Five teams from all over Switzerland contended for the inaugral U17 cup with matches played in the Sport Centre Pfaffenholz and Gymnasium Baumlihof in Basel.
Only having three Basel U17 players meant we would always be heavily reliant on the U15s. As it turned out Neil was sick and Ruwan only available for Saturday so on Sunday, Stewart was left
alone carrying the U17 flag.
The whole tournament was hit by illness and last minute withdrawls with only Gingins and CDL having the full compliment of 8 players. A certain amount of horse trading enabled the tournament at least to get under way, even if some matches were reduced to 6-a-side.
From the word go, a weakened Basel team were heavily under pressure. The first match against a Zurich side proped up by Basel players was a heavy defeat for Basel. Set a massive 120, basel were all out for 70. Only a stand of 15 by Sid lending any respectability to the run chase. Cameron who drew the short straw to help out Zurich repaid by taking a wicket.
Basels second match was against a well drilled Gingin side. Batting first, Basel put on a respectable score of 98. Tom Russell was the standout batsman with an undefeated 30, supported by Sid on
17. 30+17 does not equal 98 and as the other batsmen only scored 7 between them, Mr. Extras was again the highest scorer. The Gingin run chase was much closer than anyone imagined. At one point
it looked as though Gingin would overhaul the total easily, but constant wicket taking and some very tight bowling led to a final ball thriller that, sadly, went Gingins way.
Finishing the day on no points, Basel had it all to do on Sunday at the second venue, Baumlihof Gymnasium.
Basel started well against CDL Tom Russell again the top scorer undefeated on 30 supported by Mustafa on 17. Again the other batsmen only added 7 (feeling of de ja vu), but the CDL bowling was very tight resulting in only 27 extras and a final score of 71. CDL knocking off the runs in only 10 overs.
Basel now on no points were facing a whitewash in their final match against Cossonay who coincidentaly also had no points. A poor start by Basel with no batsmen getting into double figures was
supported by Mr. Extras on 25. A score of 65 was going to be tough to defend. Cossonay came out all guns blazing, rapidly approaching the total. On 62 for 4 it looked black for Basel, but some
class bowling saw the temperature rise as Cossonay went to 64 for 5 to 64 for 6 to 64 for 7. Every Basel player taking a wicket including a tremendous caught and bowled by Tom Grantham and
a double wicket maiden for Mustafa.
Finally three points!
Although Gingin ran out the eventual winners, the real story was of a Basel side depleated by illness and every player stepping up to the plate. There were many fine performances, but special
mention must go to Cameron Sawyer who bowled out of his skin to such an extent that teams were requesting him by name to help them out. He was in the running for best bowler with 4 wickets and
some very tidy bowling. Among many truly great performances we cannot finish without noting how graceful Stewart looked taking a flying catch at mid on.
The standard of cricket was very high throughout and I feel confident the U15 players all learnt valuable lessons which will put them in good stead for the U15 tournament coming up.
The final tournament standings:
Best Batsman Nicolas Henderson (Zurich), Best Bowler Ashwin (CDL)
A special mention to our scorers, Steve West and Richard Lewis and to Caron Grantham for coordinating the food and drink. Thank you to all those who gave so generously, so much so that there are drinks left over for the next tournament.