by James Hardcastle
The available under-15 (U15) Swiss players convened for a full day of cricket matches on Sunday 24th February, at the Pfaffenholz indoor sports hall.
The day allowed for three Twenty20 games between two eight-a-side teams, comprised of the fourteen participating U15 players, and two additional cricketers available (one U13 and one U17).
In order to achieve three full matches, incentives were provided to keep each innings to less than an hour. The key to this was a quick turn-around between overs, which all players managed
effectively throughout the day. In order to achieve three full 20-20 matches, incentives were provided to keep each innings to less than an hour. The key to this was a quick turn-around between
overs, which all players managed effectively throughout the day. Arnold Bucheli umpired and helped oversee the matches. Having his support and involvement on the day, and in taking the lessons
from the weekend, was a great bonus to the U15 players and coaches.
The teams were picked by the captains for the first match. For the second and third matches, new captains were appointed, and players were assigned to their teams. This allowed for an adaptive balance of the teams for the matches, and helped to maximise the opportunities for batting and bowling. Throughout the day, players from different clubs had a chance to play directly with a variety of team-mates from across Switzerland.
All of the appointed captains gave the role their best, with Louqmaan and Max facing each other in the first match. Ali K and Alistair made a strong impression as captains in match 2 and match 3 respectively.
Across all three matches, everyone had at least two batting innings. Every player had a chance to bowl at least one over – with 13 of the players bowling five or more overs. The two main Wicket-keepers, Max and Harry, swapped gloves for at least one innings each – allowing both players to bowl, and giving other players a chance to test themselves behind the stumps.
The overall attitude and application of the players was excellent. Some winter-rustiness was soon eased out, and bowlers and batters alike begin to find their length and their eye quickly.
Batting – there were some great innings and almost all the players can be satisfied with their progress on Sunday. Remember to put in practice all the tips and experience from training, especially related to positioning your head and then bringing your feet quickly into step for the right shot you want to release.
- Roshanth’s powerful drives in his first innings, including two sixes;
- Ricky’s steady accumulation of runs in each innings;
- Alistair’, Fin’ and Marcos’s astute placement of shots and use of the space behind and in the corners of the hall
- Max’s consistent, intelligent shot repertoire, in each innings
- Ali’s intensive pile-on of runs in the first two innings
- Sam’s steady hands to see out a winning partnership in the second match
- Harry’s impressive scoring rate, not-out, during the last overs of each innings;
- Luca’s steady 41 in the first match;
- Marcos’ last innings retirement, not-out on 31, and on the winning side; and
- Louqmaan’s steady second innings (32, retired).
Bowling - although there were generally too many extras, all day, there was some very good bowling and real improvement in form, especially in the first two matches. Captains ensured that all bowlers had a good chance to build up confidence:
- 13 players took at least one wicket;
- Louqmaan’s wicket-maiden and double-wicket maiden in matches 2, and his consistent and incisive bowling all day (5 wickets);
- Ray’s fast and accurate deliveries resulted in a low run-rate and 4 wickets;
- Roshanth’s double-wicket over in the second match;
- Alex E’s 3 wickets, all important ones for his team;
- Alex B’s 2 wickets and steadily improved form; and
- Fin’s impressive improvement in the second innings, including a superb direct hit on the middle stump, and very few extras (no extras for his final over).
Fielding form was really good, especially for the first two matches – good positioning, athleticism and communication. There were excellent catches and at least three run-outs, enabled though swift and decisive fielding, but beware of those over-throws…! Also remember to keep moving while in the field, keep it dynamic, and stay focused.
Overall, a very useful, full day of cricket ahead of domestic tournaments and the forthcoming u15 second training session in late March.
Sincere thanks to Arnold for his umpiring and support in coaching tips and organisation. Also to Fatima for her umpiring, to Sheena and Annalies for help with scoring and supervising the players,
and to Omar for help in set-up. Thanks to Alex (U17) and Roshan (U13) for joining in. Thanks to all the parents who make sure that the players can enjoy their cricket, especially for those
Additional thanks to Steve West for his help in securing the gear and helping us get ready for the day.
Swiss U15 coaches
James Hardcastle, Mohammed Shafiullah, Scott Roantree