CERN hosted the Pakistan Cricket Association for the Physically Handicapped (PCAPH) XI on Jeune Genevois at Prevessin. The visitors had had a long journey with little sleep and some of their kit had gone missing at Dubai airport but they were in great spirits and in the pre-match warm-up showed what great fielders they are. The CERN team was missing a few key players so, when they won the toss, decided to field first to ensure that the PCAPH XI would get a good game.
The PCAPH openers, Muhammad T (33) and Anees (23) batted very well, putting on 46 in 7 overs with some excellent shots against Chaudhuri and Upadhyay. Captain Onions came on to bowl and took the wicket of Muhammad in his first over. After that the next wicket only fell in the 15th over, when Nick Magon (guest player from GICC) bowled Anees, with the score at 78. At various stages during the innings there were two runners for the batsmen, something not seen before by the CERN team, which led to much confusion in the field and allowed PCAPH to steal quite a few singles! After the drinks break the PCAPH batsmen upped the run rate and Shafiq hit two big sixes, a four, a three and seven 2s, making 41 before falling to Nawaz. In the last few overs of the 30, three batsmen were run out and PCAPH ended up with a very competitive score of 187.
CERN were missing their usual openers so Chaudhuri and new recruit Khawar Ahmed were sent in. Chaudhuri (17) hit a four and a six but was out to an excellent catch by Nihar at long-on. Recent recruit Nawaz then joined Ahmed at the crease and the pair put on 59 for the second wicket. Nawaz had made 43 and CERN were 93 for 2 at the halfway stage, well on track with the run rate. However, PCAPH had not yet used their best bowlers. The excellent spin bowling of Anees slowed down the run rate at one end and Sher Ali, the fastest bowler CERN have encountered, came on and in his first 4 overs took 2 for 10, ending Ahmed’s patient innings of 55 (with 29 singles!) and Muzaffar’s quick-fire 35 with the score at 167 for 5 at the end of the 28th over. This left two new batsmen at the crease, Cookman and new boy Waqas, to make 21 in two overs to win. The first 4 balls of the 29th over went for 5 but then Waqas hit a huge straight 6 and CERN needed 10 to win, but the last over was to be bowled by Sher Ali! Cookman faced 2 dot balls and then managed a single, leaving CERN needing 9 off 3 balls. Waqas hit the 4th ball for 4 but didn’t score off the 5th, so CERN needed 5 off the last ball to win. Waqas then hit the last ball for 4 to tie the match, finishing with 15 not out. A perfect result to an excellent game, neither team deserved to lose!
This was one of the best games seen on the CERN ground and it was a privilege and a pleasure to play against a team of such great athletes and enthusiastic sportsmen. Their approach to the game is a lesson to us all! We hope that the rest of their tour goes well, with a visit to La Chataignerie school and games against GICC, Cossonay and Berne.
Many thanks are due to Mme. Huong T. Huynh for the local organisation of this tour, to Shahzad Muzaffar and his wife for the excellent lunch and BBQ after the match, and to Margaret Onions for scoring. The PCAPH umpires, Shaukat Ullah and Irfan Khaatak, who stood for both innings, deserve special credit for excellent umpiring!
For more information about the PCAPH, visit their web-site.