Leading into the match VOC was the only side that Bloemendall had not beaten during the 2013 season. After chasing a lot of leather against VOC in the previous 2 matches, the team was pleased to see Mangi win the toss and elect to bat.
The attacking duo of Madan and Douwe opened the innings, and quickly had us on the front foot. Both players hit the ball hard, and made sure the VOC fielders spent plenty of time in the trees looking for balls. An opening stand of 65 has us on track for a good target. Madan was dismissed for 43 and Douwe made 37. Smaller partnerships of 17 and 33 followed, but the team once again struggled through the middle of the innings, with Q the only other player to reach 20. We were bowled out for 160 in the 47th over. We entered the lunch break slightly disappointed, but with the knowledge that we had defended similar totals at ‘The Graveyard’ (where the skeletons of many good opposition batsmen are buried.
The bowling effort once again started well, with the Brown Brothers (Masood and Aldroy) finding the edges of the bat to have VOC 22 for 5. With a stronger batting lineup than all other teams, we knew that the last 5 wickets would not come easily. Mangi applied the brakes with 8 overs for 9 runs, while Shahid and Sam were tidy. A 90 run partnership had Bloemendaal on the ropes until Sam invited the batsman to play one late cut too many, with Q taking a good catch. What followed was some fine bowling and catching, some big hitting, and the eventual brain explosions. The final 4 wickets were taken for 8 runs as Bloemendaal (Q and Masood) strangled the life out of the VOC tail.
Masood finished with 5 for 30 off 9 overs, and Q took 2 for 29 off 8 overs.
VOC players and supporters were a little stunned, while Bloemendaal had proven once again that their bowling attack is the best around. The loss for VOC means the championship is yet to be decided, however it would take something strange to deny VOC their promotion.
Bloemendaal have now had a victory against all sides this season, something that looked unlikely 4 weeks ago. A 2nd place finish is still possible, but the batsmen will need to score some more runs for that to happen.