In contrast to basically the whole summer, this Sunday was a gloomy, cold and wet day for all of us, except for coach Bammie who decided to leave for holiday to Greece. For once, the fact that we did not have umpires probably helped in getting a result as we played in some very steady drizzle with both teams wanting to get a result.
Captain Flo won the toss (somehow that is two in a row) and decided to bowl first on the full artificial ground of Concordia. This proved to be a good decision with Ali, who later turned out to be the absolute man of the match, taking the first three wickets off the game. Crucially, also the wicket of the captain of Concordia: Sridharan Rajagopal who was leading the run charts in the eerste klasse, on his first delivery thanks to a little juggle by Flo in the slips. Nearly all bowlers contributing and people getting breakthroughs at the right time, which made sure that Concordia never really got going on the small ground in Delft.
Ali came back at the end of our bowling innings with a phenomenal spell of bowling, which got him 5 wickets (should have been 6 even) and already proved his worth for our team. Special mention to the fielding in some very dodgy weather conditions, we took almost all our catches and managed to bowl Concordia out for 172 in 47.1 overs. As mentioned before, 5 wickets for Baba, 2 for Pickle Rick, and 1 for Stef, Jakes and Flo. A total below par but still challenging on the wicket and the batting collapses we have had this year.
During the innings break we discussed how crucial it was for us to get a win today, since Concordia was only four points behind us on the ladder and the play off race would get even more thrilling if we would lose the game. A win would almost certainly get us in the play offs and expand our chances of a top two finish.
Unfortunately, the start was not what we wanted with Jakes, Boef and Nirav getting out cheaply. Leaving us at 21 for 3. A bit of a recovery came in the middle overs by some good contributions from Laurens and Floris but the star of the day was Ali. He showed all his class and experience and perfectly paced our innings. Some of his shots even better than most of us could imagine. Ali’s innings consisted 8 x 4 and 3 x 6 with as an absolute highlight a six over extra cover leaving everyone speechless. Voorburg chasing down the target in just 43.1 overs with still 3 wickets in hand. The win placing us 3rd in the ladder with still three games remaining and everything still to play for. Next week Excelsior will be waiting for us at home but first we will enjoy this masterclass from Ali a bit more.
After the game, we probably made the best decision of the day by going to Punjab to watch the first. We saw absolute carnage unfold there: Musa and Andre both getting a hundred and chasing down 230 in just 27 overs, thanks for that gents.
Special mention to coachie: please see if you can extend that holiday a little bit longer as we now have a 100% winning record since you left xxx