Winterthur 173-10 in 39.3 overs lost to Freiburg Nomads CC 188-2 in 32.1 overs by 8 wkts
by Asvin Lakkaraju
FNCC registered a comfortable 8-wicket victory over Winterthur CC and in the process marked their maiden CSPL victory.
On a day when the temperature was hovering around 12°C, Winterthur CC travelled across the border into Germany to play against Freiburg Nomads, the new entrants into Cricket Switzerland. Both teams looked determined to win the game especially after losing the week earlier in their respective league games.
Tom Mampilly, skipper of WCC called the toss correctly and had no hesitation in batting first. Vijay from FNCC didn’t look too disappointed and was happy to chase anything WCC would put up.
Winterthur are used to playing on bouncy wickets in Switzerland and it was clear even before the first ball was bowld that WCC batsmen need to adapt quickly to a different pace and bounce of the wicket. Things did not go to plan for WCC and the first ball of the match yielded a wicket for FNCC with Krishna bowling full in swinger and opener Govindaraj playing across the line, only to be given lbw. This brought in LakmalMendis who looked to nullify any swing available by standing way outside the crease. Both Mendis and Deesh put on a 30 run partnership and batted cautiously to ensure the opening bowlers who maintained good line and length caused no further damage.
Vijay sensing the need for wickets introduced spin and he was immediately rewarded when off spinner Imtiaz bowled Deesh who played across the line trying to slog him to the cow corner. Sara next walked in and along with Mendis started building a partnership. Both players defended well and when bad ball was on offer duly dispatched it to the boundary. Things started looking good for WCC as they crossed 100 in 21 overs and they were all set for a big score. Lakmal was especially in the zone dispatching loose balls to the boundary. When the partnership crossed 100 everyone expected the accelerator to be pressed on.
Things however did not pan out that away. Lakmal pulled a hamstring while going for a second run and could not bat anymore and was retired on 64. In came WCC skipper Tom and duly dispatched a
full toll over mid wicket fence signaling his intentions. Disaster struck once again and Sara was run out going for a second run after a superb 47. Vijay sensing the inexperience of WCC lower
middle order against spin, duly brought in spinners and things started to turn around. Tom was caught at point and the next batsmen in could not take the game to the spinners resulting in quick
wickets. From 150-2, WCC quickly collapsed to 173 all out in 39.3 overs. They were at least another 50 runs short of the par score.
For FNCC: off spinner Imtiaz was the most successful bowling picking up 4/37 followed by another off spinner Rehan: 3/26.
After the lunch FNCC came into bat with Vijay and Vishv and set about building a partnership. Vijay was particularly impressive playing attractive straight drives. WCC started the bowling with Sara and Imran but neither of them could fish out the openers. Tom ringed in plently of bowling changed in the hope of buying a wicket and all them seem to go in vain in the face of some resolute batting from FNCC openers who made batting look easy.
After scoring a sublime half-century Vijay was the first man out bowled by Sara in the 18 over with the team score reading 92. WCC knew that now was the time for them to tighten things up lest
the match would slip out of their hands. Sara picked up Saghir immediately after the drinks break and WCC now believed the match was still in balance.
In walked Rehan Yousuf and he made his intentions clear when he smacked the second ball he faced over the long on fence. His strategy of playing attacking cricket worked and the WCC bowlers could not find a way through. The game was ultimately finished in 32.1 overs and FNCC won by an impressive margin of 8 wickets. Rehan remained unbeaten on 40. Vishv on the other hand batted throughout and remained unbeaten on a brilliant 54. For WCC Sara was the only successful bowler with the figures of 2/26.
WCC will next host St.Gallen on 22 May and on the same day FNCC travel to Olten for a stiffer test.