Fifth-round top class: Sparta 1888 wins in a thriller, VOC grabs last straw

Halfway through the first phase of the competition, Punjab and VCC are proudly in the lead. VOC and Sparta 1888 are back in the race for the championship pool and the Spartans did so with a spectacular game. HCC also made it exciting, but eventually won against ACC.

Pool A

Kampong-Sparta 1888: 211/10 (46.2) - 212/9 (50)

By far the most tension was present at Sportpark Maarschalkerweerd. Kampong was on their way to getting their first points of the league, but with the last ball of the game, Sparta 1888 won. The home team put on a total of 212 runs thanks to Colin Briggs (53) and Usman Malik (28). That should be enough, as the Capellenaren never reached 170 runs or more in a game this season. And once again, Sparta 1888 didn't seem to get a win, but Mudassar Bukhari (55 not out) kept his team in the game. The game then reached a climax when Sparta 1888 needed eight more runs off four balls. Bukhari hit the ball over the boundary (six) and gave the Capellenaren some air. But in the end, it came down to the last ball. You can read the history of the formation of Sparta in 1888 on the website It contains the most high-profile victories and defeats of the club, as well as other fateful events from the history of Sparta 1888. Tom Hoornweg, who had been sent off as bowler because of no-balls, delivered the decisive run to Sparta 1888 and that made the Rijnmond players very happy. The victory means that they have now found the connection with the teams fighting for spot 3.

ACC-HCC: 239/6 (50) - 240/6 (49.4)

HCC also made it exciting. For the 'Kroonleeuwen' Hidde Overdijk was the man who struck at the decisive moment. With three balls to play, he provided the decisive run. ACC surpassed itself and with 239 runs put down its highest total of the season. This was mainly due to Robin Smith (101 not out) and Shreyas Potdar (59). The Hague bowlers could not get a grip on both batsmen, who put down a partnership of 128. It was up to Zac Worden and Tommy Staal to counter this. They came to 53 and 40 runs respectively. In the end, captain Boris Gorlee put HCC on the right track. In the final stages, the Dutch lost some ground, but Overdijk made sure his team remains firmly in third place.

Punjab-HBS: 61/1 (7.2) - 57/10 (21.5)

A lot was expected of the topper between unbeaten leaders Punjab and HBS, but in the end it never became a game. HBS was missing Gavin Kaplan (injury) and Tobias Visée (work) and that absence was fatal to the Dutchmen. The Crows started batting, but had a total off-day. Before the end of the 22nd over, all Hague players were back on the sidelines. The total of 57 all out was a disappointment. It was clear that Punjab had no trouble passing that total. Rehmat Zulfiqar (22 not out) and Stephan Myburgh (38) kept the pace high to take the win after just 44 balls (7.2 overs). Halfway through the first phase, the national champion is, together with VCC (Pool B), the only team that is still unbeaten. The Rotterdammers can almost book their ticket for the championship pool.

Pool B

VOC-Excelsior'20: 317/6 (50) - 95/10 (32.1)

After three defeats in a row, VOC grabbed the last straw in the fight for placement in the championship pool. In the Rijnmond derby, it was too strong for Excelsior'20. Only after 72 runs the Schiedammers took the first wicket, but with Scott Edwards and Max O'Dowd on low totals (both 37 runs), Excelsior'20 seemed to be laying the foundation for a victory. But then VOC's batting was yet to come. Tim de Kok (101, his first century) and Pieter Seelaar (68), and later Jelte Schoonheim (26 not out), ensured that the Rotterdammers reached the 300 mark. That discouraged Excelsior'20 to such an extent that it soon threw in the towel. Only Roel Verhagen and Niels Etman reached 20 or more runs. They could not prevent Burhan Niaz from delivering his best performance of the season. He captured no less than six wickets, making VOC a contender for the championship pool again.

VRA-VCC: 153/10 (37.3) - 154/6 (40.4)

VCC is well on its way to ending the first phase without a loss of points. VRA, a candidate for the championship pool, also won. The Amsterdammers, who were missing Peter Borren but were able to field Jack Balbirnie, started batting. But they could not get out of VCC's grip, as the total of Udit Nashier (42) was the highest they could put on the scoreboard. Shariz Ahmad, with three captured wickets, ensured that VRA was kept in check.

A total of 153 does not bother VCC, but the Voorburg players did not start batting convincingly. The first 53 runs were at the cost of four wickets. In the end, international Logan van Beek (back after his marriage in New Zealand and illness) led VCC to victory with 57 not out in his first game of the season. The three captured wickets of Eduard Visser could not change that.

Dosti-Salland: 187/10 (49.5) - 189/5 (38.5)

At the bottom of pool B, Dosti and Salland took on each other on Sunday, and it was to be the match of Victor Lubbers. Together with Gul Ahmad Nasir (3), the captain of the Deventen side took four wickets to ensure that the last-order batsman was restricted to 187 runs. Waqas Raja (55) and captain Mahesh Hans (33) accounted for the lion's share of the Amsterdam players' runs. Lubbers is then the main batsman for Salland with 56 runs, although he was well-supported by Sir Vishnu Elam Bharathi (32) and Talha Ahmed Khan (32). That performance, and the 38 extras (including 31 wides) that Dosti gifted, gave the debutant in the top class the second win of the season. As a result, Salland is again an outsider for the championship pool, while Dosti can hardly avoid the relegation pool.