Zouz Swiss Junior Championship 2017: Basel Dragons U13 finish 3rd but showed lots of spirit….
The Basel U13 team met under on Saturday morning in early June under mixed skies with mixed feelings. We were down to 6 players due to Finlay breaking his leg playing football (stick to cricket Fin J) and Marc selfishly being in hospital recovering from having his appendix removed the night before….
Game 1 v La Chat Sat pm: Basel won by 5 runs
Our first game was against La Chat and we borrowed Greg from our U11’s and Louqmaan from Wanderers….. Captain Max H opted to bat and we got off to a poor start losing 2 wickets in the 2nd over. Firstly Alex, opening with Ross was bowled by Luca and then Max H was run out for 1 going for a 2 against the best fielder on their team…. Max was left stranded half way down the pitch muttering to himself…Basel were 9 for 2.
Aidan came in at 4 in his first major tournament and supported Ross well as Basel looked to rebuild. They took Basel to 45 for 3 at the half way point of 8 overs. After Aidan was bowled by Luke and Ross retired on 22 importantly scored at a run a ball. Ali and Ray then tried to accelerate but both batsmen struggled to score on a slow pitch and more runs were coming from extras. Ali was caught for 2 with Basel on 63 for 4. Louqmaan came in and provided good support scoring a brisk 10 also at a run a ball. Ray then started to connect and score more freely but was run out for 14 in the last over leaving Greg to support Louqmaan for the last couple of balls and take Basel to a competitive 82 for 5.
La Chat started strongly and were always in contention. For them, they did not bat deep enough and once the top batsmen were out, they lost 3 quick wickets being bowled out for 78 and Basel scraped home by 5 runs. The fielding was really sharp with Basel taking 5 run outs, 2 by Max H and a caught behind. Ross and Alex both took a wicket.
Game 2 v Gingins Sunday am: Match Tied
Our second game was against Gingins, who on paper were the strongest team in the tournament. The Dragons were really up for this one and put Gingins into bat. We borrowed Sabarish (from La Chat) and Vadim (from Wanderers) to complete our team.
We knew we would have to bowl and field incredibly well to restrict them and give ourselves a chance. Ross opened the bowling and really set the tone. He bowled a very accurate line and with a bit of movement bowled Ricky first ball and Gianni third ball. Gingins were 0 for 2! Ray bowled second over with pace and accuracy – only 2 runs from it. They continued for another 2 overs each and too another wicket with sharp fielding and another run out from Max H removed Ethan. This left Gingins on 21 for 3. Aidan then came on and took his first tournament wicket (well done Aidan) with Wilf falling to an excellent catch by Ray at short mid off. Gingins were now 29 for 4. Thomas then joined Kabir and tried to stabilize, doing a good job. Runs also started to flow for Kabir but again sharp fielding, this time from Ray run out Thomas with score on 49 for 5. Next over the key wicket of Kabir fell caught by Ross at mid-wicket off Alex for a hard fought 18 off 32 balls. This brought the last pair of Aarit and borrowed player Louqmaan together. They had to work for every run and Louqmaan was eventually run out by Ross off the last ball of the innings with the score on 69 all out.
This really was a great performance, to match the final of the indoor Gingins tournament, against the same opponents. A real sign off the quality of Basel bowling and fielding was that it took Kabir 32 balls to score his 18 runs and he is arguably the best batsman in Switzerland at U13 level.
However Basel knew the job was only half done and they would have to work very hard against a quality bowling attack to win. With Marc out, Aidan bravely offered to open with Ross but unfortunately fell 4th ball to a cracker from Gianni. This brought Ali together with Ross and both relied on sneaking 1’s and 2’s, already it was clear it was going to be tight. Ross then fell trying to force things along, bowled by Wilf for a hard fought 8 which brought Max H to the crease with Ali. We needed a Captain’s innings to get close to Gingins. And Max delivered, seeing himself in slowly and then accelerating. Ali offered good support until he was bowled by Aarit for 9 off 28 balls, leaving Basel on 28 for 3. Ray continued where Ali left off and supported Max well getting us closer to the total. Then Max retired on 22 (32 balls) and we needed 13 runs off the last 2 overs. When Ray was bowled by Aarit, with the score on 59 for 4, we were running out of wickets. We needed 9 to win off the last over with Alex and Sabarish at the crease with Wilf bowling. We got off to a bad start, with Alex run out first ball going for 2. This left us needing 8 off 5. We then scored 6 off the next 4 balls with Vadim run out for 1. This brought Max back to the crease with Sabarish needing 2 off the last ball for victory. He connected well, hitting the ball towards mid on and past the fielder, they ran quickly and turned for the 2nd, but Sabarish was sharply run out just short. Score 69 all out and one of the most exciting ties experienced by Basel.
What a performance from the team – they were magnificent!!
Game 3 v Wanderers Sunday pm: Wanderers won by 27 runs
Unfortunately for the Basel team we had back to back matches, this time against Wanderers, mainly a mix of Zurich and Geneva Youth players (GRYCC). Ricky and Thomas, both Gingins played for us to make up the numbers. We knew it would be tough to keep the momentum going and so it turned out.
Wanderers batted first and the openers Louqmaan and Kabir K both retired. Vadim was the first wicket to fall, run out by Max for 16 but the score was already on 92. Ali then badly twisted his ankle after bowling one over and had to go off to be replaced by Greg. He came on and took a wicket with his first ball, that of Alistair, caught by Ross. But the damage had already been done with Wanderers finishing on 118 for 2 off their 16 overs, 56 of which were extras L
Basel started the reply poorly losing two wickets on 7 runs, Ross (run out) and Aidan (bowled by Oliver). Alex batted very solidly for his 10 runs off 19 balls but a key moment of the reply was when Max was given out LBW to Alistair for 1 with the score on 16 for 3, as I was desperately trying to patch up Ali’s ankle to enable him to bat. Ali joined Alex, with Greg as a runner and batted really well in difficult circumstances (maybe he should consider batting with a runner more J). When Alex was run out with the score on 53 for 4, Ray came in and struggled to score quickly. He fell for 4 with the score on 70 and Ali finally went run out to a very tight call for a well-made 16 off 14 balls. But with the score on 90 and time running out, it was a big ask for the two guest players to score close to 30 runs quickly. Ricky played well scoring 12 quick runs at a run a ball but the innings closed with Thomas bowled by Alistair on a final score of 91.
As Wanderers beat La Chat and Basel, it meant Dragons had to settle for 3rd 4th play-off on the final day (Monday). This game was indoors due to heavy overnight rain and was against La Chat. We set ourselves a target of winning in style after allowing them to get very close to us in the first game.
Game 4 v La Chat Monday am: Basel won by 48 runs
Basel batted first and the opening pair Ross and Aidan started scoring quickly. Aidan was out LBW to Kai with the score on 19 but Max H came in and with Ross continued to score freely, with both retiring, Max with his 20 off only 8 balls. Ray and Ali (remarkably recovered….) continued the assault until Ray was caught by Sabarish off Oscar for 15 off 9 balls. Alex came in and continued the acceleration scoring a fast 13 off 7 balls to go with Ali’s 15 off 11 and leave Basel finishing on 136 for 2 off their allotted 12 overs.
In reply Luca and Sabarish both started brightly and both hit big sixes. The score raced to 28 before 2 wickets fell In 2 overs. Firstly Sabarish was run out by sharp fielding from Max for 9 and next over Greg baffled Luca with his flight and Max stumped him for 10. Both Kai and Harry then retired after batting well and taking the score into the 80’s. Ali then bowled Luke with the score on 83, triggering a collapse and seeing the last 4 wickets fall for 6 runs, 3 of them with the score on 89! Ali (2), Ross, Aidan and Greg got the wickets with 2 run outs.
Congrats to our Captain, Max H who won the best fielder award! Well deserved…..
See link for overall Zuoz report and results:
Pete Veal 2017