Geneva 11 stars became the first club to qualify for the 2011 Swiss cricket league final beating their opponents from the Eastern Switzerland. The final is to be played on the to be played on the 25th of September and now they will wait for postponed match between arch rivals Nomads and Berne Cricket Club to find out who will be their opponent in the final.
On a wet day and in damp conditions Winterthur won the toss and put Geneva 11 stars into bat. The decision looked perfect when Geneva lost their dashing opener Raja Hafeez to Rohit Grover with only 10 runs on the board. But then in a rear-guard action, Ovais and Asvin went on to build the innings solidly in a 65 run partnership, was only broken when Ovais was caught brilliantly by Rajeev Jha off the bowling of Rajesh Singh for 43. But that brought in another stylish batsman Muhammad Ali to the crease and both Asvin and Ali went on to milk the Winterthur bowling at will, When Asvin got out on a well played 64, he had created the perfect attacking base for his team at 167 for three and the remaining batsman, along with Ali, really set the innings alight. The debutant Ruben hit the biggest six of the match and was responsible for a blow to the Winterthur spinner Mahmood who unfortunately had to be taken to the hospital for a dislocated finger. Geneva innings closed on 280 for 6, almost 30 runs better than their last semi final outings against Olten in 2010.
The persistent drizzle in the break did not dampen the sprits of the two teams who were raring to go to the middle and play cricket. Given their recent form, Winterthur was confident of chasing this apparently huge score for a semi final. But when John Hallam was run out and they lost Rajesh and Rahul very early on, Winterthur knew that life was going to be tough for their batsman against a spirited Geneva 11 star team. Geneva XIStars ground fielding was good on a day when in wet conditions the ball had become a ball of soap. The youngest of the Geneva fielder Waleed showed how determined the team was to win this semi final as he stopped a blazing drive through the gully with his shin bones an effort which was applauded even by the entire Winterthur team. The only batsman who threatened to take the match away from Geneva was Rohit Grover who cut ferociously, pulled and flicked with great authority to score an outstanding 110. At one time it looked like he may be stealing the match away from Geneva team but when he was finally out to a good catch by Munir Barone the jubilation in the Geneva camp suggested that the match is all but over. Finally Winterthur was bowled for 211 in 36 overs. Ali was again the star performer with the ball taking 3 wickets.
The match was played in the best of spirits and players on both sides and a handful of spectators appreciated a good performance from two of the Switzerland’s seasoned teams.