Last year's SCA league champions, Geneva XI Stars, took on the Swiss National XI, in dry but cool conditions at the traditional SCA season opener, the Dr. David Barmes Memorial Trophy, on Sunday 21 April 2013 at the Bout du Monde in Geneva.
Having previously won the toss, the Swiss skipper, Pip Kirkpatrick, chose to bat first on a drying outfield, with temperatures slightly above the forecast and the sun attempting to break through the overcast conditions.
The 2012 league champions opener and captain Raja Hafeez was rewarded early in the innings, Ryan Pitchford (4) caught behind by Asvin Lakkaraju for 4.
Ryan Pitchford was replaced by the big hitting Shahnawaz Muhammad (104) and together with Chris Corlett (33) played a very responsible innings, before Vithu broke the partnership, another caught behind by the Geneva XI Stars 'keeper.
The Swiss national team controlled the game from the start. Skipper Pip Kirkpatrick ld the way with an unbeaten 68) and Shahnawaz scored his first century for the national team (incidentally earning him the Man Of the Match award), before being caught by Parth Patel at mid-wicket, Raja Hafeez claiming his second wicket of the day.
Things didn't improve for the XI Stars. Last year's MoM, Afzaal Sikander, came to the crease to continue where Shahnawaz left off. Afzaal scored 59 off 33 balls, which included four consecutive sixes, before Raja Hafeez struck again, Afzaal caught on the boundary by Waleed Saleem.
Pardeep Kumar then came on to bat out the innings with skipper Pip Kirkpatrick and finish the 40 overs on an impressive 300 runs exactly for the loss of just four wickets.
In trying to keep up with the run rate, the Geneva XI Stars hemorrhaged wickets at regular intervals, starting with a run out, the spoils were then shared equally between Ali Neyyer, Afzaal Sikander, Ranjeet Singh & the young spinner Arjun Vinod, Amandeep Singh picking up the odd one.
Only the aptly named Genevan, Muhammad Ali, was able to put up a fight, an impressive 44 before being cleaned bowled by Afzaal Sikander.
Nasir Mahmood, Ranjeet Singh and Chris Corlett were not rewarded in their first spells, and no one bowler received a second because the Geneva XI Stars were dismissed for 110 in 28.5 overs, 190 short of the 1st innings total.
Despite the easiness of victory it was nevertheless a good game of cricket, some magic shots and some very good fielding, not least Arjun Vinod's caught & bowled.
SCA President, Mr. Alexander Mackay thanked Geneva International (in particular Madame Huong Huynh) for hosting the match, Mr. Saleem Awan for the catering, Messers Bond & Cawsey for a faultless umpiring display, Ms. Mira Koshy for scoring the entire match, and most importantly the two teams and all the spectators that had not put off by the weather and came to watch the opening game of the season.
Mr. Saleem Awan and SCA league chairman Mr. Abraham Koshy awarded the Man Of the match trophy to Shahnawaz Muhammad and invited Swiss kipper Mr. Pip Kirtpatrick to collect the Dr. David Barmes Memorial Trophy.
Mr. Asvin Lakkaraju (SCA International match manager) wished all the Swiss cricket fraternity a successful and enjoyable season and reminded everyone that the next engagement for the Swiss National Team will be the three T20 games against the Austrian National Team at En Marche in Cossonay on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd June 2013.
Photographs of the 2013 Dr. David Barmes Memorial Trophy Match are available in the SCA gallery.
Swiss National XI 300-4 (40 overs) beat Geneva XI Stars 110ao (28.5 overs) by 190 runs
Swiss National XI: 1. Philip Kirkpatrick* (68); 2. Afzaal Sikander (59 & 3-0-16-2); 3. Ryan Pitchford+; 4. Ranjeet Singh (4-0-7-2); 5. Chris Corlett; 6. Arjun Vinod (3.5-0-12-2); 7. Nasir Mahmood; 8. Shahnawaz Muhammad (104); 9. Ali Neyyer (4-2-6-2); 10. Amandeep Singh; 11. Pardeep Kumar;
Geneva XI Stars CC: 1. Raja Hafeez* (7-0-59-3); 2. Waleed Saleem; 3. Asvin Lakkaraju+; 4. Muhammad Ali (44); 5. Ali Saleem; 6. Kuldeep Rawat; 7. Parth Patel; 8. Mounir Barone; 9. Ruban Kanthanapall; 10. Faisal Butt; 11. Nouman Khan; 12. Vithurasan.
MoM: Shahnawaz Muhammad (Swiss National XI)
Umpires: Mr. Paul Cawsey, Mr. Ian Bond
Scorer(s): Ms. Mira Koshy