ACC march on, with VRA and Hermes in hot pursuit
Leaders ACC maintained their unbeaten Topklasse record with a comfortable 90-run victory over VOC Rotterdam at Hazelaarweg on Sunday, while VRA Amsterdam and Hermes-DVS Schiedam remained two points behind by beating Quick Haag and Dosti Amsterdam respectively.
HCC, however, lost a little more ground as they suffered a six-wicket defeat at home to Excelsior ’20 Schiedam, and these two sides are now locked together on the edge of the top four.
The start in Rotterdam was delayed by half an hour due to the dampness of the pitch, and the visitors, put in to bat by Maarten van Ierschot, were soon in trouble at 37 for three. François Le Clus and Bas van der Heijde managed to double the score in a fourth-wicket stand, but it was the partnership between Le Clus and Graeme van Buuren which really turned the game around as they added 91 for the sixth wicket.
Le Clus, who had made a patient 102-ball 58 was eventually bowled by Dirk van Baren, but Van Buuren’s more aggressive knock carried him to 72 from 61 deliveries, with five fours and three sixes, before he lashed out once too often against Wade Townsend and was brilliantly caught in the deep by Sherry Butt.
ACC weren’t finished, however, as Mudassar Bukhari, after a steady start, plundered the bowling in the closing overs, ending the innings with two massive sixes to take his own score to 46 not out from 32 deliveries and the total to a daunting 260 for eight.
Bukhari then struck with his second delivery when VOC replied, bowling Daan van Everdingen, but Jelte Schoonheim, batting defiantly despite a strained thigh muscle, and Wade Townsend put on 64 for the second wicket.
The Amsterdammers were succeeding in cutting out the boundaries, however, and the required rate steadily climbed. Schoonheim, on 36, hit out at Le Clus and was caught, and with Le Clus’ spin and Ollie Lodder’s seam operating effectively in tandem, wickets began to fall at regular intervals.
Lodder removed Van Ierschot and Townsend, who had made a steady 45, with successive deliveries, and in the next over Le Clus had the dangerous Butt caught on the midwicket boundary. That effectively ended the VOC challenge, but they took their total on to 170 before the innings closed in the 47th over.
A nagging back injury forced Bukhari to leave the field at the first drinks interval, but Lodder, Le Clus and Van Buuren claimed three wickets apiece, at a cost of 23, 35 and 41 respectively.
Wesley Barresi hit his fourth top-flight century as VRA Amsterdam raced to victory over Quick Haag, taking just 32.4 overs to overhaul their opponents’ 226 for four and win by eight wickets.
Barresi faced only 104 balls, hitting ten fours and two sixes, but he was outpaced by skipper Peter Borren, who needed only 46 deliveries for his 68, with ten fours and a six, as the pair put on 134 in an unbroken third-wicket stand after Tom Cooper had contributed a rapid-fire 47.
Earlier, Quick’s top order had ensured that they would give their hosts a solid target to chase, with Tim Gruijters (32) and Amol Muzumdar (44) giving their side a platform from which Henk-Jan Mol (71 not out) and Tim Clarke (59) added 99 for the fourth wicket, Clarke falling to Amol Prasad from the final delivery of the innings.
Hermes-DVS were able to defend a relatively modest 175 at Sportpark Harga, Sebastiaan Braat taking four for 20 and Pieter Seelaar three for 20 as the home side bowled Dosti out for 116.
Renzo Borrani (56) and Nick Statham (41) formed the backbone of the Hermes innings, while David Wiese took five for 35 for Dosti.
International Tom Heggelman produced a fine all-round performance at De Diepput, taking four for 28 – including the wickets of Rassie van der Dussen and Cameron Borgas – as HCC slumped from 30 without loss to 96 for six before recovering to a total of 194, and then hitting 48 in the Excelsior reply.
HCC’s total owed much to a seventh-wicket stand between Logan van Beek (40) and Willem de Kempenaer (36), but with Excelsior skipper Daan van Bunge making an unbeaten 61 and sharing half-century partnerships with Heggelman and Luuk van Troost, the Schiedammers needed only 31.1 overs to knock off the runs.