Punjab Rotterdam v Dosti United (Zomercomplex)
Dosti became Punjab's second ever Topklasse scalp at Drieburg back in round four, and since then the newcomers have made quite an impression on the top flight, currently sitting in third place behind VRA and Excelsior. Dosti meanwhile are struggling, and will be the team with the most to lose tomorrow – with neither having much to gain. A loss will mean they risk dropping down to the bottom of the table should they lose to Hermes in the following round. Whether that risk will provide sufficient motivation to step up their game is another question however, with the batting especially misfiring for the 2015 champions. With plenty of firepower in the batting and a varied attack, Punjab are a tough proposition at home, having only dropped 4 points at the Zomercomplex this season.
VRA Amsterdam v HCC (Amstelveen)
Another match where only one side has much at stake, it's difficult to see HCC taking points back from the Bos. Though Jonathan Vandiar and Ryan Ninan will doubtless be looking forward to VRA's turf wicket and the hosts have a fairly mixed home record, it is the Amsterdammers who are still in the hunt for the title while HCC are irretrievably mired in the mid table. It's also by no means certain that the turf wicket will be used given that there's international cricket to be played at Amstelveen next week, but either way with Borren and Szwarczynski in indomitable form and VRA's three frontline pacers all in the wickets the hosts are firm favourites.
VOC Rotterdam v Quick Haag (Hazelaarweg)
Both sides are coming off the back of losses coming into this match, and neither have much on the line – Quick's title hopes being killed off by VRA last week and VOC all but safe with a six point cushion between them and the bottom of the table. VOC's survival owes more to luck than their own efforts however, and even allowing for the loss of Ahsan Malik and Pieter Seelaar the Rotterdammers have been underperforming all season. Whilst Quick have lost some tight matches and generally looked a solid side, it's hard to imagine how their hosts will wrest themselves out of their slump without even the risk of relegation to motivate them.
HBS v Excelsior '20 (Craeyenhout)
A trip to Craeyenhout will likely be one of the few prospects remaining that will leave the defending champions a little nervous, the quick artificial outfield and HBS' dangerous top order means few scores are beyond the hosts reach if the likes of Visée, Morgan or Rutgers come off. Early wickets will be key for Excelsior, whilst for the hosts the wicket of Lorenzo Ingram will be the crucial prize. Excelsior remain the more balanced side and the only one with much to play for – preserving their four-point lead over VRA for another round will further shorten the odds on them retaining the title. The lack of depth in the HBS line-up mean they remain only a particularly slippery banana skin for their guests.
Hermes DVS v ACC (Sportpark Harga)
Hermes belatedly broke their duck last week in rather unconvincing style against HCC last week, and go into this encounter with the closest thing to momentum they've had all season. ACC meanwhile are safely ensconced in the middle of the table, with the Zulfiqar triplets likely focussed on the UAE matches next week there's an outside chance that the hosts may spring an upset on the Amsterdammers. We're still waiting for Stephan Myburgh to really perform whilst wearing sky blue rather than orange, and newcomer Dan ter Braak has likewise been more impressive outside of club cricket. Though some of Hermes' youngsters are beginning to find their feet at the top level, Olivier Elenbaas most notably, they desperately need two points tomorrow if they are to enjoy it for another season. The pressure on the hosts may as easily tell against them however, with ACC's strength in the field generally punishing any slip-ups. A tough one to call in the circumstances, but though a Hermes win would be welcome from the point of view of the competition, it would remain an upset.
[Note: These tables show the results of this fixture over the past ten seasons. ‘W’ means a win for the home side, ‘L’ a defeat, ‘T’ a tie, ‘N’ no result. Matches played on the opponent’s ground or a neutral venue are shown in square brackets.]
Bertus de Jong’s predictions:
Punjab, VRA, Quick, Excelsior, ACC.
Rod Lyall’s predictions:
Punjab, VRA, Quick, Excelsior, ACC.