A spirited Zurich Lions beat Swiss Afghan CC to clinch the CSNL 40 overs league Championship writes Snehil Joshi.
*Swiss afghans CC won the toss and elected to bowl first.*
Zurich Lions CC – 40 overs 170/9 (Senthil 46, Kanishk 44; Bilal 3/15, Safi 2/14)
Swiss Afghans CC – 28.5 overs 106 all out (Bilal 43, Reza 10; Mayur 3/15, Kanishk 2/19, Sonu 2/22)
Senthil was adjudged man of match in CSNL finals for his 46 runs and a great catch.
Zurich Lions CC won by 64 runs
For Swiss Afghans CC winning the toss the electing to bowl first was not a bad idea to begin on a cloudy day, when there was lot of assistance on the pitch for bowlers. Zurich lions openers started off cautiously. Swiss afghans bowlers were consistent with line and length and did well in early overs. Ankush fell in 6th over on Farid’s bowling when it was 6 overs 18/1. It wasn’t easy to score runs on outfield covered with dew. Lions batters judged it wasn’t an easy pitch to bat on and they didn’t go for big shots. Patient batting and good running between the wickets with couple of small partnerships kept lions steady. Halfway through in 20 over break when Kanishk got out score was 76/3. Kanishk made handy 44 runs. Middle order batsmen hung around Senthil and he kept scoring runs with caution. Swiss Afghans bowlers kept chipping in with wickets in interval. Later Senthil and Sara stitched a 49 runs partnership to kept lions going before Sara got out it was 32 overs 139/6. Senthil made 46 runs before he was out scoreboard read 34 overs 148/7. Lower order batsmen Omed and Sonu did well for lions to reach a respectable total of 40 overs 170/9. Not a massive score but given the ground dimensions and pitch it would be some chase for Swiss Afghans. Bilal and Safi took 3 and 2 wickets each. 4 bowlers from Swiss Afghans took one wicket a piece.
In the crucial chase of finals, Swiss afghans wanted to get off quickly but they stumbled as Zurich lions opener bowlers used the new ball to Swing and operated in good lengths. Sonu and Kanishk took early wickets. The scoreboard was 3/13 in 3 overs. Quick wickets and scoreboard pressure got on as Swiss afghans batters were trying to operate in long shots which kept resulting in wickets fall. Bilal played sensibly but he was shortly running out of partners when half of the Swiss Afghans team was back in hut - Scoreboard read 34/5 in 10 overs. Bilal was fighting a lone battle and later he and Reza tried to build a partnership but Reza was caught trying to clear the long boundary. Scoreboard was- 14 overs 49/6. Soon after it was 49/7 in 15th over. Zurich lions were tiding up nicely, holding onto their catches. Bilal dropped anchor at one end and he did get little support from lower order batsmen for 8th and 9th wicket partnership but it was too little too late; as the 9th wicket fell scoreboard was 88/9 at the end of 24th over. The chase would take quite some task to get over the victory line. Finally in 29th over, a good low catch by Senthil saw off the curtains for Swiss afghans as Bilal’s patient innings of 43 runs came to an end. Mayur took 3 where as Sonu, Kanishk and Sara took 2 wickets a piece. Omed got one wicket and took 2 catches.
Zurich Lions CC won the match quite comfortably by 64 runs.
Congratulations to Zurich lions for winning their maiden CSNL league title.
We would like to thank both the teams for their hard work, great game and keeping the spirit of the game flourishing. We would also like to thank all the teams involved in this league.
Big thanks to Cricket Switzerland, organizers, umpires, all the support staff and everyone involved in great season of cricket in Switzerland.