After a remarkable opening round on Ascension Day, Round 2 sees ACC welcome Quick Haag to het Loopveld, hoping to recover from a heavy opening defeat away at Excelsior. Despite the 111-run margin of their win at Hermes, Quick's new-look bowling attack has looked vulnerable in the face of quality batsmen, and struggled even to dislodge Hermes' youthful tail-enders. Though their top order looks in excellent form, early wickets for ACC's pace-bowling coach JP de Villiers could put Quick in difficulty.
Nonetheless ACC enter as underdogs, reeling from a bad loss at Thurlede and with little form with bat or ball. Though Titans Mohsele and de Villiers, together with the Zulfiqar clan, form a solid core for the side, it's apparent that ACC's roster lacks even last season's depth, and Quick will be favoured to take the two points.
Likewise favourites away are Dosti-United as the head to de Diepput to take on HCC. Even before their demolition of VOC yesterday most had Dosti down as the team to beat again this year, and the defending champions can be confidently placed as favourites for any and all of their games this season.
Nonetheless of Dosti's upcoming fixture list, HCC away looks the most obvious banana skin. A settled and solid side with an impressive run of form behind them and two potentially match-winning coaches in Vandiar and Coetsee, they showed remarkable resilience and nerve to hold off VRA in a hard-fought win at Amstelveen. More broadly, HCC looked a team transformed compared to the side that was relegated in 2014, and will back themselves to derail the Dosti bandwagon before it gets rolling.
Having missed out against HCC, and with the prospect of a trip to Dosti next week, VRA will be determined to pick up 2 points away at Hermes tomorrow. The main obstacle in their way is Stephan Myburgh. The adage “get Myburgh, get the game” is something of a truism amongst visitors to Harga, and somewhat questionable with Nick Statham in good nick and fellow senior Haro Seelaar returning. Nonetheless the Hermes tail looks long and vulnerable, despite an admirable show of obduracy against Quick
Hermes bowling attack, led by Seb Braat and Davi van Slobbe, is unlikely to have even the rickety VRA top-order losing any sleep, though VRA have some bowling worries of there own. Leon Turmaine is in doubt due to an as-yet-undiagnosed back issue picked up yesterday, and Jeroen Mulders'absence leaves at least one more bowling slot to fill.
Meanwhile VOC will hope to bounce back from the utter shellacing they received at the hands of Dosti yesterday when they welcome Excelsior '20 to Hazelaarweg. With the side in some disarray and Jeandre Jumat still stranded in South Africa owing to visa problems, VOC may be regretting the short interval between the 1st and 2nd rounds.
Conversely Excelsior's young team, coming off a big win over ACC, will arrive in Rotterdam with momentum behind them. Especially encouraging is the role that youngsters van Troost and Verhagen, together with new signing Sohail Bhatti played in the win, and it's safe to say the Schiedammers are firm favourites for to take two points.
Topklasse Round 2 predictions
ACC v Quick: Quick
Dosti v HCC: HCC
Hermes v VRA: VRA
VOC v Excelsior: Excelsior
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