|The first round of top-class play: title favorites make no mistake|
The first round of top-class play: title favorites make no mistake
The first round of the Topklasse had no surprises. All title contenders won their games. However, there were some remarkable individual performances, such as centuries in four of the six games, and many of the new acquisitions immediately showed their class. An overview.
Punjab-Kampong: 176/3 (28.4) - 172/10 (41.3)
He had not been to the Summer Complex once in the preparation and, partly due to an injury, had not completed a single training session with Punjab. But that couldn't stop Stephan Myburgh from putting in a great performance. The 38-year-old South African born batsman was in a class of his own as the opening batsman, as he did not leave the field until the national champion had won. Read the biography of Indian cricket satta bazar star Stephan Myburgh. Myburgh had 108 not out (including 6 sixes) and almost single-handedly decided the game in Rotterdam's favor.
In only 29 overs, the total of promoted Kampong was beaten, making the return to the top of the league a minor disappointment for the Utrecht side. Kampong started batting and only captain Usman Malik (58), Sandeep Abyankhar (35) and Ratha Alphonse (30) got more than 20 runs. Not enough, as led by Mubashar Hussain (4 wickets) and Saqib Zulfiqar (3), all of Kampong's batsmen were on the sidelines after 42 overs. Punjab lost only three wickets on their way to victory (by 7 wickets difference), of which that of Teja Nidamanuru (ex-Kampong) brought the Utrechters the most satisfaction.
Sparta 1888-HCC: 168/10 (41.4) - 263/3 (50)
On the Bermweg, Tonny Staal became the big man for HCC. The bowlers of Sparta 1888 could not get a grip on the former captain of the 'Kroonleeuwen'. Only after 121 runs (with 12 fours) his remarkable performance came to an end. Staal was caught by Ahsan Malik on the bowling of Joost-Martijn Snoep. But then the Hagenaars were already in pole position to win this game, as new Australian player-coach Zac Worden also made himself heard immediately with 79 not out. He and Hidde Overdijk (9) played the 50 overs full.
Sparta 1888, which has higher expectations of this season than of the last, faced an almost impossible task. And that proved to be the case, as with new South African Rikus Allen (24 runs) as opening batsman, the Capellenarians could not convince in the second inning. Only Sandeep Sardha (46) and Nasratullah Ibrahimkhil (40) delivered a reasonable performance. But against the class of bowlers like Henrico Venter (3 wickets), Clayton Floyd, Tim Pringle and Olivier Klaus (all 2), Sparta could not stand up, allowing HCC to win by 95 runs difference.
ACC-HBS: 201/10 (44.4) - 247/9 (50)
Just like fellow townsman HCC, HBS also produced more than 200 runs. With 247 runs for 9 wickets, the 'Kraaien' put down a total that ACC would have to chew on. At HBS, Tayo Walbrugh, last season's best batsman in the top class after Max O'Dowd, continued with what he had stopped doing in 2021. The South African came to 101 runs in 120 balls. International Ryan Klein (76) also made an important contribution. Tobias Visée's performance was also spectacular. His 42 runs (net strike rate of 200) included no less than eight boundaries (5 times 4, 3 times 6).
ACC did try to catch HBS' total and especially the new South Africans gave the Amsterdammers a boost. Robin Smith (92) and Thomas Hobson (48) showed that ACC does not have to finish penultimate (a relegation spot) again. But in the end, the disappearance of Smith took the sting out of ACC. Stephan Vink (3 wickets), his brother Ferdi (2) and newcomer Kyle Klein (2) ensured that the home team stranded on 201, allowing HBS to win this match with 46 runs difference.
Excelsior'20-VCC: 164/10 (46.1) - 167/4 (48)
The top game of the first round was played at Thurlede Sportpark, although the two biggest eye-catchers (Brett Hampton at Excelsior'20 and Janneman Malan at VCC) were still absent. The Schiedammers started badly and lost two wickets (Tim Etman and Luuk Kroesen) after only four overs. Evergreen Lorenzo Ingram (41), Joost Kroesen (21) and Stan van Troost (24) ensured that Excelsior'20, missing captain Tom Heggelman with an injury, still finished on 164 all out. That VCC could keep the total low was largely the work of new South African Delano Potgieter. He took three wickets, while Philippe Boissevain got two behind his name.
Now Excelsior'20 is known to be able to defend a low total well, and with quick wickets from Mohit Hingorani (10 runs) and Musa Nadeem Ahmad (3), there was hope. But in the end the experience of Tom de Grooth (38), Bas de Leede (73 not out) and Karl Nieuwoudt (33 not out) would help the Voorburgers to victory. The routines decided the game after 48 overs and ensured VCC a win by 6 wickets.
VRA-Salland: 249/4 (50) - 110/10 (37.1)
VRA bluffed debutant Salland. The Amsterdammers put a total of 249 on the scoreboard, and the Deventenaren never recovered from that blow. After Luke Scully (32), Shirase Rasool (30) and Aryan Dutt (28) had already ensured the necessary Amsterdam runs, the Sallanders really noticed with the partnership of Peter Borren and Jack Balbirnie that they are playing a higher level this season. The former captain of the Dutch team (Borren) and the Irishman (Balbirnie) reached 75 and 57 runs respectively, while Salland's bowlers were unable to take their wickets.
The Deventer players seemed so impressed that they were done to bat after only 37 overs. Eight of the eleven batsmen scored less than 10 runs. This made it impossible for Pasan Piyaranga Ottachchige (42) and Sahir Naqash (21) to surprise. For the Amsterdam players, Aryan Dutt was particularly in form. The VCC bowler captured half (five) of the wickets, including Ottachchige's prize-wicket. It ensured that VRA won by a massive score of 139 runs.
Dosti-VOC: 187/10 (45.1) - 188/3 (35.2)
Max Hoornweg proved his worth in his first top-class game for VOC. The Sparta 1888 bowler took three wickets, including that of Dosti captain Mahesh Hans (33 runs). With that, he made an important contribution to the victory of Rotterdammers. VOC was able to keep Dosti, which had won only one game in the past two years, on 187 all out. Only the wicket of Wahidule Masood (64) was difficult for the T20 champion to capture.
Bolstered by Dosti's low total, VOC was always on course to win this match. Scott Edwards did so almost single-handedly. The wicketkeeper of the Dutch team came to 112 not out (14 fours, 2 sixes). That his partners were far behind in this total was not fatal for the Rotterdammers. Max O'Dowd, the best batsman of the top class, was caught by Vinoo Tewarie after 15 runs, while Tim de Kok and Ayaz Durrani (not out) produced ducks. But indicative of Dosti's bowling was that only Masood (3) captured wickets. This allowed Edwards (and VOC) to decide the game after 36 overs and the Rotterdammers to win by 7 wickets.