Dosti-United head back to het Loopveld, this time to take on ACC. As last week's thriller against Quick at the same venue showed, Dosti are not entirely invulnerable. With JP de Villiers in fine form both with bat and ball for ACC, and the hosts on a four-game winning streak of their own, an upset is not beyond imagining. Nonetheless, as is likely to remain the case throughout the season, Dosti remain firm favouites to make it 7 from 7.
Second-placed Quick Haag, after narrowly missing out on derailing Dosti, will welcome Excelsior '20 to Nieuw Hanenburg on Saturday. Despite losing their perfect record last at het Loopveld Quick nonetheless look in solid form, every member of the top order having made runs this season and skipper Tim Gruijters coming off a match-winning knock of 77 in Wednesday's Pro-Series for the Seafarers. Ryan Cartwright currently sits joint-top of the wicket-taking table, with a 5-for against the champions-presumptive last week his ten overs will take some negotiating. Excelsior will nonetheless pose a danger to the hosts, with Lorenzo Ingram and Matt McGillivray in fine touch and Sohail Bhatti clearly taking to his new club. But even coming off their first defeat of the season, it feels like Quick have momentum on their side.
So too do VRA as they head to VOC, though inertia is perhaps the better word, the Amsterdammers having yet to record a win this season. Added to that the fact that VRA have conceded, on average, about 120 runs per match just to overseas pros thus far, and so will likely be less than overjoyed to hear that Northerns all-rounder Jeandre Jumat has finally arrived in the Netherlands to join VOC in time for this Saturday's game. The Rotterammers have a scarcely more impressive record this season however, and there's no guarantee that Jumat's arrival will solve all their problems. Umar Baker, their lead wicket-taker thus far, is sidelined with a hand injury, and Tim Ruyters at 25.17 is the only VOCer currently averaging above 20. Admittedly of VRA bats only Szwarczynski and Borren can boast higher, though Mitch Lees managed a match-winning 71 in the PCL this week, and may yet translate his potential into Topklasse runs at some point.
Meanwhile Hermes-DVS will take on HCC at Harga, and once again one expects the outcome will hinge on Stephan Myburgh. Given his remarkable form so far this season, a a game-winning knock seems more likely than not, going by the numbers. Given that they were widely-tipped for the wooden spoon at the start of the season Hermes' record so far has been impressive, but they've yet to win a match without a significant contribution from their talismanic opener.
HCC, conversely, have rather underperformed this season, remaining reliant on overseas players Vandiar and Coetsee, together with skipper Jonkman for both runs and wickets, with the likes of Ali Ahmed, Tonny Staal and Joost van Kessel turning in occasionally excellent but inconsistent performances. With the addition of Zimbabwean leg-spinner Tendai Chitongo Hermes' line-up also looks a little less like a one-man show, and the rest of their young line-up have shown occasional promise, but nonetheless HCC still look the stronger side on paper.
Finally Sunday will see Dosti-United and Excelsior '20 replay their rained-off encounter from two weeks ago at Thurlede and with Dosti players dominating the table in both the batting and bowling averages, the Amsterdammers inevitably remain favourites. Nonetheless at their last abortive encounter the match was fairly evenly-balanced when the rain came, with Excelsior successfully keeping a lid on the run-rate even as Stiaan van Zyl and Colin Ackermann closed in on a century partnership. Even as Dosti's season begins to take on the aspect of a triumphal march, they'd not be the first to slip on a banana skin at Thurlede.
Topklasse Round 7 Predictions:
ACC v Dosti-United : Dosti
Quick Haag v Excelsior '20 : Quick
VOC v VRA : VRA
Hermes DVS v HCC : HCC
Excelsior '20 v Dosti-United : Dosti
CricketEurope Netherlands' Topklasse coverage is currently without a sponsor. If you are interested in supporting our continued photographic and editorial coverage through sponsorship please get in touch, or consider contributing via the donation button below.