Quick Haag go top in high-scoring win
A sun-baked runfest in Amstelveen and a last-over, 7-run victory for Sparta 1888 in Capelle-aan-der-IJssel were the highlights of another eventful round of Hoofdklasse matches on Sunday.
With HCC losing to HBS, Quick Haag’s five-wicket defeat of defending champions VRA saw them alone on top of the table with three wins out of three, while at the other end VVV Amsterdam and VOC Rotterdam lost again to remain without a point.
With a magnificent pitch for batting and a lightning-fast outfield, the VRA ground saw 641 runs scored for the loss of eight wickets as the home side ran up 320 for three but then failed to defend it, Quick securing a five-wicket victory with one over to spare.
Two unbeaten centuries emphasised the batsmen’s domination, opener Tjade Groot batting throughout the VRA innings for 130 not out, and Quick coach Wes Thomas then replying in kind with a match-winning 128 not out.
VRA got away to a rapid start after Peter Borren won the toss and elected to bat, 76 coming off the first ten overs as Groot and Wesley Barresi rode their luck on what would prove to be a seam bowler’s graveyard.
Things moderated slightly after Barresi went for 39, edging a wide ball from Thomas to keeper Bobby van Gigch with the total on 84, but Eric Szwarczynski (27) helped Groot to take the total to 156 before he gave a second catch to the Quick keeper, off the bowling of Henk-Jan Mol.
That brought Borren to the wicket, and he and Groot now added 150 for the third wicket in 21 overs, Edgar Schiferli using eight bowlers in an unsuccessful effort to stem the flow of runs.
Henk-Jan Mol was the pick of the Quick attack, conceding only 45 off his ten overs, while Thomas picked up two for 52 off nine, bowling Borren when he had made a splendid 65-ball 92, with nine fours and three sixes.
Groot had meanwhile brought up his century, off 114 balls, and faced 153 balls in his complete innings, hitting 20 boundaries in the process.
Although it was 20 or so less than they had seemed at one stage likely to finish with, 320 should have been enough, but VRA bowled poorly and fielded worse when Quick replied.
Quick openers Darron Reekers and Geert Maarten Mol almost matched VRA’s start, 72 coming off their first ten overs, and Reekers reached 45 off 36 balls before holing out to Chris Haak at long on off Adeel Raja’s bowling with the score on 79.
Thomas and Mol then put on 124 for the second wicket in 22 overs, Mol making 78 from 99 balls before he was bowled by a long-hop from spinner Jeroen Oskam, who otherwise bowled a tidy six-over spell.
Wickets now began to fall at the other end, but Thomas was in almost complete control, displaying a wide range of shots and running expertly between the wickets and bringing up his hundred in the 47th over at almost exactly a run a ball.
In all he hit twelve fours and two sixes in his 119-ball innings, and it was appropriately he who hit the winning run off the final ball of the penultimate over.
Raja was rewarded for some controlled off-spin with three for 51 from his ten overs, while Szwarczynski also bowled tidily in conceding 51 from his.
If the Amsterdamse Bos was a paradise for batting, Klein Zwitserland once again proved to be the opposite, with HBS being dismissed for 164 but then responding by dismissing co-leaders HCC for 20 runs less.
It was, inevitably perhaps, former HCC coach Shane Deitz, now coaching HBS, who made the highest score of the match with 68, while Andrew Murphy was the most successful of the HCC bowlers with three for 27.
Deitz’s successor (and predecessor) Johannes Myburgh top-scored for HCC with 36, but the rest of the batting found the conditions too much for them as they were bowled out for 144 in 44 overs.
Two other teams moved into the top half of the table by recording their second win of the season.
Hermes-DVS won the first Schiedam derby of the campaign in a high-scoring match at Sportpark Harga, making 273 for seven and dismissing Excelsior for 236 to secure a 37-run victory.
Nicky Statham was the mainstay early on, contributing 92 and seeing the total through to 186 for three before he fell to off-spinner Mohammed Kashif, who was making his debut for his new club.
Hermes coach Antonio Mullins and Statham had added 92 for the fourth wicket, and Mullins went on to make 73, eventually being bowled by Luuk van Troost.
Excelsior’s Mark Cleary once again seized the initiative when his side responded, hitting a rapid 91 before falling to slow left-armer Pieter Seelaar.
At 154 for three at around the half-way stage, Cleary had given Excelsior the edge, and Daan van Bunge carried on where he left off with a first half-century of the season.
But then he was bowled by Frank Nijman for 53 to make the score 214 for six, and the Excelsior innings began to fall apart.
There was a total of four run-outs as the batsmen succumbed to the pressure, and Hermes made the game safe with more than five overs left.
Former international captain Luuk van Troost received a booking for kicking the stumps in frustration at a misfield during the final over of the Hermes innings.
Hoofdklasse cricket returned to Cappelle-aan-der-IJssel with Sparta’s first home game of the season, and they ran out victors in a tight match with VVV.
Coach Mohammed Wasim again held his side’s innings together with 73, while A. Shafiq took three for 41 for VVV.
The Amsterdam side came close in their reply, Kamran Shafiq making 44, but with Andrew Bailey claiming three for 41 for Sparta VVV’s challenge fell just short, the last wicket falling off the first ball of the final over with eight runs still needed.
At Westvliet, VOC Rotterdam’s miserable start to the season continued as they were beaten by Voorburg in another hard-fought encounter.
Chasing 195, the home side seemed to be on the ropes at 122 for six, but a 68-run stand between Mohammed Rafi and Atse Buurman saw them to the brink of victory, and after Buurman was out with six still needed, Rafi stayed undefeated on 40 to make sure of the win.
VOC’s innings was constructed round contributions from Toni Barca (30), Bas Zuiderent (30) and Ben Williams (36), but no-one was able to build a really big score, and from 121 for three the Rotterdam side subsided rather to be dismissed for 195 in the 48th over.
Tim de Leede, Rafi and Ehtesham Chaudry Muhammed claimed two wickets each, De Leede taking two for 27 in ten economical overs.
John Sist gave his side a steady start with 34, but he became the first of two victims for young leg-spinner Koen van Everdingen, making his first appearance of the season, and Steve Nottle reached the same score before he was stumped by Zuiderent to become the second.
VOC appeared to have the edge at this stage, but Rafi had other ideas and his knock ensured that Voorburg were able to claim their first points of the season.
Voorburg travel to Amstelveen on Monday to take on VRA, while Quick Haag will meet VVV on the next-door second ground. Excelsior are at home to HBS, VOC entertain Hermes-DVS, and HCC play Sparta at De Diepput.