by Saleem Awan
Geneva XI Stars prevail in two high scoring run chases.
Amidst all the glamour of T20 cricket, it was not a surprise that the two T20 matches played at the Onex, where the hosts Geneva XI Stars were pitted against a very promising Swiss Colts side and Cossonay cricket club drew all the excitement from the competing players.
The Onex cricket ground is a belter of a wicket and it was no surprise that the Colts after winning the toss elected to bat first. They were off to a solid but slow start, but the young batsmen
opened up once they saw off the opening bowlers and got a measure of the wicket and the ground. Aidan hit some delightful strokes and was hitting almost at will before holding out in the deep for
a well played innings of 91 runs which was appreciated by everyone present in the ground. Jai Sinh, who came in the end overs of the match, also smashed the ball all around and the Colts ended at
171 runs for 3 wickets at the end of the 20 overs. It was a good score, and fresh from their wins against GICC and Uprising, Swiss Colts were high on confidence but any hope they had of making
any early inroads into the experienced and explosive batting line up of the Geneva XI stars vanished quickly as both the openers Waleed Saleem and Kooldeep singh went about chasing the runs with
ease and completed a 100 runs partnership before Waleed got out for 47. Kooldeep remained not out on 49 and XI stars won the match comfortably by 8 wickets. The Colts earned the respect of
everyone present on the ground as they proved to be worthy opponents and the team to look for in future games.
In the 2nd match of the day, Cossonay were asked to bat first and they were off to a disastrous start as they lost their first two wickets quickly. Opener and ex skipper Arjun Singh hung around and got himself in and started attacking the XI star bowlers knowing well that they need a good score to challenge the opposition. Cossonay’s cause was helped by some sloppy catching and fielding by the XI stars. Arjun was finally out for a well played 70 runs and some late hitting from Cossonay tail meant that they ended the innings on a very imposing total of 182 runs at the end of their stipulated 20 overs. For XI stars Amandeep sing, Mounir Barone and Qaiser all shared two wickets apiece. Cossonay was very confident of defending this huge total as XI stars needed more than 9.1 runs an over to overcome this total. Geneva XI Stars this time send Mohammad Ali Malik to open the inning with Waleed and both of them started aggressively by scoring at more than 15 runs an over in the first four overs. Opener M.Ali Malik scored a stylish 59 runs before he was out to Aftab for 59 runs. However Humayun Sherzai of XI star showed composure and class to keep the scoreboard moving with Mounir Barone but both of them were out in quick succession for 36 and 22 runs respectively and Cossonay seizing the opportunity of a win tightened their bowling and looked like that they will pull off a victory when 55 runs were needed in the last 4 overs by the XI stars which means that they had to score at an astonishing rather 14 runs an over. Vipin Pavithran of XI Stars however had different ideas and he exhibited calm, composure and class to keep the scoreboard moving and hitting some big shots to keep with the run rate. With 12 needed of the final over, the nerves reached the climax but a massive 6 followed by a classy four of the first two balls tilted the contest completely in the favour of XI Stars and the they won the game with 3 balls to spare. This was a classic T20 match and surprisingly huge crowd present at the ground thoroughly enjoyed the match by cheering both teams.
Two wins in 2 matches means that XI Stars now go to the top of the table in Group A and warning has been sent to other teams in the fray that they will be a team to look for going deep into the
Refer to the Pickwick Twenty20 pages of the Cricket Switzerland website for details of Pickwick Twenty20 fixtures, results and league tables.