The Swiss U13 Cricket Team took to the skies over the Whitsun long weekend to test their cricketing abilities against their English counterparts.
It was once again a true test of how far they had progressed and a great opportunity to play in England on grass wickets and lightening outfields.
Rokeby School 213 for 5 (H-M 64, Woods 39, Webster 30, Specogna 1 for 12)
Switzerland U13 159 for 9 (Bews 37, W.Clayton 26, Poynton 17, H-M 2 for 12)
Rokeby School won by 54 runs
As is becoming a tradition the first opposition was Rokeby School in a 35 over match. Rokeby had toured Sri Lanka over the Easter break and like in previous years proved to be a formidable
opponent. With very gray skies overhead and forecast for early showers Rokeby were inserted by Tom Bews, the Swiss skipper, and quickly got on with the task at hand scoring quickly at 6 an
over. It took a splendid piece of fielding by Luca Poynton to make the breakthrough but it brought in the dangerous left-hander H-M, a Middlesex prospect, who proceeded to stroke the ball about
making good use of the fast outfield. H-M made a half century and was looking for a big score before Ben Harper had him playing across a delivery that nipped back in and he was given out LBW for
a fine 64.
Tom Bews switched the bowling around in an attempt to unsettle the batsmen but with the exception of Luke Specogna, who bowled tidily conceding only 12 runs, all the bowlers proved expensive conceding 6 runs an over. Rokeby batted their overs out and amassed an excellent score of 213. The Swiss Team were somewhat daunted by this score not having had much experience playing this longer format of the game but were reminded that with the fast outfield and sensible batting the total was well within their grasp.
Callum Wright and Aiden Anderson opened and unfortunately showed their inexperience batting together when Aiden was run out for 0. Archer was then stumped cheaply and shortly after Callum was caught for 12, leaving Switzerland reeling at 28 for 3. Will Clayton joined Tom Bews at the crease and restored some order to proceedings with some very sensible batting. Will and Tom put on 60 for the fourth wicket and when Will was out caught behind off the left arm spin of H-M the Rokeby boys were overjoyed. Luke and Luca kept the momentum going with some fine shots but the run-rate kept creeping up and it soon became apparent it was too much to ask. The ninth wicket went down with three overs left and so it was left to Dan Hope and Ben to see out the last overs. The Swiss team finished with a very credible 159 for 9 and although disappointed it was a very spirited performance and the boys left Rokeby with their heads held high.
Switzerland U13 106 for 8 (Bews 30 n.o, Hope 20, Martin 13, Hunt 2 for 13)
Horsley & Send CC 109 for 6 (Wynn 27, Quinn 19, Agayra 2 for 9, Bews 2 for 16, E.Clayton 1 for 21)
Horsley & Send Won by 4 wickets
The following day saw the Swiss Team playing in a 3 way tournament against Horsley & Send CC and the Twenty20 Academy side.
In a setting that had the coaches dreaming of days gone by the Swiss team elected to bat and were quickly in trouble against the left arm fast bowling of Sean Hunt from Horsley & Send. Both openers were dismissed cheaply and when Will was bowled for 0 it left Switzerland at 15 for 3. Once again the team fought back and Tom Bews was again at the forefront scoring 30 before being retired. He was ably supported by Dan Hope, who scored 20 runs, once again proving what a good batsman he is turning out to be.
Archer (13) and Luca (6 not out) ran extremely well in the closing overs taking the score to 106, which after the calamitous start the Swiss team were happy to settle for.
The Horsley openers batted sensibly punishing anything short and after 10 overs were looking comfortable at 48 for no wicket. However, with some tight bowling by Callum, Knish and Archer the pressure mounted and wickets finally started to fall. With 13 needed off the last 2 overs it was anyone’s game.
It was left to Ed Clayton to bowl the last over and having conceded only 3 from his previous over confidence was high that he could see Switzerland home. Unfortunately Horsley had not read the script and managed to squeeze a four through the vacant third man area to win the game.
Switzerland had once again performed with spirit and pushed the Horsley team hard but came up tantalizingly short.
Switzerland U13 93 for 9 (Wright 21, Harper 10 n.o, Leaming 3 for 13, Sheridan 2 for 3)
Twenty20 Academy 95 for 7 (Green 32, W.Clayton 2 for 16, Pariaug 2 for 8)
Twenty20 Academy won by 3 wickets
Horsley beat the Twenty20 Academy side quite comfortably and so Switzerland went into the final game of the tour perhaps slightly over confidently.
Put into bat Archer and Callum made a bright start but then lost a couple of quick wickets. At 47 for 2 after 10 overs Tom and Callum looked to have laid a solid foundation for a score well in excess of 100. However, they both succumbed to loose shots looking to move the scoreboard along and although Will and Dayn made a start, scoring 12 and 5 respectively, it was left to the intrepid duo of Ben and Dan to scramble some runs to take the score to 93. Switzerland felt they could still win with a good bowling performance but an uncharacteristically poor first over from Tom, conceding 11, gave the Twenty20 side the initiative and they never looked back.
The Swiss bowled too short and were punished heavily, especially by Green, who made 32 in quick fashion, taking the game away from Switzerland before they knew what had happened. Dayn picked up 2 late wickets but Twenty20 won the game inside 13 overs leaving the Swiss side dispirited and downcast.
It was a sad end to the three games as the team did not perform or play as a team, which was particularly disappointing. It had been an extremely long day and the boys were clearly tired and this showed in the performance.
On the final morning the boys were put through their paces by the Twenty20 Coaches in a session that was designed to build on learnings from the weekend. It was a thoroughly enjoyable and energetic session, which is a credit to the Coaches, who I know were as exhausted as the rest of us after the weekend fixtures!
Although the results did not go the way we had imagined, our hope is that the boys learnt from the experience of playing in England and although battle hardened and perhaps chastened by the last game against Twenty20 will have learnt a great deal about cricket and will come back better and stronger players in the future.
For further information on this or other U13 Switzerland matches contact Mr. Chris Clayton.