Zuricket Crickets Under 14 team participated in the 9th Bavaria Cup in Munich on Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th March 2015, returning home deserved winners of what proved to be an
excellently run tournament.
By Robert Plant
The tone of the day was set with the very first game where bat was forced to respect the ball and field. Hessen felt the pressure early bowing to Munich pressure with the ball and posting a low
total. Unfortunately for Munich, their strategy of cross-bat swipes and suicidal running combined with energetic fielding from Hessen meant that this low total was enough. It established the
pattern for day one as fielding intensity forced the pressure and decided games.
The final two games of the day were real crackers. A high pressure game between Hessen and ACC Wien saw momentum swing back and forth. ACC Wien underestimated their opposition and were almost
forced to pay for it as Hessen came agonizingly close to beating their total. Two stars of the match were EMMA from Hessen and Rory from ACC Wien. Emma was underestimated by ACC Wien. They even
avoided running her out due to fear of the following batsman. Emma showed them that brute force is nothing compared to a cool head and good placement as she racked up 3 runs off every ball she
faced in the next over to bring Hessen to the brink of victory. They needed only 16 off the final over, but Emma had retired. Rory from ACC Wien would have been feeling the pressure but he
responded magnificently with an over of deadly accuracy and taking two wickets to steal the victory. Poor Coach Bruce from Hessen probably needs a new pair of shoes for all his nervous movement
on the sidelines as his team edged so close.
As a spectator, one has the feeling that ACC Wien used all their reserve of nerves in that match against Hessen as in their following match against a disciplined Zürich, ACC Wien came up short.
Zürich bowled with accuracy and fielding menace to restrict ACC Wien to a gettable but also defendable 103. However, Zürich played within their strengths and were able to slowly accumulate the
runs to bring the match into a critical phase. ACC Wien were unable to hold their nerve as well in this game as against Hessen and 3 dropped catches and 1 missed run out lead to Zürich pulling
off a well-deserved victory in the penultimate over.
At the end of day 1, Zürich topped the points table but all teams should be commended for their attitude and learning well the lessons that can never be learnt in training. Thanks goes to the
volunteers from CCB, MCC, SSC, TCC and POCC who spend their Saturday umpiring and scoring and making it an all-round great experience for the kids involved.
By Robert Plant
The air felt different today. The air was charged with belief. Each team had learnt some hard lessons from day 1, but the most important lesson was ‘no matter the opposition, any game can be
won!’ The first game of the day saw ACC Wien, again favourites to win, but strongly on the back foot of a disciplined bowling and fielding performance by Munich. In the end, Munich did not quite
have the depth of batting to get across the line, but they knew and believed that they ‘could’ defeat Wien and pushed them harder than either team would have imagined only the day before.
Hessen played with the assumption that they were a bowling and fielding team on day 1. Generally, they are! They also discovered and started to believe that they were also a smart batting team. On day 1, Zürich’s discipline in the field had Hessen out for under 30. On day 2, Zürich were again disciplined, but they were forced to work hard for their win as Hessen experimented with their new-found belief in their batting. Zürich succeeded in that game in the end, but not without Hessen establishing in utmost terms that their clever batting will not be underestimated by anyone else, and most importantly, not by themselves.
The final of ACC Wien v Zürich proved to us that yesterday’s cracker games were just the wrapping and bow and today’s game was the real present. ACC Wien, as an inexperienced yet talented team, had learnt some hard lessons on day 1. Today, they responded well and with fewer slip ups to post a total that Zürich would find gettable, but also defendable. The difference between day 1 and day 2 could be seen in the field. Whereas on day 1 when Wien struggled under stress, on day 2 they held their catches and forced the game to go right down to the wire. 2 balls. 5 runs required. Rory of Wien, now a renowned death bowler, eyeing the top of off stump. That Wien were here was due to applying the brakes in the middle overs with canny spin and accuracy. They fielded with intent and bowled with belief and pushed Zürich at every stage. ACC Wien had overcome their pressure demons from the day before. Zürich however, again, pulled ahead when it counted. A stolen Bye and a solid shot to the wall for 3 runs and the game was over. Many a spectator commentated that it was like a Swiss clock. Reliable and exact. Such was their game. Not ‘Maxwellian’ entertainment but precise and effective. Zürich deservedly won the tournament, but each team goes home knowing that they are in a good position to win next year.
The Youngster section of the Bavaria Cup at the BIS (Bavarian International School) was contested by around 30 children aged 6-11 from Munich and Vienna. It was run in various formats. First the
teams were spread evenly to make a competitive all-play-all section won by VBS, followed by ACC Wien, Munich Tigers, and Munich Leopards.
The second format pitched the two younger and two older teams against each other. Both matches were won convincingly by Vienna.
The third format was girls v boys. Here the girls prevailed in a close match.
The final match was the older boys mixed 50:50 between Munich and Vienna. This was a hard-fought and close match to conclude a good weekend's competition.
Everyone had a lot of fun, and the development of the children over the weekend was clear to see.
A word from a sentimental tournament manager here: As someone who has recently become less motivated to work with kids cricket due to various reasons, this inspired me to stay on again! The attitude of the coaches and players was fantastic and well deserving of the title of ‘spirit of cricket’ which we actually see so rarely on the international stage. The kids made friends with members of teams but never vilified other teams.
Again, like last year, the Munich domestic clubs stepped up to help out with that which makes a youth tournament so much easier for all involved: Independent umpires and scorers. Members from MCC, TCC, CCB, POCC & SSC were there and are greatly appreciated and also thanks to the BCV and DCB for financially supporting this event.
Robert Plant said about ZCCC, "Your lads from Zürich deserve a lot of credit. I have rarely seen a youth team perform as a team so admirably. There was no one player, who granted natural hand-eye coordination dominated the game, it was the team as a whole, with team discipline. I hope our kids learnt a lot from Zürich this weekend".
In response Alex Mackay, President of Cricket Switzerland said, "Congratulations to ZCCC U14s, I trust you had a great time & made new friends. Many thanks to the dedicated parents & coaches, together you were all great ambassadors for Cricket Switzerland. And lastly many thanks to all those at BCV for organising such a great tournament".