Most of our team arrived back in Switzerland around 11pm on Saturday night. We were all tired but very proud of what our players had achieved over the previous three days. We had remained undefeated against three top club cricket teams from the Cambridge area.
Having had a chance to reflect on the tour our players were a credit to their parents and team mates. Even though not everyone batted and bowled they all contributed to the team, by performing in the field and actively supporting and encouraging their team mates.
Our boys listened intently to the words of advice and encouragement given by their coach Patrick H before each match and followed his plans to perfection.
Our first game was against a side from Burwell, which included several overage players and a couple of County and District players. Burwell batted first and were bowled out in 29.5 overs for a score of 127. The star bowler for the Swiss team was Arjun V who had match figures of 6-19 from 6.5 overs, including a hat trick. In his 7 overs Arjun gave an outstanding display of spin bowling. Arjun was ably supported by George G, Manish L, Simon H, Adam W, Ashwin V, Marishque P and Osama M. When the Swiss side batted they gave a fine example of how partnerships win matches. Callum H and Simon H scored 48 runs for the first wicket and Callum H and Osama M added a further 57 runs for the second wicket. Fittingly Callum H hit the winning runs in the 30th over and ended up undefeated on 57.
For me, the highlight of the week was the game we played against Thriplow on Saturday afternoon. The team from Thriplow included several County and numerous District players and I am sure they expected to beat our team easily. Thriplow won the toss and posted a respectable score of 171 from their allocated overs. George G (3-15 from 8 overs) and Manish L (3-34 from 7 overs) each claimed three wickets, Adam W took 2 for 25 from 7 overs, Simon H bowled very well for no reward, with figures of 0 for 21 off 7 overs. The rest of the bowling was completed by Arjun, Osama & Ruwan. I must admit at the tea break I was concerned that the target would not be easily achieved, as it would be the largest score any Swiss national team had ever chased. After an initial period when Callum H and Simon H tried to settle their nerves, they went on to produce an outstanding opening stand, which is the first 100 opening partnership any Swiss youth side has ever produced. Their composure and skill at the crease showed a considerable amount of maturity. Eventually Simon H (45) fell at 110 and Callum H (48) was next to go at 119. Once these quick wickets had fallen the home side sensed they were back in the game. Osama M scored a quick fire 36 to make sure this was not the case and Marishque P scored the winning run with over 5.5 overs to spare. The overall performance of the team was the best I have ever seen from a Swiss junior team and made the Swiss parents and supporters watching the game very proud of their side.
Our final match was a 20/20 against a Thriplow Select XI on Saturday morning. Switzerland batted first. As most of our players had not batted in either of the previous matches we reversed much of our batting order. Ruwan J (14) batted very well before he was bowled by a County level opening bowler, who was two years older. If Ruwan J continues to develop and improve, he will become a very good opening batsman. George G scored a rapid 20 before it was left to Simon H (31) and Arjun L (5 Not Out) to combine for a final wicket partnership of 58, enabling the Swiss team to post a respectable total of 124. Thriplow got off to a good start and at 79 for 2 it looked like there was only going to be one winner. Fortunately for the Swiss side Arjun L had different ideas and he claimed the all-important break through and ended up with figures of 3-13 from 4 overs. The match went down to the final over with Thriplow requiring 9 to win. George G (3-10 from 4 overs) capped off an excellent bowling performance by restricting them to 6 runs and Switzerland won by 3 runs.
In conclusion, if someone had said to me at the beginning of the tour we would win all three matches against teams including County and District players, we would have an opening partnership of over 100 runs and chase down the highest score we have ever chased, against the best team we played, I would not have believed them. Our players showed what can be achieved with excellent team work, talent, dedication, fair play and the desire to win. I am very proud to say my son was one of the team that went to Cambridge and came back undefeated. Well done everyone.
U15 team: George Gaillet (ZCCC), Manish Lal (GRYCC), Callum Hirst (ZCCC), Ruwan Jayakody (Basel Dragons), Adam Willis (CDL), Vishal Moriani (CDL), Josh Bayliss (Basel Dragons), Osama Mahmood (ZCCC), Arjun Vinod (GRYCC), Ashwin Vinod (CDL), Marishque Puvimanasinghe (GRYCC), Simon Henderson (ZCCC).
A Father’s Viewpoint
The Cambridge tour was very well organised and we thoroughly enjoyed the matches as well as the stay - thanks to Stephen (manager) and Patrick (coach).
It gives me immense pleasure when thinking of the great effort made and the reward brought by the Swiss team. All the three matches were very exciting especially because of the excellence and professionalism shown by our team in all aspects. By winning these matches against some reputed teams from a cricket playing country on their home grounds, I am sure that our boys’ confidence level must have reached its heights. This was very much a team performance and each of them contributed their best.
I am happy and proud that my children were part of this team.