahsan Masood made 32 and Barend Vorster 37, but with seamer Dost Muhammed taking four for 40 and Max Hoornweg, on his Topklasse debut, claiming four for 30, it was Sparta who came out on top, retaining their place in the top half of the table.

With VRA and HCC both winning for the first time at the weekend, the Topklasse competition looks remarkably open, although the double round of matches next week (thanks to the Pentecost holiday Monday) may resolve matters to some degree.

And of course, the final outcome of the simmering – but as yet unexplained – Punjab dispute seems likely to have a significant influence on the development of the competition.

Scorecard | Dosti vs Excelsior | 13.05.18

Dosti United I Vs Excelsior 20 I
1-Innings Match Played At Sportpark Drieburg, 13-May-2018, Topklasse
No result
Round 3
Toss won by Excelsior 20 I
Umpires HM Butt – P Muthucumaru
Scorers R Seetal – EM Heggelman
Home Side Dosti United I
Dosti United I 1st Innings 213/8 (Overs 47.2)
Batsman Fieldsman Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
VAB Tewarie* c RTF Verhagen b JR Hilditch 6 6 1 0
RI Ahmed+ c J Kroesen b RWA van Troost 0 8 0 0
TS Kohli c RTF Verhagen b GG Kroesen 100 135 9 2
M Hafeez lbw b RWA van Troost 11 36 2 0
Vimal Tewarie lbw b S Bhatti 17 47 1 0
S Ghori run out JR Hilditch 0 1 0 0
A Davids b GG Kroesen 66 48 5 4
W Masood not out 2 3 0 0
M Hans b TJ Heggelman 0 1 0 0
Asief Hoseinbaks not out 0 0 0 0
Arief Hoseinbaks dnb
extras (b0 lb1 w10 nb0) 11
TOTAL 8 wickets for 213
1-6(VAB Tewarie) 2-9(RI Ahmed) 3-33(M Hafeez) 4-75(Vimal Tewarie) 5-75(S Ghori) 6-203(TS Kohli) 7-212(A Davids) 8-213(M Hans)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
JR Hilditch 10 2 16 1
RWA van Troost 10 0 31 2 5
TJ Heggelman 5.2 0 24 1
S Bhatti 8 1 44 1 1
GG Kroesen 7 1 48 2
LT Ingram 4 0 21 0
SG Shankar 3 0 28 0
Excelsior 20 I 1st Innings
Batsman Fieldsman Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
TC Etman dnb
RTF Verhagen+ dnb
SG Shankar dnb
LT Ingram dnb
JR Hilditch dnb
J Kroesen dnb
TJ Heggelman* dnb
DA Woutersen dnb
RWA van Troost dnb
GG Kroesen dnb
S Bhatti dnb
extras (b0 lb0 w0 nb0) 0
TOTAL 0 wickets for 0
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb

Scorecard | VOC vs Quick | 12.05.18

VOC I Vs Quick Haag I
1-Innings Match Played At Hazelaarweg, Rotterdam, 12-May-2018, Topklasse
VOC I Win by 10 wkts
Round 3
Toss won by Quick Haag I
Umpires RJ Akram – HM Butt
Scorers H Reijmer-Steens – W Stokkers
Home Side VOC I
Points Awarded Quick Haag I 0, VOC I 2
Quick Haag I 1st Innings 63/10 All Out (Overs 27.5)
Batsman Fieldsman Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
JG Bista c ZDA van Baren b PJ Fletcher 3 11 0 0
LW Stokkers c CL Rutgers b FJ Klaassen 7 12 1 0
S Ekelmans b PJ Fletcher 0 1 0 0
SB Davey b PJ Fletcher 2 8 0 0
GMC Mol c&b PM Seelaar 16 44 2 0
RR Rooda c MP O'Dowd b BW Hanif 9 15 1 0
D Vierling+ b BW Hanif 5 20 1 0
MB van Schelven* c BW Hanif b PM Seelaar 0 5 0 0
TJB Landheer not out 7 23 1 0
GN Trappenburg c FJ Klaassen b PM Seelaar 1 28 0 0
MI Khan lbw b PM Seelaar 0 1 0 0
extras (b0 lb5 w7 nb1) 13
TOTAL 10 wickets for 63
1-4(JG Bista) 2-4(S Ekelmans) 3-8(SB Davey) 4-19(LW Stokkers) 5-45(RR Rooda) 6-50(GMC Mol) 7-54(D Vierling) 8-54(MB van Schelven) 9-63(GN Trappenburg) 10-63(MI Khan)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
FJ Klaassen 6 0 19 1 2 1
PJ Fletcher 4 0 19 3 3
PM Seelaar 9.5 3 8 4 2
BW Hanif 5 2 6 2
UF Baker 3 1 6 0
VOC I 1st Innings 65/0 (Overs 8.2)
Batsman Fieldsman Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
SA Edwards+ not out 38 33 5 0
CL Rutgers not out 12 17 1 0
ZDA van Baren dnb
MP O'Dowd dnb
PM Seelaar* dnb
MAA Jamil dnb
JD Schoonheim dnb
UF Baker dnb
BW Hanif dnb
FJ Klaassen dnb
PJ Fletcher dnb
extras (b4 lb0 w11 nb0) 15
TOTAL 0 wickets for 65
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
JG Bista 4.2 0 30 0 3
MI Khan 1 0 4 0
MB van Schelven 3 0 27 0

Scorecard | VRA vs ACC | 12.05.18

1-Innings Match Played At Amstelveen (VRA), 12-May-2018, Topklasse
VRA I Win by 25 runs
Round 3
Toss won by ACC I
Umpires Z Hussain – P Muthucumaru
Scorers T Jansen Schoonhov
Home Side VRA I
Points Awarded VRA I 2, ACC I 0
VRA I 1st Innings 235/8 Closed (Overs 50)
Batsman Fieldsman Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
V Singh c SA Zulfiqar b MA Raza 16 37 2 0
DJ ter Braak not out 113 133 8 0
BN Cooper b MA Raza 43 51 3 0
ES Szwarczynski+ c SA Zulfiqar b MA Raza 0 1 0 0
PW Borren c SA Zulfiqar b SM Zulfiqar 1 5 0 0
E van den Burg* c W Alim b MA Raza 1 8 0 0
LA Turmaine lbw b SM Zulfiqar 11 22 0 0
QWM Gunning c RH Frenz b DJ Botha 20 37 0 0
MG Dunlop c R Zulfiqar b DJ Botha 5 6 1 0
MAK Raja not out 0 0 0 0
VJ Kingma dnb
extras (b0 lb8 w17 nb0) 25
TOTAL 8 wickets for 235
1-32(V Singh) 2-108(BN Cooper) 3-108(ES Szwarczynski) 4-109(PW Borren) 5-112(E van den Burg) 6-138(LA Turmaine) 7-205(QWM Gunning) 8-229(MG Dunlop)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
DJ Botha 10 1 41 2 2
A Kumar 7 0 31 0 3
MA Raza 10 0 41 4 4
R Zulfiqar 6 0 30 0 2
W Alim 5 0 28 0
SM Zulfiqar 10 1 37 2 1
S Potdar 2 0 19 0 1
ACC I 1st Innings 210/7 Closed (Overs 50)
Batsman Fieldsman Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
AA Zulfiqar+ lbw b QWM Gunning 2 4 0 0
R Zulfiqar c PW Borren b MG Dunlop 18 27 1 0
SM Zulfiqar* b LA Turmaine 39 78 1 0
RH Frenz c V Singh b MAK Raja 63 69 3 0
SA Zulfiqar c ES Szwarczynski b LA Turmaine 5 18 0 0
SR Rasool st ES Szwarczynski b MAK Raja 39 69 4 0
MA Raza not out 20 22 0 0
DJ Botha c BN Cooper b LA Turmaine 10 10 1 0
S Potdar not out 2 2 0 0
A Kumar dnb
W Alim dnb
extras (b1 lb4 w7 nb0) 12
TOTAL 7 wickets for 210
1-2(AA Zulfiqar) 2-46(R Zulfiqar) 3-74(SM Zulfiqar) 4-98(SA Zulfiqar) 5-176(SR Rasool) 6-181(RH Frenz) 7-203(DJ Botha)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
QWM Gunning 8 0 27 1
VJ Kingma 4 0 13 0 3
PW Borren 10 1 53 0 1
MG Dunlop 3 0 13 1 2
MAK Raja 10 0 34 2
LA Turmaine 10 0 44 3 1
DJ ter Braak 5 0 21 0