On a beautiful sunny morning at Rankhof, Ross (who captained the Dragons for the day) won the toss and opted to set a total, before the temperature got too high! Zurich brought 8 players and Basel had 16, so we played 12 a side with Marc, Greg, Max and Charlie playing for Zurich to even out the sides. Due to the different ages and levels playing in the game we opted for a pairs format with each pair batting 4 overs with -5, -3 or -1 run per wicket depending on the level of the player. Bowlers were then matched approximately to the batsmen bowling 2 overs each, with a max 2 bowlers allowed to bowl up to 3. Otherwise standard U11 rules applied! For Ethan, George T, Marc, Max, Shiv and Soumil it was their last game at U11 level and we thank them all for the efforts they have put in in making the current U11 side one of the most successful in the short history of BDJCC. Indeed it feels like some of the players have been U11 forever!!
Ethan and Ross opened and Ethan immediately unleashed some ferocious pull shots off Sam, who pitched it too short on the fast Rankhof pitch taking 17 off the first over. Marc bowled tighter but still the pair raced to 26 for 0 after 2 overs. However Sam came back and bowled much better bowling Ethan and Ross in the same over. Marc then had Ross caught behind and despite a final flurry with 2 fours off the last 2 balls from Ethan, the pair finished on 40 for 3 after their allotted 4 overs.
Next came George G and Quirijn with Riley and Andreas bowling. Quirijn scored some good singles and George played with his usual enthusiasm and with some help from extras they took the score to 71 for 3 after 8.
The third pair was Soumil and George “Chainsaw” T who faced Kabir and Greg. Both bowlers bowled very tightly but the pair ground out some runs and both players hit a couple of fours. Again they didn’t lose any wickets and at the half way stage the score had reached a respectable 104 for 3.
Lewis and Mattijs then came out to bat against Rafferty and Willoughby and Eddie Extras came back into play but both batsman scored runs and didn’t lose any wickets. So after 16 overs Dragons had reached 127 for 3.
The fifth pair was Shiv and Archie who batted against Sasha and Vadim. Both hit some very good shots against some testing bowling and never looked in trouble. They made a nice combination, Shiv with more powerful hitting and Archie working the ball around nicely. They took the score to 162 for 3 after 20 overs.
This brought the final pairing of Ryan and Shivansh, both playing their first game for the Dragons. They faced Charlie and one over each from Vadim and Sasha. Each batsman was out once and they found it tough to score against some tight bowing, reaching 179 for 5 at the end of the allotted 24 overs, leaving a target for Zurich of 180 to win.
After a fast turnaround, Sam and Marc opened the reply for Zurich. Ethan bowled a great first over, conceding only 2 runs and when Ross had Marc well caught by Shiv in the covers 2nd ball of the second over, Zurich looked in trouble. However the pair consolidated and came back fighting with Sam and then Marc beginning to find the middle of the bat. 4 fours came of Ross’s last over as they took the score to a comparable 38 for 1 after their 4 overs.
Next came Riley and Andreas who faced Archie and Quirijn. Both bowled quite well and only conceded a boundary of the last ball of the 4 overs. Each bowler took a wicket and the score reached 57 for 3 after 8 overs, 14 runs behind Basel at the equivalent stage.
The third pair was Max H and Kabir facing Soumil and Shiv. When Soumil got Max out 2nd ball, he looked out of form. But Kabir started to accelerate and this gave Max confidence and the pair really started to tick. Kabir was especially impressive hitting 40 runs off the bat and the pair didn’t have any further scare and took the score to 102 for 4, only 2 runs behind the Basel total at the half way stage.
Next in were Rafferty and Greg who faced 2 overs each from Ryan and Lewis. This was a good battle with the batsman looking to score and taking quick singles. This was working well and with a few extras too them to 121 for 4 after 14 overs. However in the next 2 overs Basel took 3 wickets with Greg being run out twice, firstly to Shiv at point and quick glove work from George T and then a direct hit from Shiv running in from fine leg. They finished at 124 for 7 off 16 overs. Rafferty finished on a creditable 11 runs.
Despite this set back Zurich needed a gettable 56 off 8 overs (the last 2 pairs). The fifth pair in were Sasha and Vadim who faced Mattijs and Shivansh. Both batted well and scored runs, their only setback being Mattijs taking the wicket of Sasha. They took the score to 144 for 8 off 20 overs, leaving the last pair of Willoughby and Charlie a challenging 36 to win off the last 4 overs.
The bowling was from George G and then an over each from Ross and Shiv. Both really tried (almost too hard) to hit boundaries but they couldn’t get good connection and had to settle for singles. This left them 161 for 8 after 23 needing an improbable 19 to win off the last over. When George T got his brother out in last over it sealed the win with Zurich finishing on 169 for 9, only 10 runs short of the Basel total.
It was a fantastic half day of cricket with all 24 kids playing and contributing well. This bodes well for Swiss Junior cricket for the coming years. The difference between the two sides on the day came down to Zurich losing more wickets and therefore runs. What was especially pleasing from a coaching perspective was seeing the young Basel players applying themselves well and able to bat for four overs and stay in.
Good luck to all the boys for the new season ahead!
Pete Veal Sept 2015