Geneva XI Stars 137ao (39.1 overs) lost to Zurich Nomads 140-4 (24.0 overs) by 6 wkts
With a place in the prestigious final at stake, Geneva XI Stars fell short of their quest to qualify for the CSPL finals while on the other hand, Nomads CC qualified for the finals for
the third consecutive year and now face Olten at Bout du Monde on Sunday 9th October.
A chilly autumn morning cleared up into a beautiful sunny day providing perfect setting for second semifinals of CSPL in Uster. Winning the toss, confident Geneva XI Stars had no hesitation in electing to bat first with an intent of putting up a formidable score as they have been doing through out the year at Onex.
Openers Waleed Saleem and Arjun Vinod started with extreme caution against the accurate Nomads openers with the new ball and pressure started building with dot balls. Arjun Vinod was the first to go when he tried to go over the mid on but only managed to find Idrees of the bowling of Faheem. In form Lalit Dubey walked in next and tried to provide momentum to the innings but he also only managed to find skipper Azeem at covers off the bowling of Faheem. Next man in Bisht was caught excellently in the second slip and by this time Faheem was on a roll bowling unplayable deliveries.
Introduction of spin only made it more difficult for XI Stars with the leggie Shafqat picking up three quick wickets and the Stars were left reeling at 51/6. Skipper Kuldeep and Amandeep Singh then put on a crucial 40 run partnership before Kuldeep was then bowled by Faheem who came back for his second spell. The next ball cleaned up Himank and Stars were reeling at 90-8 and quickly 97-9. Asad Shah who came at No 11 batted with lot of sense and blocked his end providing Amandeep a chance to extend the score. Amandeep did that with aplomb and the pair put on a last wicket partnership of 40 runs of which Asad Shah contributed 8 runs. Amandeep was the last wicket to fall in the 40th over for a brilliant 55 that included five huge sixes and XI Stars finished with 137 runs on the board.
With a tricky target to chase, Nomads CC knew that their batting unit had to click. However they got off to a worst possible start with their best batsman Faheem Nazir nicking pacy Jasbir Singh off the second ball of the innings. Kannan who walked in at number 3 also did not last long and Nomads looked to be in big trouble at 12-2. Lakkaraju and Shafqat then started building a partnership by running well between the wickets and punishing any loose ball to the boundary. Sensing the shift in momentum skipped Kuldeep rang in a whole array of bowling changes but the experienced batting duo were now set and started counter attacking the bowling and both the players scored a well made half centuries and brought Nomads to the cusp of the victory.The final formalities were performed by skipper Azeem Nazir and Moaz Butt and Nomads overhauled the target with 6 wickets and 16 overs to spare.
Nomads CC will now face Olten CC in the grand finals of CSPL scheduled for Sunday 9th October in Geneva. As for the XI Stars, they had an excellent season in CSPL and they will once again face Nomads CC in the Pickwick Twenty20 competition final in a fortnight where they will have a chance to extract revenge.