by Alex Mackay
While the Battle of the Somme was being commemorated by artillery fire in Westminster and in northern France, Cricket Switzerland had big guns of their own during a Pickwick Twenty20
blast at Gründenmoos in St Gallen.
In a game where 484 runs were scored in 228 balls and there were parked cars on two sides of the ground, there was perhaps no surprise that the game wasn't without any collateral damage. One visitor to the St Gallen Open-Air will attest to that as their car unluckily was struck on the rear window by a cricket ball. They were left the ball on their back-seat along with a note from St Gallen Cricket Club.
There was a short delay in assembling the pitch due to the rain resulting in the match being reduced by one over to become a 19 over match. With the prospect of brighter conditions in the afternoon the St Gallen captain elected to field.
The rather aptly named Power Cricket Club got down to task of setting St Gallen a big target quickly running at over 10 an over in the early stages. Power moving on to 43-0 off 4. The opening
bowlers had been hit about, so St Gallen's captain introduced their first change early. A masterstroke as Rehmat just missed out on a hattrick in his first over.
With two of Power's top order batsman, Rana (9) Sajid (0) dismissed the run-rate slowed to just under 10 an over (76-2 off 8). Rehmat struck again in the 9th, Osama just reaching a personal half-century (56) out to a fine catch from the St Gallen captain in the deep.
The combination of Hasan and Osama proved decisive as Power accelerated, taking the score from 83-3 off 9 overs to 146-4 off 13, destroying the rear windscreen of a car parked alongside the
cricket ground in the process. With the ball lying on the back seat a replacement ball was sought. Shortly after Asad (50) was caught on the boundary immediately after reaching his half-century,
Power were 184-4.
Shahni (11*) was able to support Hasan (115*) to complete the innings with an unbeaten century, Power adding another 100+ runs to the total to end at 256-4 off 19 overs, St Gallen set a massive target of 257 to win.
A quick turn-around saw the St Gallen innings get off to a whirlwind start. Eleven off the first over, 29 after two, but they lost their two openers Ali (23) & Ram (0) in the process, as one
might expect, caught going for boundary sixes.
In the third over there was another St Gallen casualty, Waqar (2) dismissed for just 2. St Gallen, behind the run-rate at 23-3 off 3 overs, then staged a mighty recovery, taking the score to 125-4 at the half-way stage, Ilmaz (56) judged LBW to a full length ball that stayed low. But St Gallen captain, Nasir (99) continued the chase, eventually caught & bowled just one short of his century.
On this occasion the St Gallen tail didn't collapse like it did the weekend before, led by Pradee (23*) St Gallen they added another 50 to the score and despite a gallant effort and a run-rate of 12 an over, St Gallen eventually fell 28 runs short of the required total.