Report prepared by Steve West
A squad of 14 U11’s cricketers went to England in early May to test their developing cricket skills against some local teams in South East England.
The tour started with a joint training session with Rokeby School, Old Malden followed by a batting masterclass with Gary Palmer in Oxford.
Merrow CC 39 all out off 11.3 overs
(Toby O 5; Joe Morris 3 for 2, Alex Bucheli 2 for 4)
Switzerland 40 for 6 off 12.5 overs
(Joe Morris 5, Ben Harris 5, Luke Specogna 5; Toby G 5 for 10)
Switzerland won by 4 wkts
The tour got off to the perfect start as Ed Clayton struck with the first ball, dismissing Merrow’s opening batsman with a middle stump Yorker. This set the tone for the innings as wickets fell quickly as the home team were all out for 39. Joe Morris and Alex Bucheli bowled impressively to take 3 and 2 wickets respectively and Tom Harper took a sharp run out with a direct hit from mid-on. Switzerland’s reply progressed steadily but playing on a grass wicket was a new challenge and wickets fell regularly. In the end James West and Ed Clayton held it together to bring home victory in the first match of the tour – a great start.
Merrow CC 52 for 4 off 10 overs
(Toby J 12, Toby O 11; Aryan Luthra 2 for 0)
Switzerland 52 for 7 off 9.5 overs
(Ed Calyton 17 not out, Haresh Zeeman 8; Robbie 2 for 2, Fergus 2 for 5)
Switzerland won by 3 wkts
In the second match against Merrow, the home team batted with much more purpose scoring 52 in the 10 overs. Aryan Luthra topped the bowling with a double wicket maiden. Some accurate bowling from Merrow slowed Switzerland’s reply and despite a good contribution of 8 from Haresh Zeeman, the touring side looked out of the game after 7 overs had been completed and we were 18 for 5. Luke Specogna and Ben Harris accelerated the scoring with some good running between the wickets until Luke was out to a terrific catch at mid-off. Ed Clayton came in who, with some fierce drives through mid-off and mid-wicket, scored 17 in next to no time and the total was reached with a ball to spare. A remarkable turn-around and keeping the 100% record.
Switzerland 89 all out off 23.1 overs
(Dayn Pariaug 8; N Raghaven 4 for 13)
Rokeby School 90 for 5 off 17 overs
(A Edmonds 18*, G Greallis 11; Luke Specogna 2 for 21, James West 2 for 17)
Switzerland lost by 5 wkts
Switzerland lost the toss and were inserted by a well-organized Rokeby School team. Opener Ben Harris kept the scoreboard ticking over but runs were hard to come by against some good bowling, wickets falling as none of the batsman could establish lasting partnerships. Dayn Pariaug batted sensibly to top score with 8 but when the 9th wicket fell on 68 it looked like the target would not be too testing. But the last pair of Francis Lewis and Leo Clairs knuckled down and managed to add 21 for the final wicket. In reply Rokeby were always ahead of the run rate with opener Aaron Edmonds carrying his bat for 18 to reach the target off only 17 overs. Luke Specogna and James West took two wickets each.
Rokeby 2nd XI 114 for 5 off 20 overs
(Abbot 35, Goslett 31*; James West 2 for 3)
Switzerland 65 for 7 off 20 overs
(Luke Specogna 12; Abbot 2 for 7, White 2 for 2)
Switzerland lost by 49 runs
This match was always going to be tough for the U11’s as Rokeby 2nd XI had just narrowly defeated the Switzerland U13’s. Switzerland won the toss and elected to field. The experience gained in the previous three matches started to show; the bowling was straighter and the fielding much sharper. However the power of Rokeby batsman meant that the scoring rate was quite high with both Abbot 35 and White 31 not out scoring freely. James West took the bowling honours with 2 wickets for 3 runs. In reply, the Rokeby bowling was challenging but Luke Specogna 12 and Ben Harris and Ed Clayton 6 each, moved the score along. Wickets fell frequently until Leo Clairs and Tom Harper put up strong resistance for the 8th wicket. When they retired with 3 overs to go, Aryan Luthra and Haresh Zeeman batted out to take the Switzerland score to a respectable 65.
Switzerland 98 for 7 off 20 overs
(Luke Specogna 19, Ben Harris 13, Dayn Pariaug 13; S Hadfield 2 for 15, A Sheridan 2 for 8)
Academy 86 all out off 18.4 overs
(Luke Specogna 3 for 19, Dayn Pariaug 2 for 7, Ben Harris 2 for 19; J Clark 13, S Clark 11)
Switzerland U11 won by 12 runs
As the Twenty20 Cricket company had been supporting us throughout the tour, this was the big match that the Switzerland U11 really wanted to win against their Academy team. Academy won the toss and chose to bowl. Openers Ben Harris 13 and Dayn Pariaug 13 made a strong start putting on 25 before Luke Specogna came in to hit a rapid 19. Wickets started to tumble but James West 7 not out steadied the innings to a total of 98 and a target of 5 runs per over. The continued improvement in the field meant that Switzerland put a lot of pressure on the Academy reply. The match looked under control at 26 for 4 off 7 overs but the Academy team fought back to be 79 for 6 off 15 overs and slightly ahead of the run rate. Captain Ben Harris turned to his more experienced bowlers to stem the flow of runs. A wicket maiden from Luke Specogna followed by a maiden from James West brought the pressure back on the Academy and they eventually ran out of batsmen in the 19th over, 12 runs short.
The tour was great experience for all involved, not only an important step for development of junior cricket in Switzerland by playing so much cricket in four intense days but also to build a strong team spirit between a group of enthusiastic young cricketers.
The next fixtures are the Luxembourg tour in June when this U11 team will take on the U12 sides of Luxembourg, Belgium and Switzerland – bring it on !