St Gallen beat Berne by 6 wickets in a low scoring final to become 2018 Mr Pickwick Twenty20 champions.
On Sunday 26th August 2018 the Swiss Mr Pickwick Twenty20 league ended with two semi-finals and the final at the Swiss Mr Pickwick Twenty20 Finals Day at Sportanlagez Schönau in Berne.
Sportanlage Schönau, 26.8.2018 - 9am
First up were the hosts, Berne Cricket Club, who took on the big hitters Power Cricket Club. Berne captain A Dhawan won the toss and chose to put Power in to bat on the fast drying outfield. While the Power openers got their team off to a stunning start, of note a half-century by S Hasan (59), the middle and tail failed them, eventually being dismissed for 162 in their allotted 20 overs, Berne's Aneesh Kumar the pick of the bowling with figures of 4.0-1-20-3.
Power in reply got off to a good start, dismssing Berne's veteran T de Zoysa (3), but Berne's middle-order, ably led by their captain Aseem Dhawan (80), were able to chase down the total with 8 balls to spare and win by 5 wickets to guarantee their place in the final later in the day.
Sportanlage Schönau, 26.8.2018 - 12.30pm
In the second semi-final of the day, St Gallen captain Nasir won the toss and Geneva captain Anser prepared his team to bat first.
Geneva began well with their first three batters all hitting double figures. But after the fall of Idrees (40) no other Geneva batter managed to make double figures, finding it difficult to deal with St Gallen's bowling attack. Geneva were dismissed for an under paar 116 in just 15.0 overs.
In reply, St Gallen didn't find it any easier, despite the aggressive intent shown by Switzerland's young star Osama (26). Ali Abbas (3) was dismissed early, and the middle order went cheap. However, St Gallen's tail played well, Nasim (32*) & Fletcher (13*) enough to end the game undefeated to ensure St Gallen's place in the final with 7 balls to spare.
Sportanlage Schönau, 26.8.2018 - 3.30pm
Berne won the toss for the second time in the day and elected to bat first in the final in front of a sparsam crowd at a sun-bathed Schönau.
Berne began well but lost wickets at regular intervals, T De Zoysa in the 4th over at 19-1, T Natesan in the 6th at 29-2 and then A Dhawan in the ninth at 46-3, limiting Berne's run-rate to just under 5 an over.
Anish (32) provided the backbone to Berne's innings, but once he was dismissed in the 14th over, the Berne middle order, uncomfortable, perhaps disappointed at the slow start, appeared to be just going through the motions. Berne were dismissed for 94 in 18.1 overs.
With the exception of Osama (52*), St Gallen's top order appeared determined to finish the game as quick as possible. With a required run rate at little under 5 an over, rather than pace the innings. their aggressive hard-hitting style didn't suit the conditions and the top order were all dismissed cheaply. But Osama's brother, Asad, joined him at the crease and together they took St Gallen over the line with more than five overs and 6 wickets to spare to win the Mr Pickwick Twenty20 final and be crowned 2018 champions.
Osama earned himself MoM for taking three wickets and scoring the winning runs with a big six to make an unbeaten 52.
Immediately prior to the awards ceremony, Cricket Switzerland president, Alexander Mackay, thanked Berne Cricket Club for supplying, setting up and dismantling the infrastucture, the competition sponsor Mr. Pickwick Pubs, in particular Jon Southworth (COO), Farid Din and his team for a tremendous lunch and the non-alcoholic bar and sFOCUS and the umpires & scorers.
He also thanked those that had made their way to Berne to watch the Finals Day and all four teams for providing them with a great day of Twenty20 cricket.
As for the awards: Osama Mahmood (St Gallen) was awarded the Man of the Match trophy for his 3 wkts & unbeaten 52 by Ken McKeown, (Honorary Secretary Cricket Switzerland). The runners-up medals were awarded to Berne CC by Asvin Lakkaraju (League Chairman Cricket Switzerland) & Chris Lodge (International Manager Cricket Switzerland), the winners medals to St Gallen by Clive Denney (Honorary Treasurer Cricket Switzerland) & Farid Din (Publicity Officer Cricket Switzerland). And finally, the Mr Pickwick Twenty20 winners trophy was awarded to Nasir Mahmood (St Gallen) and his team as 2018 champions, by Alexander Mackay (President Cricket Switzerland), and the replica triphy that St Gallen get to keep by Abraham Koshy (Vice-President Cricket Switzerland).