The first match pits Rijnmond group winners Punjab Rotterdam against their opposite numbers from the Amsterdam/Utrecht group, ACC, who are bidding to take the Cup for the third successive year, while in the second unbeaten HBS, who topped the Haaglanden group, will take on Dosti United Amsterdam, also unbeaten and winners of the Haarlem/Amsterdam pool.
The clash between Punjab and ACC is a repeat of last Sunday’s Topklasse game, a tight and not always even-tempered encounter, and the umpires will need to be on their toes to ensure that the match is worthy of the occasion.
Punjab in particular have a side that is well adapted to the shortest format, with a string of attacking batsmen and several useful spinners – in some cases the same individual combining both roles.
But they will be hoping that Ahsan Masood, who limped from the field last Sunday, will be fit to take his place in the side, since his all-round skills are crucial to its balance.
Even without him, however, Punjab have in Shoaib Minhas, Khurram Shahzad, Yasir Ali, Yassir Usman and Irfan ul-Haq plenty of firepower with the bat and subtlety with the ball, while skipper Suleiman Tariq’s four overs of seam will also play a significant part.
ACC have, of course, the Zulfiqar triplets, and will want to welcome elder brother Rehmet back into the outfit, having missed him last week.
It’s Sikander’s hitting which is best adapted to the T20 format, and he and Zakir Kathrada are likely to play a decisive part in determining the outcome.
Usman Malik is also a key figure, batting in the middle overs and aiming to produce four economical overs of his own, but overall it is Punjab who have more depth and variety, and it would come as no surprise if they were to reach the final for the first time.
Like Punjab, HBS were promoted to the Topklasse this season, and like them they have confounded expectations with some outstanding performances.
Their trump cards, obviously, are Tobias Visée and Jaron Morgan with the bat, Visée in particular an opening batsman for whom the playing conditions of T20 might have been written.
But they also have, in Berend Westdijk, Ferdi Vink, Navjit Singh and Farshad Khan the most effective seam attack of all the semi-finalists, and if pace were the only factor the Crows would be clear favourites to win the Cup outright for the first time in their history (they shared it with HCC back in 2008).
Their one weakness might be the absence of a top-class spinner, although Morgan’s contribution here may be more significant than it has been in the Topklasse.
Dosti United have struggled in the longer format this season, but their somewhat depleted side is considerably stronger in T20, where their overseas players, Taruwar Kohli and Corné Dry, are able to play a proportionately more dominant role.
Off-spinner Mahesh Hans, too, can be a match-winner with the ball, and on the comparative expanses of Thurlede skipper Vinoo Tewarie’s leg-breaks could also cause some problems.
It is in the batting that Kohli and Dry will undoubtedly need more support, and that might come from Rahil Ahmed, who should in the T20 format be liberated to play his natural attacking game.
It all promises to be an excellent day’s cricket, provided that the weather behaves itself. And it is in the nature of T20 that, basically, anything could happen.