Zurich Nomads 220ao (35.5 overs) beat Olten Cricket Club 209ao (39.2 overs) by 11 runs
Zurich Nomads beat Olten Cricket Club by 11 runs and with just 4 balls to spare in a close fought CSPL final played at Bout Du Monde in Geneva on Sunday 9th October and bring the Swiss
2016 cricket season to a close.
With the sun peeking out of the clouds and temperatures hovering around 10 degrees Celsius, it was time for the biggest game of the cricket season in Switzerland. The two best teams made it to the finals and it was Nomad's skipper Azeem Nazir who won the toss and decided to bat first in the knowledge that runs on board in the final would create scoreboard pressure on a very able Olten.
Openers Lakkaraju and Faheem walked out to bat for Nomads and immediately showed the aggressive intentions of Nomads when Lakkaraju dispatched the second ball of the game to the boundary over point. Lakkaraju was however the first to go going for one shot too many and was caught at the third man boundary off the bowling of Sathees. Faheem along with Kannan started to build up a partnership, however introduction of Ali Nayyer and Murali changed the dimension of the game and both batsmen were quickly dismissed. At 61/3 Nomads CC looked in trouble but Sudath who was promoted up the batting order started stabilizing the innings along with ever-reliable Shafqat.
Both batsmen played very sensibly and dispatched any loose ball to the boundary. At 110/3 in 20 overs, Olten were in need of wickets.
A lucky break quickly came after drinks and Shafqat top edged Jeyakanathan. Skipper Nazir next walked in with big responsibility and he started playing positively. Sudath was next to go bowled by an unplayable Yorker from Ali. Azeem and Waqas build up a partnership and set a launch pad for the final assault at the end of the innings. At 180/5 in 30 overs, it looked like Nomads would score around 270. However, Olten stormed back into the game taking some good catches and bowling excellent lines getting Nomads batsmen.
The last 5 wickets fell in a space of 40 runs and Nomads were bowled out for 220 in 35.5 overs. Shafqat top scored with 39 followed by Azeem with 36.
Six batsmen achieved double figures, but none really kicked on. For Olten CC, Tharani was the successful bowler with three wickets followed by Ali, Sathees and Murali with two each.
After a delightful lunch provided by hosts Geneva CC, Olten started their inning with in-form Shahid and Yaso.
They quickly lost Yaso caught off the bowling of Noman at the third man boundary. Murali was the next to go, trying to pull a ball of Nomads' skipper Azeem. At 25-2, Olten looked in trouble. Rizwan joined Shahid and both of them started building a partnership, Shahid in particular punishing any loose ball.
With the score-rate increasing, Azeem introduced Sudath who took the wicket of Rizwan in his very first over. The spin twin Shafqat started bowling from the other end and both bowlers bowled excellent lines. However Shahid kept on fighting and after the drinks upped the ante scoring aggressively. He looked in spectacular form and the longer he stayed the easier it looked for Olten.
At the other end Raja played sensibly before being bowled by Kamran. Shahid then went for a well made 56 off the bowling of Faheem and this opened the doors for Nomads.
At this point skipper Azeem bowled the bowling spell of the season and bought the required run rate under control. He bowled with great control and his pace made the ball swing leaving the batsmen under severe pressure. His 8 overs just cost 19 runs. The pressure led to the fall of wickets from the other end when the batsmen tried to score. The lower order of Olten kept on fighting and with 27 runs required off 36 balls with three wickets in hand and two all-rounder’s in, the game looked in their grasp.
However Sudath had other ideas and took the wickets of Jeyakanthan and Raja Munawar in the successive balls in the 34th over. The game now swung in the favour of Nomads. To add to the tension, Kamran spilled an easy catch off the last wicket.
With 20 runs needed off the last three overs tension mounted both on the batting and the fielding team. Noman bowled an excellent 39th over with just 2 runs given away. In the last over Olten required 18 runs and Kamran who earlier dropped the catch was given the chance to redeem himself.
His first ball went for a six further raising the tension, however Tharani only managed to find Waqas on the mid-wicket boundary, caught on the very next ball, giving Nomads CC the title victory by 11 runs.
For Nomads, Sudath was the pick of bowlers taking 3 wickets and was provided able assistance by all the other bowlers who chipped in with wickets.
Mr. Ken Mckeown thanked Geneva CC and Geneva SLCC on behalf of the President and Cricket Switzerland for hosting the finals and presented the teams with winners and runners medals along with the
trophies. Man of the match was awarded to Sudath Jayarathne from Nomads CC for excellent all round performance.
Photographs of the 2016 CSPL final are available in the gallery.