A conservative but vocal crowd witnessed Berne CC retain the SCA league title by 2 wickets in a low-scoring, but enthralling 2011 SCA league final against Western Division winners Geneva XI Stars at En Marche in Cossonay/VD on Sunday 25th September.
When the umpires met the ground staff (busy with their last minute ground preparations) at 10.30am the Swiss weather forecast’s promise of 24ºC and unbroken sunshine was already a reality.
The start however had to be delayed 25 minutes due to problems with the Berne CC club bus. But, that was soon forgotten when the Berne captain T.de Susa won the toss and chose to put the Genovese into bat on a damp but quickly drying outfield.
Berne had the ideal start when Usman took the Geneva XIStars opener’s wicket in the very first over. However, Geneva XTStars looked to have quickly recovered, R.Hafeez (35) hitting two boundarys off the second over, but Uzman struck again in his second over leaving Geneva 2-12 off 3.
Umar came on for the expensive Navid, but Geneva steadied the ship with an excellent 3rd wicker partnership, taking the score to 64 before the next Geneva batsman went. From then on Berne took wickets at regular intervals preventing any Genevan individual from playing themselvs in and putting together an innings that would take the game out of Berne’s reach. There was a little resistance from the 10th wicket partnership but eventually Berne bowled out Geneva XIStars for 114, no less than nine catches.
After an excellent Biriyani curry lunch Geneva took to the field and immediately took control dismissing both Berne in the first two overs.
The Berne batting attack recovered however and took the score to 56 before Ovais found himself on a hattrick in the 17th over, and then another wicket from Ali (after the umpires had conferred on a caught behind), ripped through the Berne middle order, for the first time putting the result in doubt.
Berne went into drinks at 84-6. With the game in the balance, Geneva bowled really tight from there on. Berne struggled to keep the scoreboard ticking along, at times having to take very risky singles. But their luck prevailed, not least thanks to two dropped opportunities in the field, and Navid scored the winning runs with a big six wafted to 'cow corner' to secure a Berne victory.
In his address, Abraham Koshy (League Chairman) thanked the Cossonay ground staff, umpires & scorers and supporters alike.
Uzman was presented with the Man Of The Match award for his contribution with the bat and the ball, while Geneva XI Stars wicket keeper was award the Champagne Moment for two terrific diving catches behind the stumps. He then proceeded to present the runners-up awards to a disappointed Geneva XI Stars team, the winners awards to a jubilant Berne and the SCA League Trophy for the second consecutive year to Tissa de Sousa.
Berne CC: Uzman; Navid; Umar; Farhan; Kamal; Malik; Sathya+; Tissa*; A.Murfitt;
Geneva XI Stars CC: Asad; M.Barone*; R.Hafeez; Ovais; Parth; Ali, Asvin+;
Umpires: A.Mackay & P.Cawsey
Scorers: P.Topham & M.Koshy