Swiss National XI 145 ao in 33.3 overs lost to Olten Cricket Club 147-3 in 20.3 overs by 7 wickets
New Swiss coach Chris Lodge got off to a disappointing start after the Swiss National XI lost by 7 wickets to last years Swiss 40 over league champions, Olten Cricket Club.
Despite Asad Mahmood (Power CC) top scoring with 74, enough to earn him the best batsman award, the Swiss XI, made up of players from seven different teams across Switzerland only managed 145 and were all out almost 6 overs short of the allotted 40.
In contrast, Ali Nayyer, who steered Olten to victory over Berne CC in last year's 40 over league final, continued the same form in this season opener with an unbeaten 72. Along with bowling figures of 8-0-2-32, this earned Ali a well deserved Man of the Match award.
In a pre-match ceremony, Cricket Switzerland President Mr. Alexander Mackay, welcomed guests and dignatories from Olten and Obergösgen, including the Vice-Gemeindepräsident Mr. Peter Frei, groundsman and representatives of the Oltener Tagblatt.
On behalf of Olten Cricket Club he thanked everyone for allowing Olten Cricket Club to find a new home in Obergösgen and for making them feel so welcome.
The three flags of the Canton of Solothurn, the parish of Obergösgen and of Olten Cricket Club, were raised to mark the official inaugural cricket match.
After winning the toss Olten captain Sheeraz Sufiyan put the Swiss Xi into bat on a drying pitch. This proved to be a very significant decision, as the ball started to come up in the second innings, as opposed to the flat bounce so typical of matted pitches.
The Swiss XI however started well, scoring slowly but with purpose. In the seventh over the Swiss National XI lost their first wicket to a terrfic catch at mid-on by Tharanitharan "Tharney" Balasingam with just 18 runs on the board. The runs were doubled to 36 by the 15th over, before a top order collapse. Two run outs and a catch left the Swiss side on 36-4 and the pressure on the middle order was mounting.
Just three overs later, and on 40 runs Olten's appeal for LBW were met positively by umpire Clive Denney, followed by a clean bowled, and just before drinks the 7th wicket fell.
Just halfway in to the overs the Swiss were struggling at 50-7.
But after drinks Power youngsters Asad & Osama Mahmood came to the crease. They put on a further 30 before Osama was Run Out, the fourth of the innings. However Asad was well supported by the two brothers, Saud & Dawood Ahmed (CERN CC), supporting Asad's 74 and pulling the Swiss team to a respectful 144 all out, 6.3 overs short of their allotted 40.
After a fine curry lunch with spectators & guests from the Olten Sportamt and local politicians & dignatories, Olten went to work.
There was some hope for the Swiss National side when the Olten opener was bolwed in the 4th over. This was quickly followed by two successive LBWs in the 5th over. But Ali Nayyar came to the crease and dispatched any hopes of a Swiss National XI victory with an unbeaten 72, Ali continuing his excellent form demonstrated at the 40 over final last season.
After the match, Cricket Switzerland President Alexander Mackay, along with fellow umpire Clive Denney, awarded the individual runners-up & winners' trophies, along with the best bowler (Prathes Loghithsan), best batsman (Asad Mahmood) and Man of the Match (Ali Nayyar) awards.
That followed by the presentation of the Dr. David Barmes Memorial Trophy to Olten captain Sheeraz Sufiyan.
Both umpires & scorers were also awarded complementary trophies for officiating the match.
Photos from the 2014 Dr. David Barmes Memorial Trophy Match will be available in the Cricket Switzerland gallery.
Further information of the Dr. David Barmes Memorial Trophy is available from the Cricket Switzerland website.