Haarlem and Amsterdam share anatural rivalry. Haarlem attracting young couples ready for the quiet life and Amsterdam attracting a mixture of expats that have never learnt Dutch and raucous
drinkers of Brouwerij t’ij that are simultaneously riding Van Moofs and ringing
bells at tourists. It’s no surprise then that these two towns sharing different
ideals bring their intense rivalry to the cricket pitch.
The game between rood en wit 2 and ACC 2 (nicknamed the queens of Amstelvleen) was destined to be a crunch game
given the history, but adding to the ferocity of the meeting was its’ status of
being a semi final for promotion from overgangsklasse. ACC had to lineup with
their best, and so the team was as follows:
Harry “Calm mind” Singh
Quincy “Doug Bollinger” Brouwer
Baljot “the 200” Singh
Bas “don’t give me out” van Der Heyde
Stephan “Quick hands” Hannema
Arnav “Gary” Mishra
Ajit “Jeeta” Kamboj
Arav “Biceps” Mishra
Haydar “Shoe king” Gairat
James “Dynamo 11” McCulloch
Zinesh “Unplayable” Master
The captain, Stephan, won the toss electing to bowl first. Pitch side the scenes were pleasing to the neutral,
with the handsome squad of ACC warming up like Tom Cruise in the original top gun.
It’s no surprise the umpires (officiating for an ACC2 game for the first time
the entire season) decided to walk on quickly and stop rood en wit from loosing
the mental battles pitch side.
The bowling was opened by Arav and James who kept the economy rate under 3 for the first 9 overs, with Rood en Wit
registering 22 runs. The frustration carried on building with the first and
second change bowlers of Haydar and Baljot, eventually leading to a wicket with
Keeper captain Stephen registering his first catch of the match.
From this point, it was all ACC. The next bowler, Zinesh Master formed a very fruitful bowling partnership with
Baljot, bowling 14 overs together, going for 33 runs and picking up 3 wickets.
This partnership was made possible by some exceptional keeping by Stephen who
got two stumpings and a catch, as well as some sharp fielding by Haydar who ran
out one of the batsmen from tight third man. This left Rood en Wit 68-4 after 26 overs - a great platform for the veteran ACC hero, Bas van Der Heyde and
youngster Arnav to seal the finishing blow and they were ruthless in dealing
these blows. Their partnership was 10,4 overs, going for 33 runsand picking up the last 6 wickets, with both players getting 3 wickets. Rood en Wit posting 101 thanks to some exceptional bowling, keeping and fielding by
ACC. However, with the team feeling confident, the captain reminded everyone
that the pitch and outfield were tough and 101 was still a tricky score to get
in these conditions.
James and Haydar suggested opening the batting given their status as a dynamite duo in the tail end, however,
Hannema wisely told them to stick to what they were good at and opted to open
the batting with Harry Singh and Quincy Brouwer. It was immediately clear that
101 was a par score at this ground with the opening duo from Rood en Wit
bouncing and fizzing the leather in every direction. Harry got an unfortunate
delivery from the spinner that fizzed through above his waist despite pitching
on a good length and lost his wicket in the second over.
From there, ACC looked very shaky,loosing their top batsman, Baljot to injury. They started loosing quick, cheap
wickets. Quincy, Ajit, Arav, Arnav and Stephen fell over 30 runs with the score
limping to 71 - 6. Baljot, recovered from his cramps returned to the crease with
a mounting task. His batting partner, the veteran Bas was now fully set and
ticking over the scoreboard with singles and the occasional boundary. It’s
unclear what was said between the two batsmen, but one can imagine, knowing
Bas, that Baljot was told in no uncertain terms to keep his wicket and tick
over the strike.
From here it was a nervous fewovers with the ACC team on the sideline praying and hoping their two key
batsmen could make it through to the end. They made the final 30 runs without
too much issue and the occasional flourish from Baljot. Thus placing themselves
in the final for promotion against Hercules on the weekend. It’s expected that
most of Utrecht will be at the ground, opting the scintillating second team cricket
over the Utrecht vs Ajax game.