Beforehand, fans were preparing for an exciting topper: frontrunner Sparta against runner-up VCC. However, it did not get exciting for a moment. The Capellenists had no defense against the good spin bowling of Shariz Ahmad (five wickets) and Philippe Boissevain (four wickets). Nehaan Gigani (81 not out) batting finished the job for VCC.
On VCC’s faster bowlers, the Spartans, who had won the toss, initially got off to a fine start. Aided by some half volleys and misfields, they steamed up to sixty runs after ten overs. A score of 250+ seemed to be in the offing.
Just in time, however, captain Engelbrecht turned to his two excellent legspinners. From then on, the game turned 180 degrees. Shariz Ahmad struck immediately, did so four more times and at the other end of the pitch, Philippe Boissevain barely matched him with four wickets. The Spartans had no answer to the magic balls of both young spinners; after the aforementioned promising opening, only 72 runs were added. At 132, Sparta was all out.
Those who thought the Spartans would make VCC work hard for those few runs were deceived. The weak batting had apparently taken a toll on the Capellenists. They still took the expensive wicket of brand-new Dutchman Michael Levitt, but did not trouble Noah Croes (37 not out) and especially Nehaan Gigani (81 not out). Sparta’s bowling and fielding was underwhelming.
The other two Hague Topclassers, HBS and HCC, also won. HCC caught up with ACC’s 224 runs (Doram 3-30) and HBS surpassed Excelsior’s 200 runs (Walbrugh 81 not out).
Standings Top Class cricket: 1. Voorburg CC 7-12; 2. Sparta 7-10; 3. VOC, Punjab, HCC 7-8; 6. ACC and VRA 7-6; 8. HBS, Excelsior 7-4; 10. Salland 7-2.
Watch Highlights of VCC 1 – Sparta 1
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