Punjab lose again; HCC demolish Sparta in Dutch Topklasse

Europe Kampong Netherlands Dutch T20 Topklasse
Europe Kampong Netherlands

The 2021 Dutch Topklasse season continues to do its impersonation of a cycling road race, with leaders Punjab Rotterdam dropping back on Sunday as the peloton gathers for the final sprint.

It was Voorburg who were the agents of Punjab’s defeat, bowling them out for 84 and then reaching their target in 27.4 overs for the loss of two wickets.

New ball bowlers Karl Nieuwoudt and Bas de Leede put the powerful Punjab top order under pressure from the outset. Nieuwoudt claimed the vital wicket of Steph Myburgh, but it was Sajjad Kamal and Stef Mulder who did the real damage in a ten-over passage which saw the leaders slump to 59 for six.

Suleiman Tariq again offered some resistance, but once he was run out by Aryan Dutt the end came quickly. Mulder finished with four for 19 and Kamal with three for 16.

Punjab made Voorburg work hard for their victory, but Mohit Hingorani batted through for 35 not out, sharing useful partnerships with De Leede (26) and then Sybrand Engelbrecht (16 not out) to see his side home.

HCC’s attack again ruled supreme at Sportpark Bermweg, shooting Sparta 1888 out for just 42 and setting up a rapid seven-wicket victory, allowing HCC to keep the heat on Punjab at the top of the Dutch Topklasse table.

After Clayton Floyd had bowled his usual token opening over, Hidde Overdijk and Reinier Bijloos bowled for 20 overs unchanged, with Overdijk taking three for 12 and Bijloos four for 17 as Sparta, without captain Mudassar Bukhari, collapsed to 32 for seven.

Floyd then returned to claim the final three wickets in the space of ten deliveries to finish with three for 3 and take his season’s tally to 35 at an extraordinary average of 6.49.

HCC needed only 38 deliveries to reach their target, although their rapid-fire approach saw Musa Nadeem, Boris Gorlee and Damian Crowley all back in the metaphorical pavilion before they did so.

The only significant totals of the day in the Dutch Topklasse were posted at Thurlede, where HBS Craeyenhout maintained their four place with a victory over Excelsior ‘20 by six wickets.

If the bowlers were less completely in command there than elsewhere, stroke-play was never a straightforward matter either, and two attractive top orders found themselves compelled to graft against disciplined, accurate attacks.

Having elected to bat first Excelsior had to battle their way to 171 for six, Roel Verhagen, Lorenzo Ingram, Tristan Stubbs – playing his last game for the club this season – and Joost Kroesen all getting a start but unable to up the tempo appreciably.

It was, indeed, Niels Etman whose 48-ball, unbeaten 36 which enabled them to set as big a target as they did, with Ryan Klein, Sander Geenevasen, Wesley Barresi and Julian de Mey all putting in solid performances with the ball.

When HBS replied Klaas Roelfsema and Ingram quickly had them on the back foot at 18 for three with Tobias Visée, De Mey and the dangerous Tayo Walbrugh all gone. Najvit Singh and Barresi settled into a determined fourth-wicket partnership of 109 before Barresi fell to Joost Kroesen for a patient 48.

45 were still needed at this point, but Najvit with an unbeaten 73 and Klein with 20 worked their way steadily to the win, reaching their target with 17 deliveries to spare.

Netherlands Max O'Dowd celebrates his century
Max O’Dowd was one of the few batsmen amongst the runs on the weekend (Photo: ICC)

Vinoo Tewarie (31) and Arief Hoseinbaks (35) managed to get Dosti Amsterdam up to a total of 143 against VOC Rotterdam at the Hazelaarweg, Pierce Fletcher taking four for 20. But this was nowhere near enough against opponent for whom openers Max O’Dowd and Dirk van Baren both made half-centuries.

Both fell immediately after reaching that landmark, O’Dowd for a punishing 39-ball 52 which included four fours and as many sixes, Van Baren for a more sedate 54 from 53 deliveries, and it was left to Scott Edwards to steer his side home with 29 not out.

There was a dramatic start in the Amterdamse Bos, where VRA Amsterdam left-armer Ashir Abid reduced ACC to 15 for three in the space of the first 19 deliveries.

Krishna Hosur (25), Ammar Zaidi (38) and Chris Knoll (26) were able to engineer a partial recovery, but once they had been dismissed the innings folded, and ACC were all out for 121.

After the early loss of Vikram Singh, Zamaan Khan and Luke Scully shared the best partnership of the match, putting on 81 for the second wicket. Although Khan was eventually bowled by Zaidi for 33 Scully continued in tandem with Shirase Rasool to finish with an unbeaten 62 as VRA completed an eight-wicket victory.

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