Excellent all-round performance from both Aryan and Gerrit denied Almere CC a win, with VCC ultimately easing to a 97-run victory
At this time VCC was sharing the second place with 3 other teams in the league. Quick Nijmegen was at the top with 3 games cancelled, giving them a good point’s average. This was the second encounter between VCC and Almere CC. The first was won by VCC at home by 30 odd runs.
Hot, sunny weather with a slight wind and excellent batting conditions (small field) had encouraged Abbass to bat first upon winning the toss. Unfortunately we were playing from one side as there was only one sidescreen. Also, there were no kncb umpires.
We spoke before the game of needing at least one or two players to come off in the top order. We tried several opening combination in the past games. This time it was up to Aryan and Gerrit.
Little that we knew our two young openers will give a 100+ opening stand! Classy shots from both put Almere CC under pressure right away. VCC at one point going somewhat 10 an over. The first wicket fell on 129 runs. Aryan and Gerrit getting to 69 and 62.
Next in was Harold who just came back from London where he had played two limited over games, as said by himself he was in great nick (we couldn’t find anyone to confirm this nor did Harold show us any scorecards…). Still we believed in Harold, unfortunately he got a good one from bowler number 4 and left the crease cheaply.
Abbass and Mudassar got going and were hitting multiple boundaries every over. They were building a healthy runrate and partnership. It seemed like Almere CC had already given up. Later, both got out LBW, Abbass getting to 48, with VCC on 243 for five. The lower order chipped in with valuable runs in the last 10 overs. Adwait played well for his 28 runs, before Faisal unleashed an assault of 4 sixes and 3 fours, getting himself to 36 not out. VCC powered to a record total of 330 for 8 in 40 overs.
– Innings break – During the lunch we heard that this team had previously chased down 370 with ease… hmm
After a quick lunch VCC started off with the new-ball pair Faisal and Sono. Almere CC attacked the ball from ball one, taking risks and actually getting away with it. VCC was not too bad in the field, but still dropped batsmen number 2, who got going after the dropped catch. Batsmen number 1 looked solid from the start. Both the openers managed to go 12+ an over giving Almere CC a promising start. Sono removed batsmen number 2, as Harold took a great catch at mid-off (on second attempt).
At 135-1 at drinks (14 overs) the game was pretty much in balance, if not more so in favour of Almere. It got interesting when VCC brought spinners into the attack. Duo-pair Aryan and Gerrit, who shined with the bat, made it very difficult for the batsmen. Both used good variations and offered flight to the batsmen. After just a couple of overs the pressure mounted and the danger man (batsmen number 1) got out off the bowling of Gerrit, important catch taken by Faisal in the deep.
With the new batsmen not really coming off, VCC suddenly believed and really got on top of Almere. VCC just kept on taking wickets, which really stalled the momentum for Almere. More good catches were taken by Harold and Aryan. Eventually Almere were bowled out for 233 in 28.5 overs. Spinners Aryan and Gerrit taking 7 for 97!
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