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VCC U15B: The 2022 season so far!

Now the outdoor cricket season is already going on for 3 weeks, it is time for a short summary of our results so far.

Matchday 1

We started the season unfortunately with a bye. Although we tried to organize a friendly against HBS-2 we eventually agreed to cancel this match due to unavailability of field and players.  In the end this seemed to be an excellent decision as our U15A was short in players. So 6 of us did join the 4 of team A. The combined team had a hard nut to crack against VOC. The difference in age was reflected in the end score. VOC was clearly a class apart. Nevertheless, it was good to practice against such a good team.

Matchday 2: VCC-2 – VRA-1 102 – 124

In week 2 our season really did start. Early on Sunday morning while the sky was blue and full of sunshine, we started at Westvliet our first match against VRA-1. VRA did win the toss and chose to start batting. Miraj our captain decided to begin with our power bowlers Stefan and Albert. That did directly result in success. In the first over the first VRA wicket did fall already. Subsequently our spinners did take over and continued with taking wickets. VRA had real difficulties with our bowlers and their run rate was not too high. Our wicket keeper Joao managed  to keep the number of byes low. Unfortunately our bowling became a bit less accurate and due to the many extras (wides) the score gradually went up. When Steve did take two more wickets VRA however was close to collapse. But they survived when shortly after the fall of a wicket was cancelled twice: a foot fault while bowling and a catch on a no-ball. But here the question remained:  was the ball too high or the player too small for a U15 game . . .  Finally in over 28 VRA was all out. Target for our batsmen: 124. The target seemed to be achievable. But although bowling of VRA was not impressive, they did not give too much away. Albert managed to hit several boundaries in a short period and it looked we got the momentum. But after he was dismissed we hardly did reach the boundary anymore. Both Miraj and Philip kept standing for a long time and tried hard to change the game but could not avoid that the target was slipping further away. To win the game we were taking more risk, but it resulted only in catches and not in more runs. In over 28 as well, we were all out. Finally we ended at 102 runs not enough for the victory. In runs we did win (64 against 44) but unfortunately due to the extras (38 against 79) we lost the match. Something to work on for next match. Next week we can take revenge already when we play at VRA (but this time against team 2). Last but not least, a big thank you to Surajit and Shirsjak who helped us out with umping.

Matchday 3: VCC-2 – VRA-2 112 – 102

The next match we were short in players. Luckily Ger and Reyansh were so friendly to help us out against VRA-2. It was a new experience for the team to play in a real cricket stadium. It would have been even a greater experience when the crowd was allowed to enter the stands . . . . But that is delayed till the NL – West Indies game. At least it was beautiful weather again.
VRA did win the toss, but started fielding this time. Philip and Albert were our openers and did leave an impression. In just a few overs the score was already over 80 (with our first 6-er of the season by Albert). Today it promised to become an easy win. My expectation was that we would get easily 200 runs. But like always cricket matches are not predictable. After Philip got bowled, Albert got bowled as well without any additional scores in between. With 82 runs and still 6 batters to go, it still was looking very good. But the next six wickets did fall like domino stones. Only 30 runs were added and after 17 innings we were all out leaving the target at 112 runs only. Our boys left the pitch very disappointed. In the short break the boys switched their mindset and with boosted energy level and belief in a good result they started the second inning. Again our “power bowlers” did start. Stefan wanted to take revenge for his unlucky batting turn and started overwhelming. In the first over he got 2 batsmen out. One clear bowled and the other by a catch.  In the second over Albert did take wicket no. 3 already. In the fifth over Jonathan made it so difficult for the batsman that it resulted in a catch by Stefan. 5 overs done, 4 wickets down. We were back in the driving seat. But every time you think the match is in the pocket, it goes different. Although Philip and Albert were doing a good job as wicket keepers the score went gradually up, both by good batting as by given away quite some extras. Then it became show time for Ger. He applied for a permanent position in this team. He did take two more wickets (helped by a catch of Philip). Still 2 wickets to go. But VRA was already close to 100 and still had more than 10 overs left. Would it still be possible to win the game? VRA had to go all out and it had to happen fast now. Miraj instructed the team and helped by good fielding of Aadvik and Reyansh hardly a run was given away anymore. Stefan gave the team the extra boost needed by taking the second last wicket just in time. Shortly after Philip did take in his first over the final wicket. VRA all out in over 22. Our first win of the season! A great success achieved by excellent team work. Special thanks as well to our opponents of VRA. Both matches were played in a very friendly ambiance which resulted in two excellent days of cricket. Hope this will be the standard for the remainder of the season!

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Floris de Lange