Dosti-United scraped past Quick Haag by a single wicket in a top-table thriller at het Loopveld whilst VOC and VRA's woes continue, and rain spoils the party in Schiedam.
With last year's finalists both undefeated at the start of the weekend, there was a fair bit of buzz around the clash between Dosti-United and Quick Haag, played at het Loopveld owing to ground availability issues. Dosti looked on top but not in control nearly throughout, restricting Quick to 185 after winning the toss but losing wickets in clusters during the chase, eventually leaving number 11 Vimal Tewarie to find the winning run off a rampant Ryan Cartwright, who already had five wickets to his name.
A fair few Quick batsmen got starts, but Dosti found regular breakthroughs, a 54-run partnership or the 6th wicket between Wesley Barresi and Geert Mol the longest interval between wickets, and Mol's eventual 38 the top score, Muhammad Hafeez the pick of the bowlers with 2-16 from 7 overs.
Dosti's chase got off to an inauspicious start, with Ryan Cartwright nicking off Rahil Ahmed for a duck, but a 68 -run partnership between Hafeez and Vinoo Tewarie put them back on track. Both fell in rapid succession however, and when Mol held a sharp return catch to bag the crucial wicket of Stiaan van Zyl the tide seemed to turn in Quick' s favour.
Cartwright returned and took another brace as Dosti subsided from 121-5 to 181-8. A hasty three got them to within one run of the total but left number 10 Mahesh Hans facing Cartwright to be bowled without scoring leaving Robbie Frylinck and Vimal Tewarie as the last pair. With Cartwright on 5-36 already the scores level and Tewarie facing the game hung in the balance, but the comeback was not to be for Quick, and Dosti retain their perfect record another week.
Meanwhile at de Diepput a composed 86 from Tim Ruyters was not enough to win VOC their second win of the season, HCC chasing down a target of 178 with an over to spare. After VOC had won the toss and elected to bat, Ali Ahmed Qasim took four wickets in succession as Ruyters pressed on with a rotating cast of partners as they stuttered to 75-4. A 61-run stand for the 5th wicket with Sebastiaan van Lent took them as far as 136, but thereafter the visitors struggled to put a partnership together, Hidde Overdijk taking 3 wickets including that of Ruyters.
Despite the early loss of Tonny Staal, caught off Bobby Hanif with just 5 on the board, HCC looked more or less in control of the chase throughout. A 52-run partnership between Bart Kuipéri and Jonathan Vandiar established a solid foundation, and despite Jelte Schoonheim and Riley May taking a couple of wickets, Tom de Grooth (30) and Werner Coetsee (42) ensured they were always on course, with Overdijk and Joost van Kessel seeing them over the line in 49 overs exactly.
The following day saw VRA take on ACC at Amstelveen, and after inserting their guests looked initially like they might finally break their duck as Quirijn Gunning and Sadiq Mahmood made good use of swing-friendly conditions to reduce ACC to 50-5. But after surviving an early scare chopping Gunning inches over his stumps, JP de Villiers single-handedly wrested the initiative back for ACC, an unbeaten 101-ball 111 with support from the tail taking them to 229-9 at the close.
Ruben van den Berg and Sachin Peiris got the chase off to a promising start, but their 25-run opening partnership was to be the high-point of the innings for VRA. Both fell clean bowled to Usman Malik, and after Emile van den Berg produced a exquisite cover drive to dispatch de Villiers to the rope he found his off stump pinged back next ball. Peter Borren fell victim to an excellent bit of appealing shortly after and when de Villiers had Eric Szwarczynski brilliantly caught at slip by Asad Zulfiqar next over to see the hosts reduced to 49-5 there was to be no recovery. Mitch Lees and Jeroen Mulder showed some fight, making 22 and 18 respectively, but it was always likely to be in a losing cause, Mohammed Raza and Jim Dukker wrapping up the tail as VRA were skittled for 97.
Meanwhile the second innings down-poor that VRA might have welcomed instead spoiled festivities for Excelsior '20 and Hermes-DVS at the Schiedam Derby. The first innings had similarly been something of a one-man show, Lorenzo Ingram's unbeaten 117 from number three accounting for the bulk of Excelsior's eventual total of 201. Matt-Kai McGillivray's 24 was the next highest score, whilst Henrico Venter was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3-21. The rain arrived during lunch and showed no sign of letting up, and the game was duly added to the rescheduling queue.
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