VRA makes it three in a row
VRA Amsterdam took a large step towards completing an historic treble of doubles when they beat HCC in the final of the E.on Twenty20 Cup at Thurlede on Saturday.
Having won both the Topklasse and the Twenty20 Cup for the past two seasons, the Amsterdam club can now focus on taking their third national championship in a row to complete the set.
Saturday’s finals day, hosted by the Excelsior ’20 club for the first time, brought together four of the strongest sides in the country, and without any interference from the weather the result was three hard-fought contests.
In the first semi-final the hosts were beaten by an outstanding unbroken partnership between two of HCC’s overseas stars, Rassie van der Dussen and Cameron Borgas taking their side to an eight-wicket victory.
Set to make 125 to win, thanks in large measure to a stand of 52 between Daan van Bunge (27 from 23 deliveries) and Luuk van Troost (32 from 26), HCC were rocked when Brett Hampton quickly removed Logan van Beek and Tom de Grooth.
But Van der Dussen’s 41-ball 65, including two fours and four sixes, and Borgas’ 52, from 55 deliveries with four boundaries, was enough to see the Haagenaars home with 14 balls to spare.
Earlier, Mark Jonkman had been the most successful of the HCC bowlers with three for 27, including the wickets of both Van Bunge and Van Troost.
In what proved to be a disappointing day for the Schiedam sides, the Hermes-DVS Falcons then lost the second semi-final to VRA.
Wesley Barresi anchored the holders’ innings with a steady 39, made from 48 deliveries, and by the time he was sixth out in the 19th over his side had reached 115. Barry Rhodes hit 23 from 12 balls, and with smaller run-a-ball contributions from Peter Borren and Matthijs Luten, VRA closed on 129 for eight.
For the Falcons, there were two wickets apiece for Sebastiaan Braat, Erik Hartong and Pieter Seelaar.
Two early run-outs put Hermes onto the back foot, and with wickets falling steadily they gradually fell behind the required scoring rate. The decisive moment came when Greg Todd was stumped by Barresi off the bowling of Leon Turmaine, and although Bart Schilperoord hit a run-a-ball 17, the Schiedam side were all out for 92.
Turmaine took two for 11, while Amil Prasad had two for eight.
Prasad had the same figures in the final, in which HCC, after winning the toss, were bowled out for a disappointing 83. But the star of the show for VRA was 18-year-old left-arm spinner Victor Lubbers, who opened the bowling for the second year in succession and this time claimed four for 11, including the vital wicket of Borgas.
HCC had been comparatively well placed at 36 for two in the seventh over, but Lubbers’ four-wicket effort, which unsurprisingly won him the Notts Sport Man of the Match award, decisively turned the game VRA’s way.
Peter Borren (33) and Eric Szwarczynski (25) put matters beyond serious doubt with an opening stand of 59 from 50 deliveries, and although Borren was bowled by Reinier Bijloos with the scores level, Rhodes hit the winning boundary two balls later.