Round 6 Preview

Rod Lyall & Bertus de Jong 18/05/22

The second round of the first phase sees the two groups in rather different situations: in Group A the six teams are arrayed in an orderly fashion, each one win ahead of their nearest rivals, but Group B is much more even, with the teams in second and third, and in fourth and fifth, separated only by net run rate. But in neither group is the final division into Championship and Relegation pools anything like settled, and there are likely to be some more tense struggles in the coming weeks.

Group A

RL: After their last-ball victory over Kampong last Saturday, Sparta 1888 are away again this week, facing HCC at De Diepput. On paper HCC are distinctly the stronger in both batting and bowling, but they had to battle hard to overcome ACC last week, and Sparta have proved if they are nothing if not a team of fighters (in the best possible sense). They have, moreover, been strengthened by the advent of Samit Gohil, whose batting looked genuinely first-rate against Kampong and who also gives skipper Mudassar Bukhari useful options with his bowling as well. The Lions’ attack was a little less incisive than usual against ACC, and will no doubt be hoping to make early inroads into the Sparta batting. Sparta missed former international Ahsan Malik at Kampong, his new-ball combination with Bukhari an important asset, and will hope to see him restored to the side as soon as possible. Specifically, they will need to find a way of neutralising the threat of Zac Worden, who is showing signs of becoming a permanent resident at the crease with five successive half-centuries for HCC.

BdJ: If there’s one thing to be said in defense of the two-pool format this season, it’s that it does lend greater consequence to this sort of mid-table clash. A win for HCC here would significantly strengthen their hold on a top three spot, giving them a two-win safety margin heading into the latter part of phase one, while a Sparta victory would put the two neck-and-neck for third place and the security that comes with it. Worden apart, HCC’s batting line-up has have looked rather inconsistent since their Tonny Staal-inspired opening win at Bermweg, but conversely one could say that most all of the top six have contributed at one point or another. The same cannot be said of Spartan bats, of whom all but Bukhari and Gohil average in the teens or worse this season. IF they are to break into the upper half of the table, they will likely need the rest of the line-up to step up come Saturday.

RL: HBS suffered a fairly traumatic defeat at Punjab last week, and will need to bounce back fast when they face ACC at Craeyenhout on Saturday. They were admittedly without the talismanic Tobias Visée and the injured Gavin Kaplan, but even so their batting collapse was dramatic enough to leave some scar tissue. ACC are, of course, a different proposition, and the Crows will be happy to be back at Craeyenhout for this encounter. Their attack is among the stronger units in the competition, but they need the batting to give them a defensible target. Or bowl first, obviously. Tayo Walburgh has had a rather mixed start to the season, and they will be hoping that he can find the sort of rich vein of form with which he began last year. ACC’s South Africans, Thomas Hobson and Robin Smith, have settled in well, while the progress made by Shreyas Potdar has also been a positive feature, as has the bowling of Mies van Vliet and of new acquisitions Joseph Reddy and Rob Ackermann, another member of the South African contingent.

BdJ:ACC have certainly had a slow start to the season, slow enough that they’ll already be more concerned about avoiding relegation than anything else. That said, they’ve assembled a side that might have set their sights higher had they settled sooner. With HBS’s glass cannon of a line-up shattering spectacularly at the Zomercomplex, the Amsterdammers may sense a chance to climb two points closer to the safety of the top three, though on paper the Crows at Craeyenhout remain favourites against most any team in the league.

RL: Defending champions Punjab Rotterdam go from strength to strength, and will be full of confidence for their expedition to Maarschalkerweerd to take on winless Kampong Utrecht. Winless but not totally off the pace, as that last-ball defeat by Sparta (and one or two other results) have shown. Whether that will be enough to halt Punjab’s relentless march is, of course, another question: the Rotterdammers were a class too good at the Zomercomplex on the season’s opening day, and although there has been the occasional stutter since, nobody has yet figured out a way of overcoming their varied and menacing attack, or of getting all the way through their powerful top seven. Kampong have a useful enough side, with Alex Roy’s bowling and the batting of Cole Briggs, Usman Malik and Ratha Alphonse impressive at times, but they are palpably short of match-winners, and a Punjab victory here appears to be one of the safer bets of the campaign.

BdJ: Kampong’s lack of star power has been a running theme this season, their long-announced but still absent overseas signings Pite van Biljon and Shubham Ranjane leaving a gap on the team-sheet that they’ve struggled to fill. Certainly individual players on the Kampong roster have shown they can make the step up to compete at Topklasse level, but the team as a whole looks to have more weak links than strong on any given day. Punjab have meanwhile continued their unbeaten streak where they left off last season, though it should be noted this will be there first test on a turf wicket since their group phase match away at VCC last year, which just happens to be the last match they lost.

Group B

RL: Voorburg, too, are riding high, and were too strong for Excelsior ’20 in their season’s opener. Both sides have been reinforced since then, Voorburg by the arrival of Janneman Malan and Logan van Beek, their opponents by the return of skipper Tom Heggelman and, after a somewhat longer absence, Brett Hampton. There is pretty general agreement that this Voorburg outfit is one of the strongest domestic sides ever to take the field in the Netherlands, and even though they had a few uncomfortable moments against VRA last week it would not come as a surprise if their first really serious challenge didn’t come until the Championship pool in the back half of the season. Excelsior may well join them there, but last week’s heavy defeat by VOC makes Group B a real contest, and even if they are on the wrong end of this one they will hope to restrict the damage to their net run rate inflicted upon them at the Hazelaarweg.

BdJ: With one foot in the championship pool already, VCC have the luxury of a four point cushion over their nearest rivals and six points over the cut-off line. That said, though they can afford a slip-up or two they’ll be keen to avoid one on Saturday, as a loss to Excelsior would more likely than not be carried forward into the final phase. In that respect they arguably have more to lose than the Schiedammers, who are unlikely to have banked on taking points home from Westvliet in their pre-season strategising. They are the last team to have done so however, rolling Voorburg for 116 last season on the way to a 7-wicket win. But this is a considerably stronger VCC side of course, and after their drubbing at the hands of VOC last week, repeating that trick would be quite the upset.

RL: VRA Amsterdam, similarly, will be aware that their position in the top half of the group is far from secure, and may view their journey to Deventer to take on Salland as a potential banana-skin. Salland skipper Victor Lubbers had a great game with both bat and ball against Dosti last Sunday, and will doubtless relish another opportunity, this time on home turf, to take on the club where, as a teenager, he first made an impression in senior cricket. Like Kampong, their fellow-promotees, Salland have plenty of useful players without many real stars, although German captain Venkat Ganesan and his international team-mate Elam Bharathi have shown themselves to be influential allrounders at this level. VRA’s youngsters, reinforced by Jack Balbirnie and Eduard Visser, have been impressive in fits and starts, although they will be hoping that Peter Borren has recovered sufficiently from last week’s indisposition to return to his steadying role at the head of the side.

BdJ: Given their rather modest ambitions at the start of the season, VRA will be more than pleased with their position as it stands, though with the realisation that a top-three finish is entirely with in their grasp one suspects that nerves may be creeping in ahead of their long trip out East to the largely unfamiliar Schootsveld. Salland have not had much opportunity to capitalise on home advantage as yet, playing their only home fixture thus far against a VCC side in their most hype-fulfilling form, and may sense a chance to bag some points against a road-weary VRA side, especially if Borren is absent or firing at less than 100%. Though VRA’s young side has outperformed expectations this season, they have nonetheless relied heavily on their evergreen skipper, Borren playing a key role with bat or ball in each of their three wins so far. By the same token, Salland have suffered for their own skipper’s slump in form, and will hope Lubbers’ showing against Dosti last week is a sign of things to come.

RL: By demolishing Excelsior last week VOC Rotterdam seemed to be emerging from the doldrums which had affected them for a couple of crucial weeks, and they will want to maintain that momentum when they take on Dosti Amsterdam at the Hazelaarweg. Dosti’s doldrums, by comparison, appear to be a veritable Sargasso Sea, and they will need to lift themselves considerably if they are to sail away from what seems an increasingly likely relegation. For VOC, the spectacular return to form of Tim de Kok and the continuing good form of young Belgian Burhan Niaz have taken some of the pressure off the three Dutch internationals, and they will hope for that to continue long enough to carry them securely into the top three. The contributions of Waqas Raja and Wahid Masood are enough to give Dosti hope of better days, but it will take more consistent support from more of the side if they are to reverse their now years-long barren period.

BdJ: While the season has shown that, outside of the three Dutch internationals, VOC’s batting line up-cannot be relied upon for runs, Tim de Kok delivered a timely reminder last week that the opposition can’t rely on them to fail either. With Dosti’s overseas reinforcements still held up by visa problems (though there are rumours that Amitoze Singh’s arrival in imminent) it’s difficult to see the Drieburgers getting through the VOC line-up without similar incident. Though the Dosti attack is capable of finding wickets, a full innings of sustained pressure has proved hard to produce, and likewise last week’s effort against Salland was the closest they have come to batting 50 overs. Given Dosti’s struggles, for VOC this looks a must-win fixture, securing two points that would keep their top-three hopes alive, but perhaps more importantly carry through to the second phase should they fail to make the cut and be faced with a tricky relegation fight at the back end of the season.

RL’s picks: HCC, HBS, Punjab, Voorburg, VRA, VOC.

BdJ’s picks: HCC, HBS, Punjab, Voorburg, VRA, VOC.

Dosti vs Salland at Drieburg|Round 5|15.05.2022

Group B tightens; Kampong and Sparta provide a last-ball thriller

Rod Lyall 16/05/22

The Group B table tightened considerably at the weekend, as both VOC Rotterdam and Salland recorded their second victories of the Topklasse campaign, moving to within one win of Excelsior ’20 and VRA Amsterdam and boosting their hopes of making it into the Championship group in the competition’s second phase.

VOC’s thumping 222-run demolition of Excelsior featured a remarkable return to form by Tim de Kok, whose first four innings of the season had yielded just 11 runs, but who now multiplied that by ten as he hammered a 72-ball 110 which included twelve fours and five sixes.

De Kok shared a 159-run stand for the fifth wicket with Pieter Seelaar (68) after VOC, who had made a decent start with 37 apiece from openers Scott Edwards and Max O’Dowd, had suffered a minor collapse to reach 111 for four.

With Jelte Schoonheim and Ayaz Durrani plundering 37 off the last three overs VOC finished on 317 for six, the highest total by any side this season, and then young Belgian international Burhan Niaz ran through the Excelsior line-up, taking six for 10 in ten overs to reduce the Schiedammers to 64 for eight.

Niels Etman showed some resistance with an unbeaten 21, but Schoonheim claimed the last two wickets for just one run as Excelsior were all out for 95.

Salland skipper Victor Lubbers had an enjoyable day out at Sportpark Drieburg on Sunday, leading his side to a five-wicket victory over Dosti Amsterdam by taking four for 27 and then making 56 not out as Salland chased down Dosti’s total of 187.

Dosti’s innings was built around Waqas Raja’s 55 and 33 from Mahesh Hans, but with Gul Ahmed Nasir taking three for 48 and the rest of the attack giving Lubbers and Nasir excellent support the home side never really achieved any momentum.

Lubbers then shared useful stands with Talha Khan and Elam Bharathi, both of whom made 32, and Salland reached their target with 11.1 overs to spare.

Group B leaders Voorburg did not have things all their own way in the Amsterdamse Bos, despite reducing VRA to 49 for six with 13 overs.

Jack Balbirnie (29) and Udit Nashier (42) instituted a recovery of sorts, and with 21 not out from Mitch Lees the Amsterdammers battled their way to 153 before Shariz Ahmad finished the innings off with three wickets for 21.

Voorburg reached 46 for one in reply, but when Eduard Visser grabbed three wickets in the space of twelve balls, removing Bas de Leede, Delano Potgieter and Tom de Grooth in quick succession, they suddenly needed to rebuild.

They were rescued by Logan van Beek, in the side for the first time this season, who made 57 not out and, in company first with Karl Nieuwoudt and then with Mohit Hinorani, saw them safely home; Visser finished with three for 52 for VRA.

The much-anticipated clash at the Zomercomplex between the unbeaten Group A leaders, Punjab Rotterdam and HBS Craeyenhout, turned out to be an anticlimax, with HBS collapsing dramatically to 57 all out and losing one of the shortest matches in Topklasse history by nine wickets.

Suleiman Tariq and Safiullah Salarazai did the early damage for Punjab, taking three for 26 and three for 21 respectively, while Ashiqullah Said claimed three for 3 in 18 deliveries to clean up the HBS tail; only Wesley Barresi, with 19, reached double figures.

Stephan Myburgh belted a 21-ball 38 when Punjab replied, hitting six fours and two sixes, and with Rehmat Zulfiqar making a run-a-ball 22 not out the Rotterdammers needed only 7.2 overs to reach their target, greatly improving their net run rate in the process.

What that match lacked in tension was more than made up for elsewhere, with the other two Group A matches going into the final over.

A third-wicket partnership of 128 between Shreyas Potdar (59) and Robin Smith, who went on to make 101 not out from 83 deliveries with five fours and six sixes, was the foundation of ACC’s 239 for six at Het Loopveld, as the generally-impressive HCC attack found itself a good deal less dominant than usual.

But the ACC bowlers did not find the conditions any more helpful: Zac Worden (53) made his fifth consecutive half-century, sharing an opening stand of 92 with Tony Staal (40), and then Boris Gorlee kept his side in the hunt with 79 from 80 deliveries.

Even so, the Amsterdammers held their nerve, and although HCC had wickets in hand it took them until the fourth ball of the final over to hit the winning run.

That tension, however, was as nothing compared to events at Maarschalkerweerd, where Kampong Utrecht and Sparta 1888 reached the final delivery of the game with the scores level and all results still possible.

Kampong had battled their way to 211 all out, Cole Briggs making 53 and Mudassar Bukhari, Samit Gohil, Nasrat Ibrahimkhil and Tom Hoornweg all picking up two wickets for Sparta, and at 111 for four Sparta seemed to be comfortably placed for the win.

But the Kampong bowlers continued to take wickets, and it was left to Bukhari to steer his side home as partners came and went at the other end.

Nine runs were still required when the ninth Sparta wicket fell off the final delivery of the penultimate over, and although Bukhari lifted some of the pressure by hitting a six off the third ball of Shivdutt Singh Jhala’s last, he could only manage a single from the next to level the scores.

Last man Hoornweg defended the last but one, but then knocked the final ball into the covers to complete the most exciting of victories.

Scorecard | Dosti vs Salland | 15.05.22

Dosti I Vs Salland I
1-Innings Match Played At Sportpark Drieburg, 15-May-2022, Topklasse
Salland I Win by 5 wkts
Round B5
Toss won by Dosti I
Umpires N Bathi – AND van den Dries
Home Side Dosti I
Points Awarded Dosti I 0, Salland I 2
Dosti I 1st Innings 187/10 All Out (Overs 49.5)
Batter Fielder Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
VAB Tewarie   b VS Lubbers 13 32 2 0
WA Raja   b GA Nasir 55 87 3 1
S Ghori lbw b VS Lubbers 0 1 0 0
A Hanoeman+ c I Webber b V Ganesan 14 53 2 0
RI Ahmed c RA Lubbers b SV Elam Bharathi 2 26 0 0
M Hans*   b GA Nasir 33 47 3 0
K Diwan c V Ganesan b GA Nasir 19 17 2 1
W Masood lbw b SV Elam Bharathi 12 12 1 0
T Ahmed c SV Elam Bharathi b VS Lubbers 1 4 0 0
H Bhutta c RA Lubbers b VS Lubbers 15 14 0 1
Asief Hoseinbaks not out   1 6 0 0
extras   (b0 lb4 w18 nb0) 22      
TOTAL   10 wickets for 187      
1-30(VAB Tewarie) 2-30(S Ghori) 3-61(A Hanoeman) 4-76(RI Ahmed) 5-109(WA Raja) 6-142(K Diwan) 7-168(M Hans) 8-168(W Masood) 9-174(T Ahmed) 10-187(H Bhutta)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
VS Lubbers 9.5 2 27 4 2
RA Lubbers 6 0 13 0 2
GA Nasir 10 1 48 3 4
H Khan 3 0 9 0 2
SV Elam Bharathi 10 0 40 2 5
V Ganesan 9 1 35 1 3
A Gopinath 2 0 11 0
Salland I 1st Innings 189/5 (Overs 38.5)
Batter Fielder Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
PP Ottachchige+   b Asief Hoseinbaks 23 42 4 0
I Webber   b K Diwan 3 10 0 0
TA Khan lbw b T Ahmed 32 34 2 1
V Ganesan c H Bhutta b WA Raja 1 4 0 0
VS Lubbers* not out   56 77 6 1
SV Elam Bharathi   b Asief Hoseinbaks 32 54 7 0
G van Molen not out   4 14 1 0
RA Lubbers dnb          
GA Nasir dnb          
A Gopinath dnb          
H Khan dnb          
extras   (b4 lb1 w31 nb2) 38      
TOTAL   5 wickets for 189      
1-15(I Webber) 2-61(PP Ottachchige) 3-62(V Ganesan) 4-106(TA Khan) 5-166(SV Elam Bharathi)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
H Bhutta 6 0 19 0 4 1
K Diwan 10 1 40 1 5
M Hans 4 0 28 0
Asief Hoseinbaks 8.5 0 46 2 5
W Masood 1 0 16 0 6
WA Raja 3 0 12 1 5
T Ahmed 4 0 17 1 1
VAB Tewarie 2 0 6 0

Scorecard | Punjab vs HBS | 14.05.22

Punjab I Vs HBS I
1-Innings Match Played At Zomercomplex, Rotterdam, 14-May-2022, Topklasse
Punjab I Win by 9 wkts
Round A5
Umpires WPM van Liemt – E Ruchtie
Home Side Punjab I
Points Awarded HBS I 0, Punjab I 2
HBS I 1st Innings 57/10 All Out (Overs 21.5)
Batter Fielder Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
RP Mason c AT Nidamanuru b S Tariq 2 21 0 0
FJ Vink* c S Khogyani b S Tariq 0 7 0 0
T Walbrugh lbw b S Salarazai 0 3 0 0
W Barresi c SM Zulfiqar b S Tariq 19 17 4 0
Navjit Singh   b S Salarazai 1 7 0 0
R Klein   b A Said 6 24 0 0
K Klein c SM Zulfiqar b S Salarazai 0 5 0 0
JI de Mey   b SM Zulfiqar 9 30 2 0
BFL Boddendijk lbw b A Said 0 2 0 0
SP Vink   b A Said 2 12 0 0
MM Scholte+ not out   1 3 0 0
extras   (b1 lb5 w11 nb0) 17      
TOTAL   10 wickets for 57      
1-3(FJ Vink) 2-4(T Walbrugh) 3-29(RP Mason) 4-35(W Barresi) 5-36(Navjit Singh) 6-39(K Klein) 7-46(R Klein) 8-46(BFL Boddendijk) 9-52(JI de Mey) 10-57(SP Vink)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
S Tariq 10 2 26 3 1
S Salarazai 8 1 21 3 9
A Said 2.5 2 3 3 1
SM Zulfiqar 1 0 1 1
Punjab I 1st Innings 61/1 (Overs 7.2)
Batter Fielder Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
RU Zulfiqar not out   22 22 3 1
SJ Myburgh c RP Mason b FJ Vink 38 21 6 2
S Khogyani not out   0 1 0 0
AT Nidamanuru dnb          
AA Zulfiqar+ dnb          
SM Zulfiqar dnb          
SA Zulfiqar dnb          
Y Usman dnb          
S Salarazai dnb          
S Tariq* dnb          
A Said dnb          
extras   (b0 lb0 w1 nb0) 1      
TOTAL   1 wickets for 61      
1-52(SJ Myburgh)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
R Klein 2 0 20 0
K Klein 2 0 21 0
FJ Vink 2 0 16 1 1
JI de Mey 1.2 1 4 0

Scorecard | ACC vs HCC | 14.05.22

1-Innings Match Played At Het Loopveld West, 14-May-2022, Topklasse
HCC I Win by 4 wkts
Round A5
Toss won by HCC I
Umpires ML Hancock – J Westerberg
Home Side ACC I
Points Awarded ACC I 0, HCC I 2
ACC I 1st Innings 239/6 Closed (Overs 50)
Batter Fielder Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
MA Raza* lbw b H Venter 10 33 0 0
TG Hobson c DG Crowley b H Venter 31 55 3 0
S Potdar lbw b C Floyd 59 107 3 2
R Smith+ not out   101 83 5 6
F Wegener   c&b TJG Pringle 4 6 0 0
CM Knoll st YJ Patel b TJG Pringle 12 11 1 0
R Ackermann   b HC Overdijk 4 7 0 0
RA Kumar not out   1 1 0 0
D Arya dnb          
JS Reddy dnb          
M van Vliet dnb          
extras   (b0 lb1 w14 nb2) 17      
TOTAL   6 wickets for 239      
1-36(MA Raza) 2-69(TG Hobson) 3-197(S Potdar) 4-206(F Wegener) 5-229(CM Knoll) 6-238(R Ackermann)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
HC Overdijk 9 0 29 1 5
RR Bijloos 10 3 40 0 1
H Venter 8 0 52 2 7 1
C Floyd 10 1 35 1
TJG Pringle 10 0 50 2
OO Klaus 1 0 21 0 1 1
ZA Worden 2 0 11 0
HCC I 1st Innings 240/6 (Overs 49.4)
Batter Fielder Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
ZA Worden st R Smith b JS Reddy 53 96 4 1
AJ Staal   b JS Reddy 40 58 3 2
BHG Gorlee* c S Potdar b M van Vliet 79 80 3 2
DG Crowley c CM Knoll b MA Raza 33 44 3 0
TJG Pringle c TG Hobson b R Ackermann 9 12 0 0
HC Overdijk not out   3 3 0 0
YJ Patel+ run out R Smith   7 4 0 1
C Floyd not out   1 1 0 0
H Venter dnb          
RR Bijloos dnb          
OO Klaus dnb          
extras   (b2 lb4 w9 nb0) 15      
TOTAL   6 wickets for 240      
1-92(AJ Staal) 2-106(ZA Worden) 3-180(DG Crowley) 4-221(TJG Pringle) 5-231(BHG Gorlee) 6-238(YJ Patel)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
M van Vliet 9 3 39 1 1
TG Hobson 7 0 36 0 1
D Arya 6 0 50 0 1
R Ackermann 7.4 0 31 1 2
JS Reddy 10 1 31 2 1
MA Raza 10 0 47 1 3

Scorecard | Kampong vs Sparta | 14.05.22

Kampong I Vs Sparta I
1-Innings Match Played At Maarschalkerweerd, Utrecht, 14-May-2022, Topklasse
Sparta I Win by 1 wkts
Round A5
Toss won by Sparta I
Umpires AND van den Dries – DJ Kalloe
Scorers N Hoffmann – AO Smelt
Home Side Kampong I
Points Awarded Kampong I 0, Sparta I 2
Kampong I 1st Innings 211/10 All Out (Overs 46.2)
Batter Fielder Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
S Abhyankar lbw b SB Gohil 14 32 2 0
SY Butt c A Raza b M Bukhari 20 33 4 0
CJ Briggs   c&b SB Gohil 53 58 8 0
MU Malik* c A Raza b T Hoornweg 28 47 3 0
MR Alphonse+ c A Raza b T Hoornweg 1 5 0 0
PJ Jacod   b Manminder Singh 21 28 1 0
A Roy lbw b K Ahmadi 5 18 0 0
S Singh Jhala c A Raza b N Ibrahimkhil 11 21 0 0
V Chaturvedi c A Raza b N Ibrahimkhil 6 8 1 0
RTF van der Harten not out   14 19 1 0
S Kumar   b M Bukhari 6 10 1 0
extras   (b0 lb3 w27 nb2) 32      
TOTAL   10 wickets for 211      
1-35(SY Butt) 2-59(S Abhyankar) 3-127(MU Malik) 4-135(MR Alphonse) 5-146(CJ Briggs) 6-158(A Roy) 7-182(PJ Jacod) 8-182(S Singh Jhala) 9-192(V Chaturvedi) 10-211(S Kumar)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
M Bukhari 7.2 0 36 2 12
K Ahmadi 10 1 39 1 3
SB Gohil 10 1 37 2
N Ibrahimkhil 7 1 34 2 7
Manminder Singh 5 0 32 1
T Hoornweg 3.1 0 15 2 2 2
M Latif 3.5 0 15 0 3
Sparta I 1st Innings 212/9 (Overs 50)
Batter Fielder Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
S Sardha c S Abhyankar b A Roy 3 9 0 0
M Latif c S Abhyankar b MU Malik 20 21 2 1
SB Gohil c MR Alphonse b RTF van der Harten 36 58 4 1
R Allen c MR Alphonse b A Roy 24 44 4 0
M Bukhari* not out   55 76 5 2
A Raza+ c V Chaturvedi b MU Malik 5 7 1 0
Manminder Singh   b S Singh Jhala 14 36 2 0
K Ahmadi c MR Alphonse b A Roy 13 16 1 1
R Noor c S Abhyankar b S Singh Jhala 5 17 0 0
N Ibrahimkhil run out MR Alphonse/RTF van der Harten   5 12 0 0
T Hoornweg not out   2 4 0 0
extras   (b0 lb9 w21 nb0) 30      
TOTAL   9 wickets for 212      
1-5(S Sardha) 2-37(M Latif) 3-99(SB Gohil) 4-105(R Allen) 5-111(A Raza) 6-155(Manminder Singh) 7-184(K Ahmadi) 8-193(R Noor) 9-203(N Ibrahimkhil)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
MU Malik 10 0 36 2 1
A Roy 10 0 31 3 9
S Kumar 7 0 34 0 3
RTF van der Harten 8 0 37 1 6
PJ Jacod 8 1 41 0
S Singh Jhala 7 2 24 2 2

Scorecard | VRA vs VCC | 14.05.22

VRA I Vs Voorburg I
1-Innings Match Played At Amstelveen (VRA), 14-May-2022, Topklasse
Voorburg I Win by 4 wkts
Round B5
Toss won by VRA I
Umpires RJ Akram – M Prabhudesai
Scorers KA Holdsworth – CC Schinkel
Home Side VRA I
Points Awarded VRA I 0, Voorburg I 2
VRA I 1st Innings 153/10 All Out (Overs 37.3)
Batter Fielder Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
V Singh c MN Ahmad b GK Nieuwoudt 20 29 1 0
E Visser c M Hingorani b LV van Beek 0 5 0 0
Z Khan lbw b VJ Kingma 0 2 0 0
SR Rasool c LV van Beek b VJ Kingma 1 9 0 0
J Smal run out MN Ahmad/LV van Beek   7 18 1 0
A Dutt   b D Potgieter 0 3 0 0
J Balbirnie   b S Ahmad 29 51 3 0
U Nashier   c&b S Ahmad 42 74 2 0
LA Turmaine* c TN de Grooth b PRP Boissevain 0 3 0 0
MB Lees+ not out   21 23 0 0
A Abid c MN Ahmad b S Ahmad 4 8 1 0
extras   (b0 lb10 w19 nb0) 29      
TOTAL   10 wickets for 153      
1-7(E Visser) 2-12(Z Khan) 3-19(SR Rasool) 4-33(J Smal) 5-38(A Dutt) 6-49(V Singh) 7-107(J Balbirnie) 8-112(LA Turmaine) 9-145(U Nashier) 10-153(A Abid)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
VJ Kingma 4 0 22 2 7
LV van Beek 7 1 19 1 4
GK Nieuwoudt 5 0 20 1 1
D Potgieter 9 1 36 1 6
PRP Boissevain 6 0 21 1
S Ahmad 6.3 0 25 3 1
Voorburg I 1st Innings 154/6 (Overs 40.4)
Batter Fielder Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
JN Malan   c&b A Dutt 15 33 0 0
MN Ahmad c J Balbirnie b V Singh 34 47 3 0
BFW de Leede* lbw b E Visser 8 12 0 0
D Potgieter   b E Visser 0 1 0 0
TN de Grooth   b E Visser 0 4 0 0
LV van Beek not out   57 77 2 2
GK Nieuwoudt c V Singh b A Dutt 16 41 1 0
M Hingorani+ not out   13 29 1 0
PRP Boissevain dnb          
S Ahmad dnb          
VJ Kingma dnb          
extras   (b0 lb4 w7 nb0) 11      
TOTAL   6 wickets for 154      
1-35(JN Malan) 2-46(BFW de Leede) 3-46(D Potgieter) 4-53(TN de Grooth) 5-83(MN Ahmad) 6-121(GK Nieuwoudt)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
A Abid 4.4 0 23 0 1
E Visser 10 0 52 3 4
A Dutt 9 1 23 2
V Singh 7 1 19 1 2
U Nashier 8 1 25 0
LA Turmaine 2 0 8 0

Scorecard | VOC vs Excelsior | 14.05.22

VOC I Vs Excelsior 20 I
1-Innings Match Played At Hazelaarweg, Rotterdam, 14-May-2022, Topklasse
VOC I Win by 222 runs
Round B5
Toss won by VOC I
Umpires MA Din – Z Hussain
Scorers EM Heggelman – CCH Kaulingfreks
Home Side VOC I
Points Awarded VOC I 2, Excelsior 20 I 0
VOC I 1st Innings 317/6 Closed (Overs 50)
Batter Fielder Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
SA Edwards+ c RTF Verhagen b BR Hampton 37 47 3 0
MP O’Dowd   b LT Ingram 37 50 3 1
F Fourie lbw b LT Ingram 11 32 2 0
A Jain c RTF Verhagen b LT Ingram 4 11 0 0
TIM de Kok   b BR Hampton 110 72 12 5
PM Seelaar* c SL van Troost b NT Etman 68 65 7 1
JD Schoonheim not out   26 14 1 2
MA Durrani not out   12 8 1 1
B Niaz dnb          
MB Hoornweg dnb          
SB van Wingerden dnb          
extras   (b0 lb5 w7 nb0) 12      
TOTAL   6 wickets for 317      
1-72(SA Edwards) 2-90(F Fourie) 3-96(A Jain) 4-111(MP O’Dowd) 5-270(TIM de Kok) 6-279(PM Seelaar)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
NT Etman 9 0 61 1 2
RWA van Troost 4 0 27 0 4
TJ Heggelman 8 0 66 0
BR Hampton 10 1 62 2
LT Ingram 10 1 25 3 1
UF Baker 5 0 40 0
J Kroesen 4 0 31 0
Excelsior 20 I 1st Innings 95/10 All Out (Overs 32.1)
Batter Fielder Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
TC Etman c JD Schoonheim b A Jain 2 6 0 0
RTF Verhagen+ c MP O’Dowd b B Niaz 20 32 3 0
TJ Heggelman* c MB Hoornweg b B Niaz 19 19 3 0
LT Ingram   b B Niaz 13 22 1 0
J Kroesen lbw b B Niaz 0 3 0 0
BR Hampton   b B Niaz 3 17 0 0
SL van Troost c SA Edwards b B Niaz 2 12 0 0
LA Kroesen lbw b PM Seelaar 0 4 0 0
NT Etman not out   21 47 2 1
RWA van Troost c MB Hoornweg b JD Schoonheim 5 21 0 0
UF Baker c SA Edwards b JD Schoonheim 4 11 1 0
extras   (b0 lb1 w4 nb1) 6      
TOTAL   10 wickets for 95      
1-2(TC Etman) 2-38(TJ Heggelman) 3-51(RTF Verhagen) 4-51(J Kroesen) 5-60(LT Ingram) >6-63(SL van Troost) 7-64(LA Kroesen) 8-64(BR Hampton) 9-89(RWA van Troost) 10-95(UF Baker)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
A Jain 8 2 23 1
MB Hoornweg 2 0 25 0 3 1
B Niaz 10 5 10 6 1
SB van Wingerden 5 0 23 0
PM Seelaar 5 0 12 1
JD Schoonheim 2.1 1 1 2

Round 5 Preview

Rod Lyall & Bertus de Jong 12/05/22

Suddenly we’re at the halfway mark of the first phase in this very unusual season (unusual not least because so far not an over has been lost to the weather), and it seems almost as if the draw had been worked out with the results known in advance. Let us explain.

Group A

RL: The unquestioned match of the day is between the two unbeaten sides in the group, with HBS Craeyenhout travelling to the Zomercomplex to take on Punjab Rotterdam. Neither had things entirely their own way last week, with the defending champions dismissed for a comparatively modest total by Sparta, and HBS having to draw on all their resources to see off the challenge from HCC. Punjab’s top order has been a lot less consistent this season than it was last year, although they bat deep enough for rescue operations to be mounted, as they were last Saturday by Saqib and Sikander Zulfiqar, and as they have been in other games by the Netherlands’ latest international prospect Teja Nidamanuru. The attack, moreover, is incisive enough to dig them out of most situations. HBS, by contrast, have shown that they can survive the early dismissals of Tobias Visée and Tayo Walbrugh, although the injury to Gavin Kaplan last week will be a source of concern. These sides are unbeaten for a reason, and we can hope to be treated to a Battle of the Titans at the Zomercomplex on Saturday.

BdJ: Punjab have certainly had to work a little harder for their early wins this season than last time round, but though the top order has been a little hit-and-miss so far they do indeed have enviable batting depth, and the bowling has generally been more reliable. Nobody has yet managed to put 200 runs on them, and one suspects HBS will need at least that if they’re to keep their own unbeaten record intact. In Kaplan’s absence they will likely need runs from either Visée or Walbrugh, with the middle order having looked rather fragile otherwise. Though having Ryan Klein and Wesley Barresi lurking down the order has proved a more than handy insurance policy, the rest of line-up have been little more than passengers thus far and the Crows will likely need to flock together on Saturday if they’re to take any points back to the Hague.

RL: Having secured their first win of the season at home to Kampong last Saturday, ACC face what is likely to be a much stiffer task in the form of HCC, again at Het Loopveld, this week. HCC spearhead Hidde Overdijk bowled superbly against HBS on Sunday and has also been in useful form with the bat, while Zac Worden has been an immovable force at the crease in all four games so far. With Damian Crowley now back in the line-up as well the Lions might reasonably expect to be kings of the Topklasse jungle, but those points dropped to Punjab and HBS may well come back to haunt them later in the season. Their hosts, by contrast, are still settling into a unit, and although tall paceman Mees van Vliet is making encouraging progress and thoroughly deserved his five-for against Kampong, it will be a real test of his character and skill when he faces the HCC top order. ACC’s big problem remains making enough runs quickly enough, and while it was good to see Anis Raza and Shreyas Potdar combine in a solid stand last week, Thomas Hobson, Robin Smith and Co. will need to be on their mettle against HCC’s varied and menacing attack.

BdJ: If ACC’s unfancied 2021 squad turned out to be somewhat more than the sum of its parts, the story this season has been rather the opposite. Despite a number of acquisitions over the winter looking to have strengthened the Amsterdam outfit considerably, the newcomers have, broadly speaking, yet to effectively adjust to the conditions. Rather it was the familiar faces that delivered their first points last week. That said, the fact that ACC have plainly under-performed so far suggests ample room for improvement and their opponents, despite looking the more impressive outfit, have taken their only wins against teams in the lower half of the table and twice come up short in the face of stronger opposition. The persistence with the experimental promotion of Clayton Floyd to replace Musa Nadeem at the top of the order suggests a lack of confidence in other options, and Worden aside none of HCC’s top order have delivered consistently. That is not to say that HCC will be heading to Amsterdam as anything other than clear favourites of course, but the ingredients for an upset are there. So on that basis, in the absence of any other disagreement between us, this will be the match where I make my sporting prediction distinction.

RL: Yet to get off the mark after losing to ACC last week, Kampong Utrecht will get a repechage when they welcome Sparta 1888 to Maarschalkerweerd on Saturday. Both these sides seem almost certainly to be heading for the relegation pool, so the points on offer here are of even greater significance. The Capelle outfit have now been boosted by the arrival of overseas player Samit Gohil, and if he made a greater impact with the ball than with the bat against in his first outing against Punjab, in the longer term he provides a much-needed strengthening of a palpably struggling Sparta top order. With Ahsan Malik and Mudassar Bukhari having proved that they can take the top off opposition line-ups, Kampong will need to weather that initial storm if they are to break their duck here. Several of their batters have contributed usefully on occasion, but they have yet to put together a really convincing collective effort with the bat, and apart from the admirable Alex Roy the attack has lacked penetration. No doubt Kampong have the potential to gain crucial points from this game, but Sparta will start as favourites.

BdJ: If there remain serious questions about the top-flight credentials of the Sparta batting card, they seem unlikely to be asked on Saturday by a Kampong attack that has either conceded 200+ runs or taken no more than three wickets in each of their four matches to date. Should the thus-far absent Pite van Biljon belatedly arrive to bolster the Kampong batting by Saturday it would certainly increase the chances of an upset in a game that, on current form, they will likely have to win with the bat. Current form for both sides is, however, extrapolated almost entirely from matches played on mats, so it’s questionable how much predictive power that may have. Kampong could not capitalise on home advantage in their one outing at Maarschalkerweerd against HCC, but it’s not impossible to envisage Sparta’s batting struggling to adjust.

Group B

RL: Unbeaten at the top of their group, Voorburg head to the Amsterdamse Bos to take on VRA Amsterdam. With Janneman Malan running into form at Salland last week and Delano Potgieter demonstrating his hitting power as well as his skill with the ball, Voorburg are starting to live up to live up to their billing as prospective champions. Logan van Beek is yet to join the party, but once he does this will be a team with almost no visible weaknesses, and it will be a huge challenge for Peter Borren’s young side to end their visitors’ winning run. Eduard Visser is a valuable acquisition for the Amsterdammers, as much as an opening pinch hitter as a new-ball bowler, and with Borren himself chipping in with the ball last week as well as continuing to make significant runs in the middle order, VRA deserve their position in the top half of the table. Again, the points here are likely to carry their weight all the way to August, and if Voorburg will inevitably start as favourites, it would be extremely rash to rule out VRA springing a surprise.

BdJ: If VRA have perhaps surprised even their most ardent fans with the degree of success their “be alright on the night” approach to the season has brought them so far, derailing the VCC championship train on Saturday would likely leave them pinching themselves. While Malan seemed to have gotten the hang of typical Dutch conditions last week one suspects the wicket at the Bos will be one that suits him far better, and VRA has also been a happy hunting ground for the prodigal Viv Kingma, who took five-fer against his former club the last time the two side met there in the first of VCC’s three wins over VRA last season. VRA’s rag-tag bunch have come together remarkably well thus far, with Visser, Shah and Dutt looking likely to prove valuable acquisitions and the Amsterdammer’s youngsters (most notably Vikram Singh and Udit Nashier) beginning to deliver on their promise. Yet they remain underdogs against a full-strength VCC, especially in the expected absence of Luke Scully, who has made runs against the Voorburgers in the past. On the other hand, the hosts will feel they have little to lose come Saturday in a fixture they won’t be expecting to yield any points. While Voorburg will start the day as favourites, in a talented VRA side playing close to their best with little fear of losing, they are walking toward likely the slipperiest banana skin that they’ll encounter all season.

RL: VOC Rotterdam have had a disappointing start to the season, and a win against Excelsior ’20 Schiedam at the Hazelaarweg this week will be absolutely crucial to their chances of battling their way back into the top three in the back half of the first phase. Excelsior have duly excelled in their first four games, and their thumping victories over VRA, Salland and Dosti have given them the healthiest NRR of any team in either group. We do tend to harp on about VOC’s dependence on their three internationals, but that’s mostly because they keep reminding us that it’s true. Scott Edwards’ two centuries have been a bright spot in an otherwise dismal few weeks for the Rotterdammers, and even with the all-round efforts of Max O’Dowd and Pieter Seelaar it’s hard to see things improving significantly for them unless players like Tim de Kok and Arnav Jain make a greater contribution with the bat. Excelsior’s recent success might prove to be a bit of a problem, in the sense that with victories by nine, seven and eight wickets their middle order is short of time in the middle, but Lord knows that’s not a bad problem to have. And the attack has the cutting edge to reinforce VOC’s own problems.

BdJ: It has to be said that if it’s fair to make any kind of story out of just four rounds of Topklasse games, the biggest would be the exposure of VOC’s remarkable lack of bench strength. The Bloodhounds have admittedly been hit by the retirement of Dirk van Baren, injury to Bobby Hanif, and the loss of Ahsan Malik to Sparta together with Corey Rutgers’ recusal from first team cricket, yet their inability to fill the gaps must be seen as something of an indictment of their youth production line. In Seelaar, O’Dowd and Edwards they will unquestionably have three of the best players on the park come Saturday, and any of the three could potentially turn the game, but they will start as underdogs in their own back yard against an Excelsior side that, while admittedly bolstered by overseas talent, more importantly shows fewer weak links among their home-grown contingent. Excelsior themselves have only been properly tested once this season and in that instance found wanting against VCC, but then so has everyone else that’s come up against the Voorburgers. The key question on Saturday, one suspects, will be whether Excelsior’s new ball attack can deliver the requisite decapitation strike to prevent Edwards or O’Dowd or from taking the game in hand.

RL: If Dosti are playing at home it must be Sunday, and it’s Salland who make the trip to Sportpark Drieburg this week. Once again, the fact that both sides are pretty certain to be playing in the relegation group come the second phase makes this match a real four-pointer, and Mahesh Hans’s team will perhaps feel that they will have few better chances of posting their second win in nearly three years. But Salland showed with their win over VOC that they are capable of battling their way to a win on occasion, and these are points which could stand them in very good stead when the Relegation Stakes reach the final furlong in August. It’s true that they’ve only managed two half-century partnerships so far, both against VOC, and only half-a-dozen more which reached 20, but Dosti have only passed 50 once, also against the VOC attack. Salland’s bowlers, moreover, have found the going even tougher than Dosti’s, Elam Bharathi and Venkat Ganesan leading the way with four wickets apiece. It’s likely to be a dour battle, but I’m inclined to think home advantage may tip the balance Dosti’s way. ‘If not now, when?’

BdJ: Four rounds in is a little early to be making such firm predictions of course, and both teams are in principle still expecting overseas reinforcement at some point this season which could change such calculations significantly, but as things stand this week’s straggling fixture at Drieburg does already rather look like the first leg of a relegation clash. While Dosti’s batting looks a little deeper on their own matting compared to grass, Salland’s spin-heavy attack won’t play to the pinch-hitting strengths of Masood or Raja at the top, and despite Salland’s disappointing start the hosts will likely need one or both of Rahil Ahmed, Vinoo Tewarie or Hans himself to play a substantial innings on Sunday.

RL’s picks: Punjab, HCC, Sparta, Voorburg, Excelsior, Dosti.

BdJ’s picks: Punjab, ACC, Sparta, Voorburg, Excelsior, Dosti.