Voorburg and VRA open with wins in Dutch women’s league

Dutch Women's international Babette de Leede was inches away from a ton on the first weekend of the season.

There were signs of an old order changing as the 2021 Women’s Hoofdklasse competition got under way in the Netherlands on Saturday.

Quick Haag, national champions in three of the past five seasons, took on Voorburg, who first took part in the competition in 2018, at Westvliet and were beaten by 69 runs.

Foundation of the Voorburg total of 196 was a knock of 97 from opener and national team wicketkeeper Babette de Leede, who needed just 99 deliveries and hit 13 fours before she was fifth out in the 33rd over.

She shared in a brisk 89-run stand for the third wicket with Eva Lynch, whose 41 came at exactly a run a ball and included two fours and two sixes.

Pick of the Quick bowlers was Caroline de Lange, who took four for 33, including a return catch to deprive De Leede of what would have been a well-earned century.
Lynch also took a hand when Quick replied, removing Coco Steenstra Toussaint after the visitors had reached 41 without loss, and she went on to claim five for 21 in just five overs.

Former national captain Helmien Rambaldo made 19 and Esther Corder (who started her career at Voorburg) top-scored with 20, but only four Quick batters reached double figures and the side was eventually dismissed for 127.
In the Amterdamse Bos, meanwhile, VRA Amsterdam cruised to an eight-wicket victory over Ajax Leiden, needing just 14.2 overs to overhaul the visitors’ total of 122.

Gwen Bloemen set Ajax back on their heels after they had won the toss and elected to bat, taking four wickets with her first 16 deliveries – all bowled – at a cost of just three runs, reducing them to 6 for four, and although Amber de Groot reached 24 and Juliët Post 13, the Leidenaars never recovered from this initial onslaught.
Bloemen returned to pick up another wicket to finish with five for 24, and there were two apiece for Nathalie Hennis and Lotte Heerkens.

Miranda Veringmeier and Kate Harris immediately took on the Ajax attack, scoring at nearly nine an over until Harris fell to Neeltje Mol for 22.

Veringmeier, though, was at her most destructive, and her unbeaten 74, made from just 41 deliveries and including nine fours and three sixes, saw her side home in double-quick time.

Rood en Wit Haarlem, who topped the table in last season’s non-championship competition, had a bye in round 1 of this five-team Hoofdklasse and will open their campaign next week against VRA in Amstelveen, while Ajax will be at home to Voorburg.

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