St Gallen 282ao in 36.4 overs (O Mahmood 41, A Abbas 93, V Garg 46; A Rahimi 7.4-0-56-3) beat Geneva XI Stars 135o in 30.2 overs (M Padhye 36; 0 Mahmood 7.2-1-25-6, M Amadzai 6.0-0-15-3) by 147 runs
Gründenmoos, Sunday 2nd September 2018
Report by Osama Mahmood
Just a week after the Mr Pickwick Finals Day at which they were crowned T20 Champions, St. Gallen continued their winning form and beat Geneva XI Stars by a huge margin of 147 runs in their quarter final match at Gründemoos - on their road to "Finale Dihei".
On a typical autumn day in Gründenmoos St. Gallen prepared their home ground to host Geneva XI Stars for the Quarterfinals.
St. Gallen Captain Nasir Mahmood won the toss and had no hesitation in deciding to bat first in a fantastic looking ground. Ali Abbas and Osama Mahmood came out to open the innings. The weather was cloudy and had a few rain drops but nothing threatening. But St. Gallen doesn't know a word about conditions. Ali started the innings very cautiously - very unlike him. After 4 overs the scorecard read 4 overs 10-0. Then the Ali show started. The next 10 overs yielded 135 runs! Osama rotated the strike beautifully and every now and then he scored the odd boundry. And Ali doing it completely the other way around with striking boundries nearly every ball. The opening stand was broken in the 12th over when Osama (41 of 36) attempted to clear the long-on boundry, Lalit taking a well-judged catch right on the line. But that didn't stop Ali from going for boundries. He was eventually caught by Asghar Rahimi for a superb 93 of just 46 balls (striking 10 Sixes!).
Then Ramchandra Kasle and Vivek Garg took the innings deep. Rotating the strike and playing risk-free cricket. They carried the score to 201-2 after 20 Overs. After the drinks break Ram lost his concentration and was caught on the boundary by Lalit. The stage was set for St. Gallens cleanest striker Asad (205-3 after 21.3 ov). He struck a couple of boundries and everyone was thinking it's his day again. Unfortunately he sliced a ball to backward point and couldn't provide the crowd with his monstrous sixes which the homeside is used to. At one stage St. Gallen looked good for a 400+ total for the first time in their history. But some brilliant fightback from Geneva XI Stars, led by Arjun Vinod and Asghar Rahimi, St. Gallen lost their last 8 Wickets for 77 runs. Momentum shifted back to Geneva XI Stars. With the big hitters in their rank the chase was on but not before a fine lunch provided by St. Gallen.
After the break XI Stars had a huge setback in the 2nd over, Osama striking with his first ball, Raja lost his leg stump attempting to clear the boundary. Waleed Saleem and Ali Malik Muhammad then went on to build a partnership and the St. Gallen pace attack got frustrated. In search of wicket taking deliveries they went for some boundaries. Just when they were opening up and putting pressure on St. Gallen Osama struck again clipping the leg bail by the slightest of margins. Pressure shifted back to Geneva XI Stars. After a fiery opening spell by Anthony Kenardo Fletcher and Osama Mahmood, Nasir decided to give the ball to Musa Ahmadzai and Naseem Mohamed Nasim. They carried their form with the ball from last week's Finals Day. In space of 39 balls Musa and Nasim gave away only 19 runs and took 4 Wickets. All the star batsmen Ali Muhammad, Lailt Dubey, Kuldeep Rawat, Vipin Paviithran back in the hud. All the first 6 wickets were boweld, that just shows the quality of the bowling attack which St. Gallen possesses (and that too without their injured Captain Nasir Mahmood). The scorecard after 15 overs 51-6!
After that burst of wickets there was no intent shown by Geneva that their going for the chase. Arjun Vinod (18 of 59 balls) and Mayur Padhye tried to carry their innings until the 40th over. After 12 overs without picking up a wicket Nasir decided to bring back the pace star K. Fletcher. He went wicketless for 8 overs but showed some brilliant pace bowling stuff. After a 4 over spell, SGCC wanted to finish their game and gave the ball to Osama. There was no stopping Osama from finishing the tail of in his spell of 3.2 overs for 3 runs! And picking up 4 wickets. His final figures reading 7.2 overs 1 Maiden 25 runs and 6 wickets! Geneva XI Stars bowled out for 135 runs in 30.2 overs. That was Osama's 2nd six wicket haul in this year's CSPL edition.
St. Gallen proved how confident a team they are at the moment and on current form look unstoppable. A fantastic match played by St. Gallen and played under great spirit.
St. Gallen CC will now face Power Winterthur CC, who won the second quarterfinal played at Bout-du-Monde, on the 23rd of September 2018 at Deutweg in Winterthur.