Matchday 4: VCC-2 – HBS-1 148 – 189
Sunday 29 May another strong opponent was waiting for us: HBS-1. Where the weather the last weeks was sunny and warm, today it was cloudy, windy and cold. The few spectators did gather in the clubhouse to avoid the cold wind.
It was our first match with Babette as coach. It was a huge change in climate for her today. From the heat of the Arabian deserts to autumn-like weather in Voorburg.
HBS did win the toss and started batting. As Albert was not available today we couldn’t start with our usual opening bowlers pair Stefan and Albert. Fortunately, Alejo was willing to help us out today and he substituted Albert. Our start was impressive. Stefan started with a maiden over and on his 3rd ball, he even bowled the first HBS wicket. In the second over Alejo showed his added value. At his bowling, the second wicket did fall by a good catch of our wicketkeeper Joao. Slowly HBS got back in the game and started to build up an impressive number of runs. In the 8th over Aadvik showed his bowling skills: another maiden over and another HBS wicket to fall. It appeared this was the last wicket our boys could take. There was still another maiden over from Stefan, but except for that, there were not too many highlights from our side anymore. HBS proved to be very stable with the bat and with some sixers and quite some boundaries they did end with a respectable total of 189.
The target was very challenging for our team considering the fact that 112 was our highest score of the season so far. Nevertheless, our boys showed their true spirit and started batting with full confidence. Aadvik and Alejo opened. After two overs they both had their first boundary and helped by a few wides, our total went up already to 22. In over 3 Aadvik was caught. Where most of us did see a no-ball, the referees didn’t and so Miraj had to take over. With 43 runs after 5 overs, we were still on target. When Alejo got caught on the first ball in the 7th over luck turned. Both Arav and Miraj scored a boundary but couldn’t build up a serious partnership. When Philip entered the pitch a bit of hope returned. With a couple of boundaries, he gave the team the impulse needed. But when first Joao and subsequently Ger got bowled it became a very hard task. After 20 overs our final pair Ruchir and Stefan had to score 50 more runs in the remaining 10 overs. They managed to get 10 more before Ruchir got caught and the game was over.
Finally, the teams could escape to the warm clubhouse where lunch was waiting.
Sunday 5 June our away match against Eindhoven was scheduled. After a long period of dry weather the forecast for Eindhoven was not too promising:
We came together at VCC early Sunday morning where we met our coach Anri. She just arrived two days ago in Holland straight from Cape Town and did join us immediately travelling to Eindhoven. After a final check on the weather forecast, we decided it would make sense to drive to Eindhoven. Although it was raining cats and dogs in Voorburg the forecast for Eindhoven did not look too bad. With three cars packed with players and bags, we did depart to Eindhoven. Once we passed Rotterdam it dried up and when we finally arrived in Eindhoven there was even a burst of weak sunshine.
To be better safe than sorry we agreed to shorten the match to 20 overs instead of the usual 30. After Eindhoven completed a very serious warming-up session they were ready for the toss, which they did win (will we ever win the toss this season?). They decided to start batting and were confident to make an impression. The shock was great in the Eindhoven team when Stefan started bowling: first ball, first wicket taken. It was clear Eindhoven did not expect this resistance from VCC. But although Stefan and Jonathan managed to take two more wickets quite fast, Eindhoven showed why they were last year’s champion. They had impressive batting power. When our bowlers did not make it really difficult, it was immediately a boundary. However, we have excellent bowling capacities in the team. After Philip bowled out their 4th batsman it did take a while, but then it went fast. Stefan, Miraj and Stefan again (his 4thwicket) did bowl out batsmen 5, 6 and 7. Finally, Arav showed once more his excellent wicket-keeping qualities, after the good bowling of Philip he stumped the last batsman in the final over. Target to go 151.
During the break, the team got some good feedback from Anri. With her tips (put more energy in the match boys!!) Philip and Steve did open while the first rain droplets started to fall. Eindhoven showed their fielding was good as well. With excellent fielding, they got Philip out (run out). Unfortunately, Steve got a light injury on his leg. This made it difficult for him to bat. He got stumped and dark clouds did collect above VCC as well. Some miscommunication did cost Arav his wicket (run out). Miraj managed to survive longer. He got the highest score of today with 20 runs before he got bowled. Stefan got caught and Ruchir did as well. But before he got out Ruchir showed some good shots resulting in our only 2 boundaries of the day. Finally, Jonathan got caught as well. Actually, we had right for last man standing as we had a player less, but with 72 runs the game was closed. To be honest, this last wicket would not have changed the result . . . . . As the rain became a bit more dense, it was a good moment to go for lunch, which was also offered to the VCC parents.
It was our first cricket visit ever to Eindhoven and I believe we all enjoyed it. Eindhoven proved to be an asset to the youth competition. Not only because of the good skills of their players but as well by the way we were hosted. Thanks Eindhoven!
Special thanks as well to Nyncke for scoring. She impressed once more with her professional way of scoring. Thanks as well to both Raheela and Nyncke to bring the kids safely to Eindhoven and back.
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