Switzerland U19 team arrived in Dreux on Monday 11th August, evening.
Our first match was on Tuesday against France. Skipper Arjun V won the toss and decided to bat first. Switzerland lost 3 quick wickets and was 40 for 3 after 12.3 overs. Marishque P and Jai S steadied back the innings until Marishque P (9) got out in the 22nd over followed by Jai S (18) in the next over. Switzerland was then 72 for 5 after 22.1 overs. Ruan K and Joshua T had a good partnership and Ruan K (17) got out in the 38th over. Switzerland was bowled out with a total score of 127 and Joshua T was not out scoring 14 runs. As this was a low total to defend, Switzerland needed an early wicket but the opening bowlers were unable to get it despite their aggressive bowling. After 4.4 overs, Ruwan J got the break-through with an amazing run-out directly hitting the stumps from mid-on to the keeper’s end. Switzerland then had lot more energy in the field, Ashwin V and Jai S both took one wicket each and France was 36 for 3 after 10 overs. Ruwan J and Arjun V came into the attack and took the remaining 7 wickets. France was bowled out for 90 runs and Switzerland won the match by 37 runs. Great bowling from Arjun V (9.2-4-19), Ruwan J (7-3-18), Ashwin V (9-1-24) and Jai S (6-1-23). This was an excellent win for Switzerland to start the tournament and gave a lot of confidence to the players.
On the second day, Switzerland faced the defending champions Belgium. Arjun V lost the toss on a cloudy day and Switzerland was put on to bat first. As the Belgium opening bowler came to bowl, the Swiss batsmen were woken up by an extremely fast left arm bowling who got 6 wickets at the end of the innings. None of the Swiss batsmen had faced such a pace in the past. Things were made even worse as the pitch was wet and also a white truck was parked behind the bowler’s end while playing with a white cricket ball. Swiss batsmen failed to perform as 6 of them were out for duck. Arjun V (15) and Floris W (10) tried to rebuild the innings from a dramatic collapse and finally Switzerland was bowled out for 85. Despite Switzerland’s high intensity on the field and their excellent bowling display, Belgium chased down the target in the 25th over with 6 wickets in hand.
On Thursday, Switzerland played their last Round Robin match against Germany. Germany won the toss and chose to bat first. Swiss bowlers started well by taking 8 wickets when Germany was on 121 after 37 overs. Their 9th wicket partnership brought Germany to 171 and was then all out for 179.
In the second innings, the first wicket fell in the 8th over when Switzerland was on 22. Aidan A and Ashwin V then rebuilt the innings and brought back hope to Switzerland. Ashwin V got out for 23 runs and Switzerland was 105 for 2 after 32.2 overs. Aidan A lost his wicket in the 37th over scoring a well deserved 53 runs. The game was then delayed because of heavy rain and at that time Switzerland was ahead by 7 runs as per the D/L method. After the rain had stopped, the ground and the pitch were very wet and the light was very bad as the clouds were covering the sky but the umpires decided that the match should continue despite of these bad conditions. The match was then reduced to 47 overs. Using the D/L method, Switzerland needed about 50 runs to win from 10 overs. With very bad batting conditions, Switzerland tried hard to reach the target but unfortunately lost the match by 7 runs.
On the final day of the tournament, Switzerland played a T20 against Germany for 3rd place. Although Switzerland was hoping to bat first, Germany won the toss and decided to bat again.
Ashwin V gave us the perfect start by taking 2 wickets on the very first balls of the match including a caught and bowled and a good catch by the keeper Nicolas H. Unfortunately for Switzerland, Germany’s 4th wicket partnership added 62 runs in just 8 overs. As Arjun V came into the attack wickets started to fall, but Switzerland were unable to cut the flow of runs. Finally, Germany put up a good score of 155 on the board. Arjun V and Ashwin V got 3 wickets each, Jai S 2 wickets, Ruwan J 1 wicket and a good economic spell from Aidan A. Arjun V and Aidan A opened the batting and gave us a good start taking 19 runs after 2 overs. However Arjun V got out in the 5th over when the team was on 31, followed by Aidan A and Jai S’s wickets in the next couple of overs. Ashwin V and Ruwan J put on a good 39 runs partnership, but the required rate kept increasing and wickets started to fall. Ruwan J played exceptionally well scoring a quick 31 of just 22 balls including two 4s and one 6. Unfortunately, Switzerland was unable to keep up the rate and finished their innings on 119 for 9.
In the final, the host team France won the match against Belgium by 19 runs.
Switzerland has had some amazing individual performances in the overall tournament. The Swiss U19 captain, Arjun V, finished best bowler in the whole tournament taking 11 wickets with an economy rate of just 3. Ruwan J (6th), Jai S (8th) and Ashwin V (10th) also appear in the top 10 bowlers with 7, 6 and 5 wickets respectively. Aidan A is the 4th best batsman scoring a total of 81 runs and Arjun V is 7th with a total score of 50 runs. Arjun V is also the 2nd Most Valuable Player of the whole tournament followed by Ruwan J 9th and Ashwin V 10th. Ashwin V is the best fielder (5 catches) in the tournament followed by Nicolas H 5th (3 catches and 1 stumping).
Although Switzerland reached 4th in the tournament, the players should be very proud of their overall performance. A couple of close matches that could have gone either way and with a good win against this year’s champions, France, the Swiss team has definitely performed well in the tournament.