In the end, Excelsior’s second successive national championship – and the eleventh in the club’s history – came very easily, and the last Schiedam derby until at least 2019 was one of the most one-sided.

Already relegated, Hermes-DVS collapsed spectacularly after skipper Nick Statham had won the toss and elected to bat, and were all out for 82.

Within 25 overs they were reduced to 41 for seven, and it took a rearguard action by Mustafa Nesaar, who made an unbeaten 29, to enable the last three wickets to double the score.

Lorenzo Ingram began the rout by removing Olivier Elenbaas and Statham himself, and James Hilditch accounted for the internationals Stef Myburgh and Dan ter Braak, the latter the only Hermes batsman apart from Nesaar to reach double figures.

Four run-outs contributed to the disaster, as Excelsior proved themselves determined to avoid any repetition of the previous week’s defeat, only the second of their campaign.

Elenbaas struck back when Excelsior replied, removing both openers by the time 19 runs were on the board, but then Ingram and Joost Kroesen finished it off in double-quick time, reaching their target halfway through the 17th over.

Ingram, Excelsior’s leading run-scorer throughout the season, finished on 42 not out and Kroesen on 28.

In the Amsterdamse Bos, VRA began the day knowing that only another defeat for Excelsior would keep their slim title hopes alive, but they did their part with a thoroughly convincing victory over a heavily-depleted Punjab Rotterdam side.

Winning the toss and electing to bat, VRA reached 267 before they were dismissed in the penultimate over, but they arguably should have had a lot more considering that they were 221 for four at one stage.

14-year-old opener Vikramjit Singh led the way with his first Topklasse half-century, finishing with 55, but the keynote of the innings was another spectacular contribution by Peter Borren, who began quietly but then unleashed a series of powerful strokes which took him onto 95.

But then he holed out to deep midwicket attempting another shot which would not only have taken him to his fourth century of the season but also have taken him past the landmark of 1000 runs. As it was, he ended on 997, with just one more match to play.

Punjab’s attack, reliant on several part-timers and lower-team bowlers, stuck to the daunting task well, skipper Suleiman Tariq, Mohsin Bajwa and Shoaib Chaudhry ending with two wickets apiece.

The Rotterdam side’s batsmen, however, found VRA’s seam attack uncomfortably quick, and apart from a defiant innings of 24 from Tariq they had few answers, eventually being dismissed for 95.

Fred Klaassen took four for 15 and Jeroen Mulder three for 22, with Quirijn Gunning, Haseeb Gul Mia and spinner Pragam Rathore picking up one each.

The highest total of the day was posted by Quick Haag, whose 315 for four against Dosti United at Nieuw Hanenburg featured innings of 121 by Joost van Schelven, playing his first Topklasse match of the season, and 106 from Jean Bredenkamp, playing his last before returning to South Africa.

After Van Schelven had shared an opening stand of 79 with Lesley Stokkers (38) he and Bredenkamp added 132 for the second wicket, after which Bredenkamp and Rogier Rooda (30) piled on the agony with a third-wicket stand of 87.

Van Schelven’s 121 came from 134 deliveries with eleven fours and six sixes, while Bredenkamp’s 106 came from just 69 balls with nine fours and four sixes.

Dosti had no answer to this, and although Mohammed Hafeez made 33 and Vimal Tewarie 32, it was a fighting 47 from Waheed Masood, batting at eight, which enabled them to reach a comparatively respectable 182.

The wickets were shared, with Imran Khan taking two for 20 and Rooda two for 30.

HBS Den Haag set VOC a much lower target at Hazelaarweg, as they were dismissed for a relatively modest 194.

Dennis Coster top-scored with a 91-ball 47, while Tobias Visée contributed a comparatively staid 63-ball 31.

But Jaron Morgan managed only 12 of the 64 he needed to achieve the magic figure of 1000 runs in the season.

Max O’Dowd took three for 32 for VOC, and Dirk van Baren, Bobby Hanif and Umar Baker claimed two apiece.

O’Dowd then provided almost all the resistance when the home side replied, his 44 coming from 95 deliveries with five fours and a six.

The HBS attack worked its way through the rest of the batting, however, with Berend Westdijk taking four for 38, Adil Ahmed three for 12, and Morgan two for 22, and the innings ended on 118.

At De Diepput, Saqib Zulfiqar won the toss for ACC and elected to bat, his side reaching 188 for nine from their 50 overs.

Zakir Kathrada top-scored with 52, while Usman Malik made 45 and Asad Zulfiqar 37. Ali Ahmed Qasim was the most successful of the HCC bowlers with three for 42.

HCC wasted no time in achieving this target, led by another aggressive innings by Jonathan Vandiar, who made 79 before he was stumped by Kathrada.

Tonny Staal made 48, and Ryan Ninan and Boris Gorlee then took their side to the brink of victory. With the scores level Ninan was trapped in front, but a wide then gave HCC their seven-wicket victory.