(40 overs, SCA League) at Les Evaux on Sunday 30th June 2013
Report reproduced by permission of CERN Cricket Club
On a bright and sunny morning, CERN CC travelled to Onex to take on the defending champions of the Swiss Cricket League, Geneva XI Stars. Onions lost the toss (finally) and in conditions tailor made for batting, Raja Hafeez, the captain of the opposition, decided to have a bat.
The Onex ground is notorious for being a high scoring venue, with its quick outfields and disproportionate boundaries, so it came as no surprise that CERN were asked to field.
D’Mello and Onions opened the bowling for CERN against a composed yet adventurous opening pair of the opposition. D’Mello quickly sent back W. Saleem to an excellent take from Muzaffar, and just as Lakkaraju was looking dangerous, Chaudhuri had him safely pouched by D’Mello at short cover. M. Ali came and went for a nought, falling to a rather enterprising pull shot off D’Mello, D. Ahmed showing a safe pair of hands. At 3 for 45, XI Stars were in a spot of bother but A. Saleem (55) stitched together two handy little partnerships with Hafeez and Patel to take the score to 146 for 6. In the midst of all this, Parker bowled with great control and guile to keep things quiet, while chipping away at the wickets column. Just when things looked well under control, Krishna and Ali broke free and started tonking the ball to all parts of the ground. The pair boosted the XI Stars to 272, a total that looked well out of reach for three quarters of the game. It did not help that the CERN fielding, which was commendable for most of the game, wilted in the last 10 overs, characterised by Chaudhuri shelling two sitters at long on, one of which was of Ali who got 62 in the end.
So, after a quiet and pensive lunch, CERN went about their task of chasing the rather large target down. Osborne opened with Parker, and just when he looked to be getting set, was unlucky to be bowled off A. Saleem, dragging the ball onto his stumps via his boot. Martin joined Parker and the two motored along, taking minimal risks in the process. However, a miscommunication between the two, left Martin stranded and resulted in a hapless runout. Parker departed soon after to a return catch, and suddenly the pressure was back on CERN. D’Mello, struggling from a groin strain, and Chaudhuri, with a dodgy back, tried to keep things going against a disciplined opposition attack. The two put on 52 before D’Mello fell to a tired shot. W. Ahmed came to the crease and immediately got stuck into the XI Stars bowling hitting the ball to all parts of the ground. With 91 to get off 9 overs, CERN were once again in with a glimmer of hope. Unfortunately, just as Ahmed was getting ready to tee off again, he fell to a skier. Chaudhuri fought on gamely, but perished trying to hit a six over point for a quick-fire 54. The remaining CERN batsman had no other option but to hit out and lost their wickets in the process. The innings closed on 210, 63 runs shy of the target. Makes the author wonder how different the match would have been if those catches had been pouched by supposedly the safest pair of hands in CERN.
Many thanks to Imtiaz for match-managing, Margaret for scoring and to XI Stars for a game played in great spirits. CERN’s next engagement is the annual double header away at Bellingham in the UK, where the most important consideration is the weather and the rain gods.