Both M40 semi-finals took place on Sunday 24th August to decide the final to be played at En Marche in Cossonay on Sunday 21st September 2014.
Winners of the Eastern region, Nomads CC, took on runners-up of the Western division Geneva XI Stars, while CERN, western group winners hosted Power CC who narrowly beat Olten into second place just 24 hours earlier.
Geneva XI Stars won the toss and elected to field on a beautiful sunny August Sunday at Buchholz in Uster.
Nomads started well, and it wasn't until the 13th over that the XI Stars first change managed to bowl the first Nomads wicket (53-1). And the Nomads openers continued to play mature cricket and took the score to 110 at the first drinks break without any further loss, to place themselves in a commanding position.
Can't be sure what was in the water, but it was sufficient to disturb the Nomad's opening batsman Faheem's concentration, bowled immediately after the drinks break (112-2).
Wicky, Nomad's no. 4 took to the crease and played a shot well wide of the off stump, hitting straight in to the low oustretched hands of the fielder at deep gully (112-3).
The collapse continued, another bowled in the 25th over (116-4), but the mid-order stood it's ground well and moved the score to 159-5 and then to 180-6 in the 35th over.
Aseem and Sangam then began to accelerate. Sangam with some clever running between the sticks enabled Azeem to keep the strike and do some real damage. Together they scored 78 in the remaining five overs, Azeem with an unbeaten 98, hitting 5 sixes off on over in the process to complete the Nomads innings at 258-6 off their allotted 40 overs.
There had been a small technical hitch with the lunch (definitely worth waiting for I might add), so after a short delay Geneva XI Stars took to the field with a target score of 259, an ambitious 6.49 runs per over required.
Geneva XI Stars did however stay with the run rate and by the 25th over were with 16 runs of the Nomads score. However, in doing so they had lost 6 wickets, leaving the tail-end to score the
remaining 160 in just 15 overs, the run-rate now at more than 10 an over.
In their attempt, the tail-end were bowled out in 6 overs for just an additional 29 run, Geneva XI Stars finishing 130ao in the 31st over, handing Nomads a convincing 128 run victory and a place in the M40 final in Cossonay on Sunday 21st September.
|Fall of wickets||
|Nomads CC||53 (b)||112 (b)||112 (c)||116 (b)||159 (b)||180 (b)|
|XI Stars CC||8 (b)||15 (c)||33 (b)||43 (b)||86 (b)||87 (c)||126 (c)||127 (b)||129(lb)||130 (c)|
Meanwhile, over two hundred kilometres west just across the border in France, CERN played hosts to Power Cricket Club.
What a great day of cricket! Perfect weather, excellently prepared ground, two motivated and well-balanced teams and all ready to start bang-on 12.30pm.
CERN won the toss and chose to bat. They were quite quickly one down but batsmen 2 and 3 settled things down and put together a decent partnership, Peter C going on to score a creditable 66. Power started reasonably well in the field but they were showing the effects of having played the previous day and, as the innings progressed, their performance dropped a notch or two. CERN batted through and scored 235 for the loss of 8 wickets.
After an excellent lunch, the Power innings got underway and the quality of the CERN attack prevented the Power opening pair from making much progress. Power were soon 20-plus runs behind and stayed that way for a long time and wickets started to fall at a fairly regular pace. The CERN bowling changes didn’t negatively affect the quality of the attack and continued to stop us from seeing the usual Power big-hitting. With 8 overs to go and 7 wickets down, Power needed over 10 runs per over and the pressure was on! The next 2 overs however made a big difference with 12 off the first then 13 off the next. All of a sudden the required run-rate was down to 7 per over. After 38 overs the scores were equal and the winning runs were scored on the 3rd ball of the 39th over.
What a very exciting match and played throughout with a wonderful spirit. Credit to both teams for making it a day to remember for all of the right reasons. Thanks to CERN for the hospitality, thanks to Zoe for scoring throughout and making great cakes and to Abraham Paul for sharing the umpiring.