It all came down to this… After starting the season all the way back at the 23rd of April against Eindhoven at home, we played them again in the Grand Final at Home on September 4. After a wonderful teambuilding evening with a fantastic braai during the week and some great training sessions we were ready for this final game of the year. We arrived at our beautiful ground and had the privilege to play on the main ground after the first beat HCC the day before.
We played against Eindhoven three times already this year so we knew their strengths and in detail discussed their weaknesses to prepare in the best possible way for this match. After several chats with all different people within the club, Bammie and skipper decided that IF we would win the toss bowling first would be the way to go. Try to get a few wickets early and back ourselves to chase anything that Eindhoven would post. The first signs of the fact that this could become a fantastic day for VCC 2 appeared at the toss were Flo managed to win the toss again (to finish with 9 out of 20, please teammates give me some respect for that haha) and we decided to back our strength and bowl first.
With the support of our fellow teammates, supporters, parents and all other people present we were all rearing to go. And one man in particular. Sajjad Kamal openend the bowling for us like he has been doing all season and probably bowled his best spell of the year (and what an occasion to do it!). Despite Eindhoven coming hard at us in their attempt to score quickly in the powerplay, Sajjad let the ball speak. In the opening spell between Sajjad & Ali, we managed to take 5 wickets for just 46 runs, getting VCC 2 off to an absolute flier. Sajjad especially impressive with his 8-over opening spell and eventually finishing with 4/28 in 9. In the field we were quite stunning by taking every chance including some great catching and ground fielding by all involved. This opening spell stunned Eindhoven and it was again up to captain Arun and danger man Babu to rebuild the innings.
They slowly started to build a partnership despite good bowling from Jakes, Stef and Floris. This partnership needed something special to be broken and this was exactly what Rehan “Purple Cap” Waheed brought to the game. He managed to swing one back on the toes of Arun, leaving the umpire with no other option than to raise his finger. This was a crucial moment in the game, especially when a couple of overs later he got Babu caught behind by Babette. After this, Floris bowled probably his worst ball of the season which somehow earned him a wicket which tied him with Sajjad as leading wicket taker of the team (both taking 32 wickets in the season). The last wicket was taken by Rehan on just 111. Rehan finished with stunning figures of 3/6 in 5. This put us in a brilliant position but we also realized this was only the job half done. We still had to chase this total against a very strong bowling attack. Personally, I want to say that we really brought one of our best performances with the ball and in the field with us in this game. At the end of the season we clearly bowled way too many extras and dropped a couple of catches, today we played to our standards by keeping the extras down to just 9 and only one very tough dropped catch.
Just like the week before against Eindhoven, Rehan and Nehaan (ReNe) opened the batting for us looking to chase down the 111 scored by Eindhoven. This did not go according to plan, as Nehaan tried to hit Arun over the top only to get stumped, and Rehan chasing a wider one of Lakshmanasamy to get caught in first slip, leaving us at 4/2. Bringing in our leading run scorer of the season Alyan together with youngster Nirav. While on the side everyone was very nervous and anxious, they started to build a very solid partnership, playing great shots and showing some great intent in the crease. This calmed everyone down and broke the back of this chase. Eindhoven tried to find a breakthrough by bowling 7 different bowlers but could not find it, also due to some dropped catches and sloppy fielding. Alyan “Boef” Razzaqi unfortunately still got caught on 45 off 81 but played a great innings and finished the season as leading run scorer of the team with a quite formidable 435 runs to his name, averaging just over 36. Quickly after this Nirav did manage to score his second fifty of the season for the team. While Lau on the other end decided we batted long enough, he came in and smoked two fours to finish the job for VCC 2. Nirav ending on 54* off 93 and Lau a quick fire 9* off 4. This meant that after this long and exciting season VCC 2 became champions off the Eerste Klasse! It has been a remarkable season with so many special moments and performances. It truly has been a team effort with every single player stepping up at different stages during the season. It has been a pleasure to lead this side throughout the year and I cannot wait to see how we go in Hoofdklasse next year!