Playing for VCC’s Zami nowadays means checking your phone occasionally on Tuesday to see if you’ve made Sander’s selection for the weekend. Nobody knows exactly what he bases his decision on. Sources that could not be validated independently claim that neither does the captain.
Head coach E.X.C. El Sheet had nominated no fewer than 14 players to be considered to play on Saturday. This obviously resulted in disappointment throughout the entire club as the squad would, once again, not require a substitute player for the weekend.
Left-arm over or round medium-fast-ish bowler Martin went missing in action and while Floris and Kirk showed up at training sessions, they too claimed to be “unfit” to play. This miraculously led to the selection of none other than Zami shaman and VVC full-member Frits Holleman. It wasn’t until after Frits had cemented his place in the starting XI that Kirk rejoined the squad as #12. Kirk had been spotted with heavy bruises earlier, you connect the dots.
While all Dutch Cricket fans were rewatching highlights of Bas de Leede’s (former and future Zami player) heroic performance against Scotland, one would almost forget that VCC’s Saturday Afternoon 1st XI played their away game against the other orange team in the Netherlands: Bloemendaal CC. Following some interaction with opponents who are now on the ‘unfriendly squad’ list, we brought along our two attack dogs to Bloemendaal’s ever-beautiful first ground. None other than the part-time skipper of VCC’s other first XI was there to support us… we think. Good to see you SA!
Prior to the first innings, various VCC players were seen flailing around their arms in irregular patterns and rhythms, others were alternating their stances while transferring the cricket ball through the air. To those who know cricket, this typically indicates that we would be fielding first.
Wicketkeeper Graham and solo slip-cordon David were chirpy behind the stumps and attempted to flirt with the batsman into ‘doing a Bairstow,’ and catches were being held onto in the field throughout the innings. The most ridiculous one being the superman-esque diving catch of Kirk. Indeed – the guy that claimed to be unfit to play. As if this weren’t enough, three bowlers had the audacity to forget to bowl their regulation wides, resulting in multiple maidens being bowled. Wouter even daring to bowl a wicket maiden.
Wickets were shared amongst Stefan (3), Wouter (3), Kaushal (2), and Frits (2) as they all went for a mere 3 runs per over. Kaushal attempted to break his own ankle during his bowling in an attempt to escape the disappointed look from his visiting father.
The lads, keeping in mind the social Cricket game at six, bundled up the impatient batting attack of Bloemendaal in 28.1 overs for a mere 118 runs.
We all played decent cricket and therefore disappointed the club, our fans and ourselves.
David was the pick of the bowlers, bowling 0-26-2, including the most wides. Keep pushing for that 100th wicket, you’re almost there.
Following a brief lunch and various shouts of ‘Salvador!’, we sent out Harold and Marek (40 runs away from his 10,000th run for VCC) to get the job done. The openers, with Marek now 38 away from his 10,000th run for VCC, chose to keep Bloemendaal in the game and decided to depart early. Remember the unfit-to-play Kirk? Yes, it was Kirk (27) who steadied the ship with David (29*) to get us back on track with a 51-run partnership for the 3rd wicket.
Bloemendaal’s bowlers at this point were visibly shaken by David’s one-handed sweeps and frequent running between the wickets. So much so that one of the bowlers decided that the only way to get him out was through a poorly executed Mankad – accurate reconstruction here. After the umpire was not swayed by his elegant appeal(s), he opted for the only logical ball : an unapologetic beamer at Graham (4 runs, season high score – congrats!). Ah, a Zami fun-ball after all!
The run rate slowed down and wickets kept tumbling. This to the captain’s dismay who repeatedly stated he was “done with it” and “wanted to get it over with” as he ultimately joined David to score the winning runs, passing Bloemendaal’s total after 25 (!) overs. Game ended: 5:57 PM.
The KNCB match center sums up the innings well: ‘No highlights found’ in this low-scoring run snoozefest.
Who knows … Zami cricket does not make sense. We are at the mercy of the Zami overlords. It isn’t until the match until we know that the selection cocktail is either a foul one, or a winning formula. One thing is for certain; we will reign supreme during the 3rd innings. Feel free to join us in it.
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