The Swiss National XI got off to a slow start on a difficult pitch with the infamous low Swiss bounce at the Marzili Cricket Ground in Berne on Sunday 29th April. Although the cloud had cooled the very hot temperatures from the previous day, it was still to prove a warm sunny day with spells of brilliant sunshine and brilliant cricket.
A very accurate bowling performance made the Swiss National team work very hard for the runs.
The first wicket fell in the 6th over, Swanepoel facing Hitesh caught at covers, and a second just over over later, Ovais caught at square leg by Raj off Naveed. The Swiss team then accelerated a little before Sathya was run out, again slowing the run-rate. Three overs later, in the 13th over, the 4th wicket fell and the Swiss National XI looked as it they might struggle. However, the new pair at the crease took the team safely to drinks at 20 with no further loss and the score at 70-4 and in the game in the balance.
Seven overs after drinks Berne CC struck again, with the score on just 95 and half the Swiss National team dismissed. But some excellent batting from Afzal and his first national
took the score to 147 before being caught on the boundary.
Towards the end of the innngs the Swiss National XI started to accelerate once again, scoring 40 runs in the final 3 overs, despite Farhans best efforts, just missing out on a hattrick in the 39th over.
With the threat of a thunderstorm approaching (incidentally that never realised) the second innings was resumed after a short 10 minuted break.
Tissa and Aseem took to the field and immediately went to work, scoring at a rate of just under 10 an over. For a while it looked like Berne were going to repeat the fortunes of last year and defeat the Swiss National side again. Even losing two quick wickets in eigth over and another in the 10th, Berne's run-rate was still double of that of the Swiss National team at this stage, and everything looked to be under control.
After an excellent curry lunch, compliments of the hosts, the teams took to field once again.
Berne continued to keep the run-rate 30-40 above the guests but continued to lose wickets at regular intervals.
As the dark clouds arrived threatening a thunderstorm for the second time that day (incidentally again not materialising) , Sudath bowled a very tight spell taking four wickets, and it was Swiss Colt Arjun that cleaned up the tail-enders to end Berne's courageous effort 66 runs short of the required total, and still with 15 overs remaining.
In his address to the teams, officials & spectators at the close of play, the current President, Mr. Alexander Mackay, said that the game had been a fitting tribute to the late Dr. David Barmes, and which his family would have been proud to see.
He thanked Berne for being hosts and remarked that this was a promising start to a busy international schedule for the SCA.
Mr. Abraham Koshy presented Afzal (Swiss National XI) with the best bastman award. His individual innings had been the difference in the two sides. Mr. Saleem Awan presented Sudath (Swiss National XI) with the best bowler award for 4 wickets. Mr. Tissa De Soya presented Afzal (Swiss National XI) with the Man Of the Match trophy for his match winning innings and terrific fielding performance that included a stunning catch at mid-wicket.
Finally Mr. Alexander Mackay presented Raja Hafeez (captain Swiss National XI) with the 2012 David Barmes Memorial Trophy.
Further information about this fixture is available from the S.C.A.'s International Match Manager, Mr. Asvin Lakkaraju.
S.C.A. National Sqaud: 1. Raja Hafeez*, 2. Pieter Swanepoel, 3. George Galliet, 4. Ovais Yousuf, 5. Nasir Mahmood, 6. Sathya Narayanan+, 7. Ali Saleem, 8. Afzal Sikander, 9. Sudath Jayaratne, 10. Mounir Barone, 11. Arjun Vinod, 12. Asvin Lakkaraju, 13. Arjun Bischt
Berne C.C.: 1. K.Attapattu, 2. T.de Zoysa*, 3. M.S.Husain, 4. U.A.Sheikh, 5. U.Sheikh Snr., 6. .Sheikh Jnr., 7. F.Shaukat, 8. C.Weerakoon, 9. A.Bandura, 10. A.N.Khan, 11. A.Murfitt, 12. J.McKeown. 13. A.Koshy
Umpires: Mr. A.Mackay, Mr. A.Koshy