Although a 40-run victory might look easy on paper, there were unexpected chances for HBS until the end. Walbrugh’s wicket, however, robbed HBS of its batting power and with it hopes of a stunt against VCC.
Craeyenhout is not an overly large cricket ground and thus there is always the expectation of high totals. After the toss won by VCC and choosing to bat first, openers Gigani and Levitt got off to a brisk start and after 10 overs there were 52 runs on the boards. Soon after, Gigani had to go to side, but with Croes as a partner, Levitt built a magnificent partnership of 139 runs. In the process, he scored his first official century of the season along the way, before having to capitulate on 104 in the 33rd over. Meanwhile, VCC already had 193 runs on the boards. The last 17 overs promised some more fireworks and they came. In particular, Engelbrecht (32, strike rate 168) and Musa Ahmad (53) made hefty contributions, which ultimately comprised 324 runs after 50 overs.
The strategy for VCC after lunch seemed clear: not to let top players Walbrugh and Barresi get into their games and preferably charge in as soon as possible. That did not succeed immediately, mainly due to a tactical move by HBS. The toppers stayed aside for a while and others were allowed to take the new off the ball. Mason in particular did not let his guard down and with beautiful shots he managed to score 68 runs against the strong Voorburg attack. It wasn’t until the 14th over that Walbrugh came on to field a score of 85. The top South African showed what he earned his reputation for, as he managed to raise the score at a rapid pace with superb batting (6×4, 6×6). In the 41st, HBS had 229 runs. Another 9 overs and 100 runs: the Voorburg supporters held their breath, as Walbrugh had done so earlier. He was just slowly running out of partners, so it was imperative that he stay on strike. When, in the 46th over at a score of 284, he made a desperate attempt at an impossible run to keep batting, good fielding by VCC resulted in a run out. 1 ball later, the victory for the blue-red brigade was a reality. All in all, still roomy, but there was also some relief.
This keeps VCC in the lead and saw all direct competitors for the lead lose points.
Standings in the lead:
- VCC 4-8
- VOC 3-4
- Sparta 3-4
Photo (VCC): Mees van Vliet (VCC) bowls to Tayo Walbrugh (HBS)
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