Hermes DVS bounced back from a 100 run defeat against Quick Haag on Saturday to seal a 4-wicket win over Schiedam rivals Excelsior '20 on Sunday. Excelsior nonetheless took two points from the weekend with a convincing win over ACC, whilst VRA lost heavily away at HCC on a wet Saturday, which saw VOC and Dosti's match at Hazelaarweg abandoned.
Hermes' weekend started promisingly, having won the toss and invited Quick Haag to bat first at Harga, after a rain delay had reduced the match to 43overs. Seb Braat struck early to remove Bob van Gigch for a duck, but wickets thereafter did not come so easily. Lesley Stokkers struck an assured half-century, taking the visitors to 133-4 with support from Tim Gruijters and Geert Mol. Stokkers would be run out by Braat for 52, but lower order contributions from Jeroen Brand and Henk Mol - on his 350th outing for Quick - got them past 200, eventually finishing on 207-9, Braat pick of the bowlers with 4-38 from 9.
Stephan Myburgh struck typically belligerent 29 from 20 at the top of the order, but after he was bowled by Stephen Kriel with the score on 34, as has so often been the case for Hermes this season, a rapid collapse ensued. Jeroen Brand was principally responsible, taking 5-25 as Hermes were bowled out for 107. That they passed three figures at all was largely due to Davi van Slobbe's defiant 26 from number ten.
Excelsior meanwhile looked entirely in control throughout their match away at ACC, sealing a comfortable 7-wicket win with 14 overs to spare. After being put in to bat by the visitors, ACC's progress remained funereal throughout their innings, the run rate barely rising above 3-an over. Only Mangi Mosehle of the ACC top order showed much in the way of intent, hitting 40 from 36 from number 3. Ahmed Zulfiqar, who hit A 22-ball 23 down the order, was the only other batsman with a strike-rate over 50. ACC were eventually bowled out with one ball remaining for 148, with Rens van Troost the stand-out bowler with 3-14 from 7.5 overs.
Excelsior made light work of the total, Tim Etman and Roel Verhagen putting on 61 for the first wicket, and Etman going on to complete his half century as he took the visitors to 112 before being caught off Sikander Zulfiqar for 57. Matt-Kai McGillivray would be bowled by Jim Dukker for 5 shortly after, but Tom Heggelman and Lorenzo Ingram saw the comfortably home.
VRA will have headed to de Diepput with a measure of confidence restored following their first win of the season last week, but HCC ensured the renaissance would be put on hold at least. A positive 33 from Mitch Lees, having been promoted to open, might have augured another 2 points for the struggling Amsterdammers, but when he was caught behind off Hidde Overdijk with 63 on the board it prompted a rapid capitulation, VRA losing 9 wickets for 43 as they were rolled for 106.
Jeroen Mulder's return of 3 wickets for 32 (including that of Tom de Grooth - making his 300th apearance for HCC) in the hosts' reply might be something of a personal consolation, but he was the only VRA bowler to find reward as twin 40s for Overdijk and Jonathan Vandiar saw HCC to a comfortable 7-wicket win.
Saturday's final match, VOC's return game against Dosti-United, was abandoned in somewhat acrimonious circumstances, with overnight rain apparently rendering the ground unfit for play, despite the home side reportedly being keen to play, leaving the rescheduled Schiedam Derby as the weekend's last remaining business.
It would prove to be a tense affair, with the visiting Hermes belying their recent form to bowl Excelsior out for 131 after their hosts had elected to bat first. Julian Chitongo deserves much of the credit, bowling with now characteristic economy to ramp up the pressure, conceding just 8 runs from his ten overs. The run-outs of Etman and McGillivray might arguably be credited to Hermes' leg-spinning overseas as much as the two wickets he bagged himelf. Joost Kroesen would top-score for Excelsior with a hard-fought 31, ensuring the the hosts passed 100, but Henrico Venter ensured they didn't get much more, taking 3-29 to wrap up the tail.
Even with just 132 to get however, the early loss of Myburgh following an unusually circumspect 12 from 42 would have kept Hermes' fans nervous. The customary collapse failed to materialise however, with Haro Seelaar - playing his 200th for Hermes - and Nick Statham putting on another 50 for the 2nd wicket to get the visitors to 74 before Statham was caught off Heggelman for 40. Wickets would continue to come as the run rate lingered around 2 an over, and with Hermes' long tail looming Excelsior will have felt in the game as Chitongo fell cheaply and Seelaar's 116-ball vigil was ended by Rens van Troost. Braat would turn the game back in Hermes' favour however, hitting the only six of the match in a 20 ball 21 before being bowled by McGillivray. In the end it took Hermes 49.2 of their 50 overs to reach the target, Davi van Slobbe and Manminder Singh gettng them over the line with 4 wickets and 4 balls to spare.