The Swiss U11 team travelled to Woking in England for 5 days of solid cricket. The boys were enrolled on a ‘Twenty 20’ cricket camp based at Woking & Horsell CC. This gave the boys an insight into cricket in England with a large grass wicket and 4 nets for practice, something we can only dream about in Switzerland.
Each morning, the boys undertook various training drills to improve their skills in batting, bowling and fielding. After lunch, the boys were split into teams and played 20/20 games to give invaluable match practice, and the experience of playing high pressure cricket in close games.
However, the highlights of the tour were the 2 competitive games played against English club sides, both of which the Swiss boys won.
The Swiss team lost the toss and were inserted by Epsom, a decision that pleased coach James Harper given that the batting conditions were ideal and the light was likely to fail. Tom Bews and guest player Chris Pyles opened the batting and put on 34 from the first 4 overs. Chris retired on 29 which brought big hitting Will Clayton to the crease. Tom was unfortunately run out for 9 shortly after but Will dominated the bowling, hitting a quick 29 before he was forced to retire with the score on 86 after 11 overs. Tight bowling thereafter restricted the Swiss scoring and wickets began to fall at regular intervals, until the innings closed on 115 for 6, Ben Harris and James West chipping in with 7 runs each and Luke Specogna 5.
The Epsom openers set off at a rapid pace and put on 22 before Tom Bews claimed the first wicket, clean bowled in the 3rd over. Ben Harris and Dayn Pariaug then took 2 wickets each to leave Epsom struggling on 55 for 4 after 8 overs. The next 4 overs put Epsom back in the game, adding 25 runs for the loss of only one further wicket so at 80 for 5 off 12 overs, the game was very much in the balance. However, tight bowling from Ben Harper, Tom Harper, James West and Ed Clayton pegged Epsom back and wickets then fell quickly until their innings finished on 100 in the 19th over. Ben Harris was the pick of the bowling with 3 for 14 with good support from Dayn Pariaug 2 for 7 and Tom Bews 2 for 23. The boys were delighted to win and to benchmark themselves against a good English club side.
Captain Ben Harper lost the toss again but it did not matter as Woking chose to field first. Ben Harris opened with Tom Bews but disaster struck as Ben was run out in the first over after a mix up with the calling. Will Clayton came in and hit a rapid 21 runs with some lusty blows before retiring with the score on 48 after 6 overs. Tom Bews was then run out in the next over for 13 bringing Ben Harper and James West to the wicket. Scoring became difficult due to some indifferent bowling and steady batting, with extras becoming the major contributor to the score. Ben eventually retired on 21 in the last over and James finished on 11 not out. Dayn Pariaug finished on 7 not out, all scored off the last ball of the innings when attempting a suicidal 3rd run, was given the gift of 4 over throws! The innings closed on a very respectable 134 for 3 off the 20 overs.
Woking & Horsell opened with Chris Pyles, who had guested for the Swiss team against Epsom, and he scored freely from the start, putting on 24 for the first wicket. At 50 for 3 off 8 overs, the game was very much alive until Luke Specogna bowled Chris with a beauty. Ed Clayton then bowled the dangerous left handed middle order batsman with an ‘inswinger’ and thereafter, there was only one winner. The innings finished on 100 all out in the 17th over. Ben Harris was again the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 8 with good support from Ben Harper 2 for 6.
A good week was had by all and the boys are certainly looking forward to coming back next year.
Back row (L-R): William Clayton (Basel Dragons), Luke Specogna (Zurich Crickets), Dayn Pariaug (Zurich Crickets), Ben Harper (Basel Dragons), Ed Clayton (Basel Dragons)
Front row (L-R): James West (Basel Dragons), Thomas Harper (Basel Dragons), Ben Harris(Zurich Crickets), Tom Bews (Cossonay)