O’Dowd and Rutgers steer VOC back into Topklasse top four

Corey Rutgers

A fine stand of 186 between Max O’Dowd and Corey Rutgers enabled VOC Rotterdam to recover from a perilous 14 for three and reach 271 for four against HBS at Craeyenhout on Sunday, laying the foundation for a 62-run victory and taking them back into fourth spot in the densely-packed Topklasse table.

The total was all the more remarkable because the match had been cut to 37 overs a side after overnight rain, which means that it was equivalent to more than 350 over a full 50 overs.

HBS had a dream start after winning the toss, with Dirk van Baren, Tim de Kok and Scott Edwards all dismissed without scoring in the space of the first 23 deliveries, two falling to Ryan Klein in the first over and the third to Ferdi Vink. But this brought O’Dowd and Rutgers together for the partnership which turned the game around.

O’Dowd passed fifty for the eighth time in 14 innings and went on to post his third century of the season, taking his tally to 810; he faced 99 deliveries and hit nine sixes to go with his seven fours.

After O’Dowd departed for 118 Rutgers, playing against the club for whom he was once an overseas player, continued in company with Dutch national captain Pieter Seelaar, returning after missing six games with a back injury, and this pair added 71 in five and a half overs. Rutgers finished on 114 not out, also made from 99 deliveries.

Corey Rutgers scores a hundred in the Dutch Topklasse
Corey Rutgers scored an unbeaten 114 for VOC Rotterdam (Photo: Sander Tholen and TK Cricket)

This left HBS with a massive task, and although they began brightly enough, their chances receded once Tobias Visée fell to Pierce Fletcher and, even more decisively, after Dirk van Baren removed leading run-scorer Tayo Walbrugh.

The hosts never recovered, and although Navjit Singh made 36 before he became the first of three victims for Siebe van Wingerden, and last man Sander Geenevasen weighed in with a defiant 37 not out in the dying overs, their innings closed on 209 for nine.

If VOC’s total was imposing it was surpassed by Punjab Rotterdam’s 325 for six in 39 overs against Sparta 1888 at the Zomercomplex.

There were four half-centuries in the Punjab innings, Stephan Myburgh making a 51-ball 84 and sharing a second-wicket stand of 134 with Asad Zulfiqar (53), and Saqib Zulfiqar (69 not out from 52 deliveries) adding 115 for the fifth wicket with Sikander Zulfiqar (57 from 34).

Between them the Punjab batting line-up smacked 28 fours and 17 sixes off Sparta’s long-suffering attack, which was missing both Mudassar Bukhari and Max Hoornweg; Manminder Singh was the most effective with three for 65 from his eight overs.

Sparta reached 57 for two in reply, but then spinners Saqib Zulfiqar and Irfan ul Haq took over, and the last eight wickets fell for just 21 runs, Saqib taking three for 24 and Ul Haq five for 11 in eight overs as the side was all out for 78, Garnett Tarr top-scoring with 38.

Italian representative Damian Crowley, now settled in the Netherlands, was in the runs for HCC (Photo: Federazione Cricket twitter page)

Excelsior ‘20 became the first side in seven games to take more than 50 off the HCC attack, but their total of 180 was insufficient to stop HCC’s batters from pulling off a six-wicket victory as Damian Crowley (93 not out) and Tonny Staal (53) added 119 for the fourth wicket and took their side to within sight of their target

Earlier, Lorenzo Ingram played a largely lone hand in Excelsior’s innings with 69, but apart from Stan van Troost (28) he received little support; HCC missed Hidde Overdijk from the attack, but Musa Nadeem Ahmad claimed three for 21 and Clayton Floyd extended his season’s tally to 37 with two for 35.

At Het Loopveld Voorburg stayed on terms with HCC with a comfortable win over ACC, whose batting woes continued as they struggled to 91 for seven in 45 overs in a rain-punctuated innings.

Logan van Beek celebrated his return to the Voorburg colours with four for 17, while Viv Kingma also bowled for the first time in weeks, collecting a wicket.

Bas de Leede then steered his side to an eight-wicket victory with an unbeaten 40.

VRA Amsterdam kept their outside chances of a Topklasse play-off place alive with a five-wicket win over Dosti Amsterdam at Sportpark Drieburg.

Here, too, rain interrupted Dosti’s innings, which was held together by a career-best 60 from opener Mahesh Hans as they reached 127 for seven in 39 overs, Quirijn Guinning leading the VRA attack with three for 24.

Zamaan Khan’s 31-ball 44 set VRA on the path to victory, but they lost five wickets along the way before completing the win with 17 overs to spare.

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