TK: One of the most extraordinary escape acts in the history of the Dutch competition!

Foto: Joost Kroesen ©Sander Tholen. Chasing VRA’s 228 for eight at the Bermweg, leaders Sparta 1888 appeared to be down and out when Ashir Abid, Tyler van Luin and Eduard Visser had reduced them to 64 for six, but Joost Kroesen had other ideas.

Supported first by Ahsan Malik in a seventh-wicket stand of 76 and then by a hard-hitting cameo from Khalid Ahmadi, who belted four sixes in his 21-ball 36, Kroesen steadily turned the game around, and when Ahmadi fell to Visser only 31 runs were needed from from 39 deliveries.

Now it was captain Joost-Martijn Snoep’s job to help Kroesen see the side home, and so effectively did they tackle their task that Sparta completed their unlikely two-wicket victory with an over to spare.

Kroesen finished on 88 not out, the highest of his career, made from 120 balls with six fours and two sixes, ensuring that Sparta remained on top of the table with three Phase 1 matches remaining.

Earlier, Aryan Dutt’s 40-ball 55 on his return from injury had injected some much-needed urgency to a VRA innings which had never quite taken off against a steady Sparta attack, most of the top order getting a start but not really capitalising; Malik and Mudassar Bukhari had bowled effectively if without success with the new ball, and it was Ahmadi who did much of the damage, taking five for 47.