Nomads CC 161-7 (revised score) lost to Berne CC 165-9 by 1 wicket
Sunday 18th September, 2011 at En Marche, Cossonay/VD
The umpires were the first to report to the ground at about 11.15am, greeted by the Cossonay ground staff and the first signs that the persistent rain was going to let-off and allow the game to start.
At 11.45 both team buses arrived, and following a ground inspection by all parties it was agreed to begin the game on time at 12.30pm.
At 12.15 both captains Teeza (Berne CC) and Azeem (Nomads) joined the umpires Alex Mackay & Clive Denney out in the middle for the toss.
Berne called and won the toss and elected to put Nomads into bat in the wet conditions.
The Nomads innings started confidently, scoring 11 off the first two overs from Berne’s openers Uzman and Navid until a wicket maiden in the third broke Nomads opening partnership. The conditions proved difficult and runs were hard to come by. Nomads lost their 2nd wicket on 24, bowled by Mailk in his first over. However the 3rd wicket partnership lasted 10 overs, taking the score to 74, before Berne’s 5th choice spinner Farhan bowled the Nomads batsman.
A further caught behind just before drinks meant Nomads went in to the 20 over drinks break on 83 for 4, a respectable and hard fought total given the difficult, but quickly improving conditions.
After a quick drinks break, the umpires hurriedly encouraged the teams back to field as the over rate was well behind, in part due to the wet ball, but also due to the long run-ups of the Berner opening attack.
Nomads took the score to 106 before the partnership was broken by a Run Out. A further Run Out on 123, clearly demonstrated Nomads intention to push the score ahead. Another bowled with the score at 131 completed Nomads wicket loss for the day, and Nomads took the score to 149 from 37 overs before the umpires called time. A quick check with the scorers and Berne were calculated a score of 162 in 37 overs to win this semi-final and join Geneva XI Stars in the final here at Cossonay in 7 days time.
After an an excellent curry lunch, Nomads took to the field in sunshine. The Berne opening batsman scored quickly, amassing 21 in the first three overs, when Azeem came on for Asvin and took two wickets, both catches, in his first and the innings fourth over.
The Berne wickets fell steadily and an excellent bowling attack made life extremely difficult for the Berne batsman. However, they somehow managed to stay in contention and in touch with the 4.3 required run rate, albeit only just, scoring at an average of 3.8. At the half-way point with Berne 76 for 5, Nomads seemed well in control of the game.
5 overs after drinks Nomads struck again, another fine catch, this time from Wicky at deep point, taking the ball very low in front of him. Another 10 runs and two overs later the next wicket fell, bowled. At 97-7 the Berne tail-enders were left to score 55 with just three wickets in hand. With the required run rate creeping up all the time, at this stage already over six an over, this looked highly improbable.
One over later the 8th wicket fell, another catch, at 104-8 as Berne started to chase the total.
The 9th wicket was a bizarre incident, mirroring the England v India Ian Bell incident in the 3rd test. Wicky appeared to have taken the catch at long on. But the umpire saw him put it down and called Not Out. However, Malik had wandered off down the other and was standing in the crease with Farhan (having assumed Farhan had been caught) and so, Malik was run out at the other end. The Berne team was incensed, afterall, there was a place in the final at stake, but the decision stood.
With one wicket remaining, 39 runs were required off the last 4 overs and the run-rate now at nearly 10 an over, was this going to be a dream 10th wicket partnership? Or were Nomads going to find themselves in the final as most had predicted before the game?
Well would you believe, Kamal with some terrific boundaries and a little luck (dropped in the 35th over), went on to steer Berne into the final with a wonderfully controlled and patient innings.
The pitch invasion after the game demonstrated the euphoria and resolve of both teams in a tense, hard-fought, and at times, petulant match.
Many thanks to Cossonay for being such great hosts. Commiserations go to Nomads - but let's not forget that they have had a terrific league & cup season and still have the chance to win some silverware at the SwissT20 competition.
As for Berne, congratulations on a hard fought, and one has to say, bewildering win that provides them the opportunity to defend their league title in seven days time at the same venue at En Marche, Cossonay.
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Nomads CC: Fahim; Ashvin, A.Nazir*, S.Chaudhari; W.W.Kawaja; Gijou; S.Subbiramaniam; H.Singh; F.Din; 12th A.Nother
Berne CC: U.Sheikh; Navid; Malik; Umar; Farhan; Teeza*; Sathya+; A.Murfitt; K.Munasinghe; Azeem; 12th A.Koshy
Umpires: A.Mackay & C.Denney
Scorers: M.Koshy & Ann Tuthers