Dragons 192 for 2 (Eden 21*, Jimmy 21*, Ethan 20*, Soumil 20*, Max L 17*, Shiv 16*) – La Chat 94 all out (Eden 3 for 18, Aditya 2 for 10)
After a stressful journey down to Geneva due to motor show traffic the Dragons got underway against Le Chat on the Saturday morning. Batting first after winning the toss they accumulated a big total with Ethan, Eden, Jimmy and Max L all retiring and Shiv and Soumil batting out to a total of 192 runs. Only two wickets were lost to run outs so a very strong batting performance all round. In response, Le Chat couldn’t really threaten the total with some tight bowling and a regular fall of wickets. The opening bowling partnership of Ethan and Eden accounted for the first three wickets – Ethan bowling Patrick and Eden then having Graeme caught by Shiv and bowling Julian. Adam got the response underway before being run out by Aditya (the first of a number of impressive fielding contributions through the weekend). Aditya’s spin then accounted for the next two wickets and Eden completed the victory inside 13 overs with Le Chat well short on 94 runs.
Dragons 198 for 5 (Jimmy 38*, Ethan 33*, Max L 24, Aditya 21*) – Swiss U11 104 all out
Next up, was a back-to-back fixture for the Dragons against the Swiss U11 team featuring a number of Basel’s young players. Batting first again, one of those Basel players, Ross Hunter, showed how well he is developing as a bowler and trapped Eden LBW and Dragons were 3 for 1. After that though the Dragons team batted well again with Ethan, Jimmy and then Max L all contributing 20 runs before Max was run out. After Max H made 12, Aditya came in and scored his 21 quickly off 7 good balls. With Shiv (14) and Soumil (0) being dismissed we had Ethan and Jimmy back in for another valuable 30 runs to get to total of 142. Wickets for the Swiss U11’s were evenly distributed with no player getting more than 1 wicket which was also the case for the Dragons against the Swiss U11 response. A very even bowling performance with 5 different wicket takers and the only two bowlers not to claim a wicket, Aditya and Shiv, bowling their 4 overs for a total of 10 off the bat. The breakthrough wickets fell evenly through the game and the rate was always short for the Swiss U11 despite 3 of the team getting into double figures. Two games and two wins and a change of venue next to play Zurich.
Dragons 199 for 5 (Ethan 49* Jimmy 28, Max H 24*, Aditya 20*) – Zurich 151 all out (Ethan 3 for 21)
For the third time Dragons batted first in what was the last game on the Saturday. A calamitous start saw Eden call a run off the first ball from the non-strikers end and found himself run out without having faced a ball. For the second game running though Ethan and Jimmy stood up and batted out their 20 and retired. Ethan really getting into his stride hitting a couple of sixes off the back wall and scoring off every ball after seeing off the first 5. After Max was caught on 6 Max H came to the crease and scored his 24 to retire with some powerful hitting. Aditya next and his 20 ensured that a big total was going to be set. Shiv and Soumil sadly lost their wickets cheaply which brought Ethan back in who almost made his 50, having to settle for 49 of a total of 199. Ethan then guaranteed his man of the match performance taking 3 wickets of the response dismissing Aryan, Antar and Hannaz at critical points in the innings. Jimmy contributed two more wickets and Max L one with Max H adding a run out from behind the stumps and Zurich were short by 48 runs and all out in the 13th over meaning Dragons had played 3 and won 3 on the first day and in need of a well deserved rest.
GRYCC 111 all out (Jimmy 2 for 15, Ethan 2 for 23) – Dragons 112 for 2 (Max H 22*, Eden 21*, Max L 16*)
No early start on the Sunday but the overrun on the schedule on the Saturday meant that Dragons had two games on the Sunday rather than the one originally scheduled. Back-to-back games with Geneva Youth followed by Gingins featuring the ever improving Ismail. Although it was round-robin format it felt like the two toughest challenges lay ahead. In a change for the second day Dragons found themselves bowling first and Geneva were looking to set the total. Theodore and Owen opened the batting and saw the first 3 overs through before Eden got the breakthrough bowling Owen just short of his 20 needed to retire. Jimmy’s two over spell saw Lachlan bowled for 6 whilst Theodore retired. Aditya once more showed his prowess in the field securing two run outs before Ethan returned for his final over and restricted a big total by taking 2 wickets with the first 5 balls of the over. Geneva didn’t complete the 15 overs and were all out for 111. Despite it not being a huge total against the 190+ scores that Dragons had recorded in all three matches on the previous day nerves were tested as Aarit claimed the wickets of both Dragons openers (Ethan and Jimmy) in the first over. This time, Eden and Max L were the calm headed ones to steadily accumulate their runs through to retirement and, with plenty of time left, Max H came to the crease and hit some impressive shots to reach his 22 runs. With Shiv and Soumil not able to play on the Sunday we had the injured Marc and Ross join the Dragons and steer things through to a conclusion with 3 overs to spare.
Gingins 145 all out (Ismail 80, Ethan 2 for 27, Jimmy 2 for 27) – Dragons 146 for 4 (Eden 24*, Max L 24*, Jimmy 21*, Max H 20*, Ethan 15)
The last game certainly felt like a final and for the second time Dragons were asked to chase a total. This time early wickets fell with Ethan claiming two and Eden one in their first 4 over spell. Jimmy then had Hanaas caught by Aditya with his first ball and the Dragons were well on top amidst much celebration. However, with Ishmail in the team it was too early for victory celebrations as he set about accumulating runs and protecting the lower order of the Gingins team successfully hitting successive sixes and then getting the single at the end of the over to retain the strike. Dragons bowlers stuck to their task and a couple of chances came and went before Ishmail tried to turn Jimmy round the corner for a single off the last ball and straight into Aditya’s grateful hands and Dragons needed 146 to win the tournament. Ethan and Aditya opened the batting this time and got off to a steady start. With Aditya caught by Wilf off Hanaas for 3 Ethan was joined by Eden and Ishmail was brought on to bowl dismissing Ethan with his second ball and time for some nerves again. No need to panic though as Max L this time showed how to play Ishmail and he and Eden set about getting the runs required retiring at 20 and handing over to Jimmy and Max H who combined with some nice strong hitting for a number of 4’s. A balance scoring rate always meant the total was achievable and the rate never got away. With Jimmy and Max H retiring Marc and Antar came to the crease contributing 9 and 4 respectively. Going into the last but one over Eden and Max L returned to the crease and between them scored the remaining 7 to win the game and claim 5 wins from 5 games.
Despite the absence of the Cossonay team that have proven to be the stronger team through the U13 competitions last year it was great to see Dragons come away with a win. In particular it was great to see all of the players stepping up and contributing at different times throughout the weekend and a good level of maturity in their play meaning that the number of unnecessary mistakes that contribute to overthrows and run outs were at a minimum throughout. Well done to the boys and lets hope this is a good sign ahead of Zuoz.