A fine all-round performance by Julian de Mey propelled HBS Craeyenhout to a nine-wicket victory over bottom side Dosti-United Amsterdam in the Dutch Topklasse on Sunday, taking them into second place on the table, ten points behind leaders Punjab Amsterdam.
De Mey broke open the fragile Dosti batting line-up by removing the dangerous Rahil Ahmed when he had made a 32-ball 37, and went on to take two more, finishing with three for 29 from his ten overs. He was well backed up by young Benno Boddendijk, who cleaned up the tail and ended with four for 15.
Their efforts were instrumental in bowling Dosti out for a mere 128, the last five wickets falling for just 15 runs, and then Tobias Visée and De Mey put on 71 in an opening stand which took only twelve and a half overs.
Visée fell to a splendid catch by Vinoo Tewarie at short extra cover when he had made 44 from 36 deliveries, but as HBS neared their target De Mey launched a series of onslaughts on Mahesh Hans, ending on 47 not out as back-to-back boundaries took his side to the win with more than 30 overs to spare. There was also time for Tayo Walbrugh to add another 20 to his imposing aggregate for the season.
In Saturday’s four games, three of them seriously affected by the weather, the outstanding highlight was an unbroken third-wicket partnership of 237 between Lorenzo Ingram and Tristan Stubbs which enabled Excelsior ’20 Schiedam to run up 295 for two against ACC at Thurlede.
Coming together at 58 for two, Ingram and Stubbs were held in check for much of the innings by a persistent ACC attack, but with plenty of wickets in hand the overseas pair unleashed towards the end, 101 runs coming from the final seven overs as the batters cashed in on their earlier caution.
Ingram ended on 114 not out, his second century of the season coming from 142 deliveries, while Stubbs’s first three-figure haul in the Topklasse took just 98 balls and included six fours and five sixes.
A prolonged period of rain threatened to terminate the game there, but improved conditions enabled the players to return, with ACC set the near-impossible task of making 207 from 28 overs.
Continuing their complete hold on the game, Ingram and Stubbs promptly reduced the Amsterdammers to 23 for four, Ingram taking three for 6 in six overs, and ACC were content to bat out the remaining overs, Ammar Zaidi facing 86 deliveries for 13 not out as his side closed on 51 for six.
It could perhaps have been interpreted as a protest against the unfairness of their situation, had they not batted for 49.1 overs for 85 the week before, chasing an HBS total of 198 for seven.
Leaders Punjab staged a successful comeback against VOC Rotterdam at the Hazelaarweg, after Max O’Dowd and Scott Edwards (59) had put on 106 in an opening stand which gave the challengers an initial advantage.
O’Dowd batted on after Edwards’s departure, but with wickets falling regularly at the other end, three of them to Saqib Zulfiqar’s leg-spin at a cost of 35 runs, it was increasingly clear that VOC’s hopes of setting a big target depended almost entirely upon him.
He was eventually dismissed for 87 by Suleiman Tariq, whose three wickets cost 47 runs, and VOC were all out for 210.
Punjab’s reply was just getting under way as the rain arrived, and when it had passed they were faced with a revised target of 157 from 32 overs.
Another solid performance from the top order saw them home with four overs to spare, Steph Myburgh making 35 and Rehmat Zulfiqar 27 before Asad Zulfiqar and Teja Nidamanuru took their side to the brink of victory.
Nidamanuru fell for 43 with five still needed, but Asad remained 44 not out, his brother Sikander coming to the crease to hit the winning boundary.
Voorburg, second on Saturday morning, also saw their challenge falter, as HCC bowled them out for 132 at Westvliet and went on to win by five wickets in another DLS result.
Veteran former international Tom de Grooth top-scored for Voorburg with a steady 30, but Ollie Klaus took three for 49 and Clayton Floyd five for 18 – consolidating his position as the Topklasse’s leading wicket-taker – as the home side’s batting again subsided.
Bas de Leede and Karl Nieuwoudt hit back hard when HCC replied, and with Tonny Staal, Musa Ahmad and Boris Gorlee all back in the pavilion and only 30 on the board, the Lions found themselves in a precarious situation as the rain arrived.
Their target adjusted to 102 from 27 overs, Damian Crowley and Hidde Overdijk were equal to the task, however, and although De Leede returned to remove Crowley for 41 and Daniël Trijzelaar with successive deliveries with seven still needed, Overdijk remained to finish the job, ending on 35 not out.
De Leede took four for 15, his best return for the season.
The only Topklasse match to escape Saturday’s rain was in the Amsterdamse Bos, where VRA Amsterdam dismissed Sparta 1888 for 175 and won by seven wickets.
Sparta’s innings started promisingly enough, but Vikram Singh removed both Garnett Tarr (26) and Mudassar Bukhari (31) to ensure that there was no repeat of the Capelle side’s runfest against VOC, and although the lower order chipped in, the rest of the VRA did as well, the six remaining bowlers all claiming a wicket in support of Singh’s three for 24.
Half-century partnerships between Eric Szwarczynski, who made an unbeaten 54, and Jack Balbirnie (37) and then between Szwarczynski and Peter Borren (46 not out) enabled VRA to cruise home, the winning runs coming with more than 20 overs to spare.
The victory gives VRA at least a theoretical chance of reaching the Topklasse play-offs, although with six points separating them from sixth-placed Excelsior they cannot afford any more slip-ups, and would need other results to go their way.
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