CERN CC 213-8 (40.0 overs) lost to Nomads CC 214-2 (28.3 overs ) by 8 wkts
Prevessin, Sunday 13th September 2015
Defending champions Nomads CC qualify for the finals of CSPL 2015 with a convincing victory over CERN CC at Prevessin.
With clouds hovering around and heavy rain predicted on the night before the game, the chances of getting in a game looked bleak. But the weather prediction of no rain in the afternoon was not only were correct but cricketing gods decided to bask the afternoon in glorious sunshine.
A strong Nomads CC contingent travelled back to Geneva for the second week in a row and was determined to repeat the success of previous week this time in the CSPL semi finals. In spite of lot of rain in the nigh, the cricket ground at CERN was in top condition and the match started on time. CERN CC skipper Imtiaz Ahmed won the toss and decided to bat first in a hope of putting up a big target in front of Nomads CC.
CERN quickly lost their inform opener Francis Ward, who nicked a beautiful outswinger from Azeem Nazir into the hands of Shafqat standing at second slip. Young Benjamin Percival who was the second opener looked very assured from the very first ball he played. His straight drive of the second ball he faced for a boundary not only indicated how quick the outfield was but also illustrated the class of the batsman. Peter Crook who walked in after the fall of first wicket did not last long and was bowled by Azeem Nazir. In came Waqar Ahmed, but his innings lasted only three balls and was out trying to pull a short ball but only managed to scoop it to short midwicket where Kamran made no mistake. At 17-3 CERN looked in deep trouble. Benjamin and Simon Kippax set about repairing the damage scoring off any loose ball on offering and at 20 overs took the score to 82 without any further damage. After the break Simon was deceived by a slower ball bowled by Kamran and only managed to hit it back to him, which the bowler gleefully accepted. Skipper Imtiaz also did not last long when was caught down the leg side by wicketkeeper Asvin trying to pull Faheem Nazir. At 112-5 CERN were in real danger of getting out to an under par score. Claston D Mello batted sensibly and provided much needed support to Benjamin who really blossomed as the innings went along. They both put together an 80 run partnership off which Claston scored 44 runs before getting out trying to hit a six in the final overs. Benjamin on the other hand accelerated the scoreboard with some beautiful strokes and finished up on 113 not out, more than half of the entire CERN score. CERN finished their innings on 213/8, a fighting score in semi finals. For Nomads CC, Azeem Nazir was the pick of bowlers with figures of 3/31 in 8 overs followed by Kamran with 2/41. Farid Din bowled beautifully without much luck and his 8 overs just went for 32 runs.
After a wonderful lunch provided by CERN CC, Nomads CC openers Faheem Nazir and Asvin Lakkaraju set about chasing the target and once again started the innings aggressively. Both Faheem and Asvin attacked CERN bowling from the word go and scoreboard raced along to 60 in 8 overs before Asvin was caught brilliantly by a diving Partha at the point boundary off Elmer Sharp, trying to clear the fence. This brought in Kannan and he along with Faheem continued the innings in same vein. Faheem was particularly harsh on anything loose and his best shot was the glorious six over covers. With Nomads on attack, CERN lost the zip in their bowling and although CERN skipper Imtiaz tried different bowling combinations, it was just not their day. At drinks break Nomads were 148/1 and with only 66 runs to chase down. After the break, both players notched up a gear and the result was 40 runs of the next three overs. Kannan was retired hurt at this stage for a very well made 58 and Faheem who batted brilliantly was unlucky to miss out on his hundred and was bowled off Azmat for 99 as he tried to flick a ball. In spite of that, the batting wizard from Nomads has done his job and put his team on the brink of victory yet again this season and his innings included 9 fours and six huge 6s. With only 15 runs to get, Wicky completed the formalities with a huge six over long off. Nomads chased down the target in just 28.3 overs and moved into the finals with a resounding victory. For CERN young Dawood Ahmed was the pick off bowlers followed by Azmat.
Brilliant individual performances from both teams was the highlight of this game and the match was played in excellent spirit and refereed by experienced Paul Cawsey, who once again was spot on with all the decisions.
Nomads CC will now face Power CC in the repeat of last years final and one has to wait until Sunday 27th September to see if history repeats itself or whether a new champion is crowned.