Berne 176 ao off 36.2 overs lost to Olten 179-9 off 36.2 overs by 1 wicket
Olten won a dramatic final at En Marche in Cossonay on Sunday 13th October coming back from 50-8 to win by 1 wicket and become the SCA league champions 2013.
The 2013 Swiss Cricket Association's 40 over league final took place on a glorious sunny Sunday 13th October in the Suisse Romande at En Marche in Cossonay.
The promise of sunshine and the beginning of an Indian Summer (a welcome respite from the recent plummeting temperatures), didn't attract the numbers that the SCA had hoped, but the sparse crowd were treated to a very exciting game of cricket, as a result, to be heard throughout the day.
There was a 20 minute delay to the start due to the late arrival of Olten, but which gave the ground staff a chance to bring in the boundary on one side of the field, the semi-waterlogged extremities at the far end of the ground deemed dangerous by umpires A.Mackay & S.Muzzafar.
The Berne captain Tissa de Zoysa won the toss and elected to bat. As expected the conditions proved to favour the Berne batsman more than the Olten openers, who were forced to dry the ball after almost every delivery. This was reflected in the run-rate, the Berne openers immediately getting to task with a flying start.
This forced the Olten captain Sheeraz Sulfiyan to change the bowling at regular intervals, perhaps in an effort to prevent the Berne batsman from getting settled, perhaps just trying to find the right combination. But the medium pace Olten bowlers found no joy on the Notts Sports artificial wicket. However, the spinners had an easier time of it. With the introduction of the captain himself from one end and Tharanitharan from the other, the spinners first slowed the run-rate and then proceeded to dismantle the Berne top order.
In the 13th over it was Sheeraz that made the breakthrough his team had been working hard to achieve, trapping the Berne opener LBW (Berne 87-1). One over later the second opener was caught (88-2), Tharanitharan credited with his first wicket. It was three wickets in three consecutive overs when Sheeraz clean bowled his second, Berne suddenly 89-3, soon followed by a 4th, 90-4. Berne only managed to moved onto 93 before losing another wicket, again bowled, by Tharanitharan again. The two spinners had begun to rip through the middle order too.
Berne were able to steady the ship, but the run-rate dropped as a result. However, importantly they had seen off the spinners. Despite losing Adam Murfitt in the 24th over (105-6), Berne
were able to the move the score into respectable territory and by the 7th wicket, Ali taking his second from a good catch, Berne had moved on to 140-7.
Into the tail-enders, JK took a sensational caught and bowled, Berne now 144-8. A further caught in the deep left Berne on 151-9, but the 10th wicket managed to put on another 25 runs before being stumped by the Olten wicket-keeper, Berne completing their innings on 176ao off 36.2 overs.
A superb lunch compliments of Olten & Berne Cricket Clubs, saw both teams return refreshed and keen to continue the game.
In complete contrast to the Berne innings, Olten got off to a very shaky start and were 3-3 off 3 overs. The Berne opener Usman tore through the Olten openers taking three wickets - two
catches and one bowled. Anyone returning late from the bar would have missed the action.
A slight recovery saw Olten move on to 32-4 off 8 overs, but then they lost the following 4 wickets for just 18 runs, leaving the Olten 50-8 and the tail-enders requiring 127 with just two wickets in hand.
Impossible? Not in Swiss Cricket!
Berne threw everything at the Olten tail, but it was still wagging, thanks to intelligent running between the stumps, combined with Ali's superb eye.
It wasn't until the 34th over that Berne's Habib managed the breakthrough, clean bowling the Olten number 8 and taking Berne one step closer to preventing the impossible from happening. Olten were 143-9 off 35 overs.
However unlikely, Olten still had only 5 overs to score 36, 7.2 per over required.
What the sparse crowd were to experience next was a moment that will go down in Swiss Cricket history.
The Berne bowler was forced to leave the field after rolling his ankle half way through his over. But not before Ali Nayyar had hit 18 off three balls. His captain was forced to finish the
36th over, resulting in another shot being dispatch over the boundary on the full and a quick single to put Ali back on strike. Twenty five off the over saw Olten move on to 169-9, now just seven
runs required, but still with only the only wicket intact.
The 37th over lasted just two balls, Ali, finishing on an unbeaten 108, hitting another 2 boundaries to steer Olten (179-9, also off 36.2 overs) to their first SCA league championship.
Click on the scorecards below to enlarge.
At the presentation Yeti Sinh thanked all those that had made the day possible and presented the individual runners-up medals to the Berne team and the winners-medals to Olten.
Ali Nayyar received the Man of the Match for his three wickets and steering the Olten team with an unbeaten 114, to what at one point appeared to be an unlikely victory.
And finally, Sheeraz Sufiyan lifted the Champions Trophy for Olten Cricket Club.