Schweiz 126-7 (Marc 31* off 16 balls, Ross 18, Max 17, Matty 6*, Wilf 2-17, Oliver 2-15, Gianni 1-16) beat Suisse 123-3 (Kabir 21*, Max 23*, Wilf 21*, Aarit 12, Louqman 6, Gianni 4*, Sasha 1-11, Marc 1-23) by 3 runs
Report by Pete Veal & Pavel Mehta
The U13 season opened with the traditional “Leman Cup” fixture pitching the best of the East of Switzerland in a Schweiz Team against the best of the West in a Suisse team.
Under glorious skies and with a fantastic even pitch and fast ground, the spectators expected lots of runs and on paper, a close game.
Marc Veal, the Schweiz captain won the toss and elected to bat and get some runs on the board. Ross and Vadim opened and started steadily taking the score to 18 for 0 after 3 overs. Wilf, who was bowling with pace and accuracy, sent Vadim on his way, bowled for 2, with the third ball of his second over. This brought Max to the crease and the two Basel players took the score to 53 at the halfway point. Suisse really tightened up their bowling and runs were hard earned, Alistair Nicol deserves special mention, bowling a maiden in the 10th over. Max survived one bizarre moment when he steered the ball down to third man and it was only after the ball had been returned in, all noticed one bail had been dislodged. After lengthy discussions no one could be sure what had dislodged it, so a dead ball was called and Max lived to bat on.
Schweiz knew they needed to accelerate in the second half and the 12th over went for 7 runs. After that Ross retired and Matty came to the crease. The tight bowling was hard to get away and the Suisse fielders put pressure on really well for only 9 fielders, with Max, Wilf and William deserving mentions.
When Max retired, Marc came to the crease to join Matty. Together with a change of bowling runs started to flow with Marc hitting 3 quick 4s and Matty getting in on the act with another leg side boundary. Marc then hit a decent ball from Kabir into the middle of the football pitch for the games only maximum. Kabir responded well and kept the runs down in the rest of the over.
This took the score to 97 after 17 overs and when Matty was retired for a hard fought 6, Ali came to the crease but he was bowled first ball by Oliver. Next was Finlay and when Marc retired he was joined by Paolo. The Schweiz team were now trying to run everything to push the score beyond 120 and were bound to lose wickets. First Fin was run out, trying a brave single and then Paolo was given out LBW to Gianni. Last man Sasha (who had also played in the morning match) was caught behind off the glove, also in same Gianni over. This brought the retired batsman back in to face the final over from Wilf, but first he bowled Ross and then had Max run out. This bought Marc back to the crease, who attacked Wilf from the off, hitting the last 4 balls for 11 runs including two 4’s. This left Schweiz on a competitive 126 for 7.
In reply, Kabir and Gianni got off to a steady start also against some tight bowling taking their side to 13 for 0 after 3 overs. Ross and Sasha bowled especially tight. They then started to
accelerate as Schweiz rotated their bowlers. Kabir getting his own back on Marc with a lovely off drive for 4. As the pressure told, more wides came as well as the boundaries with the 10 over
going for 16 runs. This took Suisse to 61 for 0 and ahead at the half way stage, when both openers retired. However, there was no relief for Schweiz with Max and Wilf picking up where the others
had left off. They made steady progress and let loose in the 16 over, taking 14 runs from it and placing them in a commanding position on 101 for 0 and needing 26 runs off the last 4 overs. With
Wilf and Max retiring, Schweiz’s only chance was to pressure the new batsman Aarit and Alistair. This they tried with some success, but Aarit relieved the pressure with a good cut for 4. In the
19th over, which Marc bowled, Aarit hit the first ball for 4, putting Schweiz on top, but Marc bowled him second ball to re-exertthe pressure. In came Louqman who after a couple of dot balls
importantly hit the 5th ball for 4.
This left Suisse needing 5 runs off the final over to win. Marc threw the ball to Sasha, the youngest player on the pitch (9 years old) to the surprise of most (including Sasha’s dad!).
But Sasha stepped up and bowled a great line across the batsman with the first three balls going for just 1 run. The pressure mounted forcing Louqman into a tight run on the fourth ball – he was just run outby Sashaand this took Oliver to the strikers end. 4 were now needed off 2, and Sasha then bowled Oliver on leg stump, setting up a last ball finale. William came to the crease and the final ball hit his leg and they scampered through for a single, giving the Schweiz team what seemed an unlikely victory.
Overall there were many great performances and neither side deserved to lose. Kabir, Max and Wilf were standouts for Suisse, with Ross and Max up there for Schweiz. But man of the match was
between Marc for his match winning 31 off 16 balls and Sasha for his match winning final over. Ultimately, the award went to Marc – but many congrats to all! Finally a huge thanks to Cossonay CC
for the ground, the weather and refreshments, and thanks to all the players and parents for making it a great afternoons’ cricket!
Man of the Match: Marc Veal (Schweiz and Basel Dragons)