Luxembourg U13 72 all out & 67 all out lost to Switzerland U13 103 for 7 declared & 37 for 3 by 7 wickets
The long awaited match up between the U13 teams of Luxembourg and Switzerland was staged at Sportpark Deutweg in Winterthur over the weekend of 21st & 22nd September in glorious autumnal sunshine.
This was the first time that the boys had played over 2 days in a 2 innings format and it proved to be a great experience.
Swiss captain Rohan Jain won the toss and elected to field. It soon became clear that scoring runs on a wicket with variable bounce and a soft outfield following the rain in the previous week, was going to be difficult. The openers Thomas Martin and Brice Barzin batted sensibly, seeing of the Swiss opening bowlers but both fell to first change bowler Jack Morris in the 8th over. The ‘spin twins’ Will Clayton and Rohan Jain them bowled in tandem, taking a wicket each and cutting the flow of runs. Only Marcus Cope and Robert Walker offered real resistance to the Swiss bowlers but once Marcus was out to the bowling of Ben Harper, the writing was on the wall and Luxembourg finished on 72 all out in the 27th over. Jack Morris finished with 3 for 14 and Rohan Jain with 2 for 8.
In reply, the Swiss innings started badly against some fine bowling from Marcus Cope and Oscar Ramsden, 3 wickets falling for just 5 runs in 6 overs. At this point, Rohan Jain joined opener Callum Wright at the wicket to repair the innings. Both batted with maturity beyond their years, defending stoutly and taking singles whenever and wherever possible. The pair put on 78 in 22 overs in a 4th wicket stand that firmly swung the whole game in favour of the Swiss team. Rohan made 19 and Callum 22 leaving the later batsmen to play their shots freely. John Cumberland finished the innings unbeaten on 12 leaving Switzerland on 103 for 7 at the end of day one. Marcus Cope finished with 4 for 12 from 6 overs and Oscar Ramsden 2 for 9, both brilliant individual performances.
The match resumed on Sunday morning with Luxembourg batting for a second time. With a heavy dew and wet outfield, both bowling and scoring were going to be difficult. However, it was the Swiss team that adapted to the conditions best with Thomas Allen clean bowling Brice Barzin and Marcus Cope in his first spell. Wickets fell regularly and at 41 for 9 after 20 overs, victory looked like a mere formality for the Swiss team. However, cricket has a funny habit of throwing up the unexpected. Robert Hagermann and Surya Selvaraj dug in and refused to give up their wickets. The Swiss bowling and fielding dropped from its previously high standard, extras began to mount up until eventually Robert was bowled by Ben Harper. The last pair put on 27, by far the highest stand of the innings, meaning the Swiss had a target of 37 to win. Ben Harper was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 2 from 3.4 overs, Ollie Miller also chipping in with 2 for 4 from 2 overs.
Perhaps the Swiss boys started too confidently but after the first over from Marcus Cope, the smiles were gone. With the 4th, 5th and 6th balls of the innings, Marcus completed a stunning hat-trick, all clean bowled. As the saying goes, ‘cometh the hour, cometh the man’, captain Rohan was sent out to join opener Ollie Miller to prop up the innings . Ollie and Rohan batted sensibly, taking no risks, defending well against excellent bowling and picking off the singles. Gradually, the target looked achievable and was finally overcome in the 16th over, Ollie finishing unbeaten on 7 and Rohan on 12, giving the Swiss team victory by 7 wickets. Marcus finished with remarkable figures of 3 for 2 off 4 overs and match figures of 7 for 14 from 10 overs.
So after winning both the Gingins and Basel Dragons indoor tournaments, the Luxembourg U13 team were finally beaten on Swiss soil. Both the friendships and rivalries between the boys from both sides were further strengthened and there will be many more occasions in the future to play against each other. The Swiss U13 team would like to sincerely thank SCA President Alex Mackay for facilitating the use of Deutweg for the weekend (and arranging perfect weather), Power Winterthur CC and Winterthur CC for allowing the use of the ground, to all the parents who contributed to the lunches and last, but not least, the staff at ‘Cricket Corner’ in Winterthur who were excellent hosts for our team supper on Saturday evening.
More information on this game and about the Swiss U13 national team is available from Mr. Chris Clayton.